Alistair Click set out to lay to rest the superstitious fears about the Mad Prince’s clockwork tower. If that meant he might bring the ghost city of Avalonia back to economic life, connecting the western kingdoms once again, so much the better. So what if no adventurer who’d entered the tower in the last century of desolation had ever re-emerged? They didn’t have his skill and wit. He could do better.
The tower turns out to be far more than Alistair expected, however. Not only are there clockwork puzzles to open every door, but one of them drops a boy from a strange world into his lap–figuratively speaking, if only just. Marco Murphy was just gaming in his New Jersey apartment, and now he’s stuck in what feels like a never ending LARP nightmare.
The deeper they delve into the Mad Prince’s tower, the darker the secrets they uncover. They’re not entirely sure they’ll ever be able to get out again, either. It’ll take all Marco’s charm and Alistair’s cleverness, plus the strange bond growing between them, to get them out together… and alive.
Book – Blood and Clockwork
Author – Katey Hawthorne
Star rating – ★★★★★
No. of Pages – 68
Cover – Gorgeous
POV – 1st person, past tense
Would I read it again – Yes!
Genre – LGBT, Aro/Ace, Steampunk, Adventure
** COPY RECEIVED THROUGH NETGALLEY **
Ever since I saw the cover for this book, I’ve been dying to read it. I haven’t read enough Steampunk stories, by far, and when I saw that it was Katey Hawthorne, I just had to have it. Then, when I read the blurb, I got all giddy and excited. This was a MUST read for me.
Now that I’ve read it, I can say that I have no regrets or disappointments. Everything this book is and this authors name suggests held up their end of the bargain. This was a beautiful love story, of a different kind. Love for clockwork, adventure and friendship, companionship, art and affection. It was the story of an aro/ace character that felt an intellectual and emotional attachment to a gay man, who just so happened to be the first person to accept the limitation of his affections. There was no push and pull about it. Just solid acceptance and understanding, in a way that was heartwarming and sweet.
I’m not usually a fan of 1st person stories, but this one completely sucked me into Alistair’s head, until I never wanted to leave. He was such a fun, interesting science-geek of a character, which I loved. Marco, with his modern day ‘cool dude’ attitude, was a perfect balance of cynicism to Alistair’s blind faith in clockwork.
The detail and world building were genius. Combining traditional Steampunk with a modern world character was unique and brilliant. I loved the gentle exchange of information and cultures. The way that Marco indulged Alistair at first, then settled into the truth, allowing for some fantastic chemistry and bonding between them.
I’m really sad that it had to end and, like the other books that I’ve read from this “LT3’s Solitary Travelers collection” I wish there were more of the world to read, more of the characters. Just more of everything.