Genre: Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Fantasy, Magical Realism, Romance, Steampunk
Published August 1st 2016 by Curiosity Quills
Philomena Blackwell survived a city plagued with monsters, the gilded cage of high society, and the rule of a heartless man… and she aims to leave it all behind.
It’s 1905, and London has finally been freed from Henry Jekyll’s terrible legacy – its people cured, its thirteen-year quarantine lifted. The world is waiting, and for a girl who dreams of being its most dazzling star, what could be more enticing than the bright lights of New York City?
She is drawn across the ocean like a moth to a flame, her heart set on proving that while she may be small on the outside, her soaring talent eclipses even Manhattan’s towering skyline. When she lands a big break, it seems as if the city is ready to fall under her spell – just as she seems to be falling for a handsome young stage manager. But is it her stage presence mesmerizing the audience, or something more sinister behind the scenes?
Philomena has always relied on her fierce will and fiery heart, but a new and more terrible danger lurks in the shadows of Broadway’s bright lights, and even a mind as determined as hers may not be immune to its seductive, insidious pull…
In my opinion, a series well written is one you could pick up each book and read independently and not be confused as to what is going on. A book that reflects but does not focus wholly on what transpired in the prior work and that is exactly what Andrea Berthot did.
I was a little torn at first, because I enjoyed the setting of the first book so much [and the characters!] that I feared I wouldn’t become invested in this novel. That isn’t so. This book follows Philomena Blackwell while she embarks on her journey to New York from London, she not only has to endure a new country but also being a working class woman of the times. We see her struggle to find work, struggle to find her place as an aspiring actress and to finally be able to flex her wings as she tastes freedom. Yes, there is a romance on the horizon for her and just when things seem to be perfect in her life – it unravels.
I felt as though this time around it was less about the supporting characters and more pinpointed on one character, Philomena. There was a different mood and overall feel to help keep this book a -separate- book from the first, too. It’s funny, one would think that a book with monsters in it would be the darker one, but I think this one is darker and more “adulty” than the previous book. It shows the dark side of humanity and as a female [especially in those times,] how hard it was to be taken seriously and viewed as anything but a mindless bimbo, or someone who was willing to further their career by demeaning themselves.
The Steampunk theme seemed to take a back seat and only appeared in small dribs and drabs, but that didn’t matter so much because the theater element to this novel was outstanding and beautiful. There were minimal fantasy elements which gave this book a ‘realistic’ feel.
Overall, another good read by Andrea Berthot. Definitely worth the read!
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