Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Book Review: "The Shadow Revolution" by Clay and Susan Griffith

The Shadow Revolution (Crown & Key, #1)The Shadow Revolution by Clay Griffith
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

"The Shadow Revolution" by Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith tells a tale of magic and mystery in a steam-era civilization. It's London, during a time of steam-powered contrivances and magic called aether. Most people don't believe in magic, but it's not secret; it's just not talked about as a current event.

Four characters function as the protagonist. Simon Archer and Nick Barker share rooms and go around, quieting helping out in situations where a bit of magical intervention is needed. Simon is a scribe - he writes down words or runes and then activates them to control his magic. Nick does a bit of everything when it comes to magic, though throwing fireballs seems to be his favorite go-to attack. Lady Kate Anstruther is an accomplished alchemist and head of Hartley Hall, a few hours outside of London. She divides her time between her dog, her sister, and her experiments. Malcolm MacFarlane is a renown Scottish monster hunter. He carries specially made guns, silver ammunition, and a bad attitude.

"The Shadow Revolution" is overall a decent story. The characters, their motivations, and the plot have been used before, so I wasn't surprised by any of these story elements. When saves the book from the "been there, read that" heap is good old-fashioned storytelling. The Griffiths spin a solid tale about men, women, werewolves, mad scientists, and human foibles. None of it stands out as amazing, but none of it is rubbish.

Overall, I give this book 3½ to 4 stars, and recommend this to anyone looking for a quick steampunk read.

Disclaimer:  I received a copy of this book from the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

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