BOOK REVIEW: Shadows of Asphodel by Karen Kincy

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She never asked for the undying loyalty of a necromancer. 

1913. Austria-Hungary. Ardis knows better than to save a man on the battlefield. Even if he manages to be a charming bastard while bleeding out in the snow. She hasn’t survived this long as a mercenary without some common sense.

When she rescues Wendel, it isn’t because he’s devilishly handsome, but because he’s a necromancer. His touch can revive the dead, and Ardis worries he will return from the grave to hunt her down. Besides, a necromancer can be useful in this world on the brink of war.

A gentleman of questionable morals, Wendel drops to one knee and pledges his undying loyalty to Ardis. She resists falling for him, no matter how hot the tension smolders between them. Especially when she discovers Wendel’s scars run much deeper than his skin, and it might be too late to truly save him from himself.

This post is WAAAAYYYY overdue. I can’t explain things too much but life got in the way and I had to take care of stuff so blogging was paused a bit for me. But now I am back! So, let us get on with this review of a really great book shall we?

I forgot how I was able to get hold of this book so if you, my dear reader, gave me or recommended me this book I am deeply sorry. But I remember reading it after I read either Relentless or Air Awakens. I have heard good things about this and read really good reviews so I had good hopes about it and as expected, I was not disappointed.

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First off, I think the cover is really good, except for those two half-faces up top. I could do much much better without them thank you very much. Other than that, I think it was a good hint to the steampunk vibe of the book which I liked surprisingly.

Wendel was the perfect hero for this story. He was the mysterious gentleman in the wrong place at the wrong time. With all his mystery and gentlemanly behavior, you kind of sense something sinister in him but at the same time that is where his irresistible charm resides. I found myself drawn to him and his character. I am not sure, however, if there is much more to him than what was disclosed about his life and his past in this book but, I don’t care at all. I found myself wanting to know what goes on from now. His past crimes and life were less intriguing than what he would or would not do. The mean is a freaking necromancer if I haven’t told you that! I probably should have been terrified by what he could do but I wasn’t. Yep, so me.

Now, you know how much I love my bad-ass girlfriends right? So it will come as no surprise to you that I immediately liked Ardis as a heroine but then she was a sword-wielding mercenary and well… yah know. Her past and how the sword was linked to her mother and her life was a good addition to the story. I think it gave Ardis more depth, and made her character more complex yet whole. Plus she has Asian blood so you know I will root for her. She is a no nonsense yet passionate girl. She can definitely hold up her own.

This was my first time reading a novel with a steampunk kind of environment and I must say I really, really liked it. The world the author created was interesting, revolving around things we are familiar with yet twisting it in a way that we want to know more about them like we were strangers. It was an environment well-conceived. There was nothing wow about the character development in the story but at least there was some which is always a good thing. I think this is a case where the story and the plot and the world itself is sufficient to keep you reading. I think if too much was added it would have been a bore.

Also, the way magic was “mechanized” to jive with the steampunk vibe was genius. It probably doesn’t make clear sense, but I could totally imagine it.

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Not much really…

Let’s see, the twist about Ardis’ father, well… I just saw it coming. Like really. I think it was an obvious one and it didn’t surprise me when I came to that part. Sometimes we just don’t like knowing what is going to happen.

The ending. I was not really a fan. I just…. ugh… maybe something more? I don’t know. But then again it MIGHT be vital to the next books, who knows..

Like I said, I really like this book. And for a first steampunk-ish novel, I am a fan.

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Do you have steampunk novels you can recommend?

 

 

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