Release Date: March 15, 2015
Format: Kindle version
My Rating: ★★★ 1/2
Lady Marguerite lives a life most 17th century French girls can only dream of: Money, designer dresses, suitors and a secure future. Except, she suspects her heart may be falling for her best friend Claude, a common smithie in the family's steam forge. When Claude leaves for New France in search of a better life, Marguerite decides to follow him and test her suspicions of love. Only the trip proves to be more harrowing than she anticipated. Love, adventure and restitution await her, if she can survive the voyage.
I hate to admit it, but I didn't totally love this novel. I think I have my bar set high for steampunk because of Scott Westerfeld's Leviathan series. It wasn't so much the world building or the setting that didn't win me over, I really thought Statham did that well, I just couldn't stand the protagonist Marguerite. I can forgive a book for a lot of things if I end up relating to the character or just really liking them, but when I read a book and can't stand the character I have trouble getting over that.
I found Marguerite to be a really bratty and entitled. My first thought was, "Oh my god, I'm old and now I can't relate to YA characters anymore! :( ahhh!!" But once I finished this novel, I realized the character was a bit too immature. Marguerite was a little too dramatic, "poor little rich girl" for me that I think I just couldn't sympathize with her plight that much. I mean it sucked that her dad just wanted to sell her off to a rich husband, but I found her comments about the other girls on the Aership being "common" to be really judgmental. I did feel bad that no of them liked her and were super mean to her, but at the same time I couldn't really blame them.
I did really like the Victorian-era setting that was complete with the typical steampunk elements. I loved the bots and Marguerite's female-bot Outil. Honestly, I felt like she had more of a rounded personality than her owner. The Aerships and the mechanisms of those were really interesting, but you don't really get a feel for that until mid-way through the book. Once we did get to that point, that was where I think Marguerite started to shine, and she did win me over a bit. There is a huge battle on the Aership, and Marguerite is the one that gets everyone to safety. So at the end of this novel, I felt like she had redeemed herself a bit.
This series definitely has potential, I just want the character to not be so bratty and entitled to everything. That was my biggest pet peeve about the novel. If you are interested in steampunk, I would suggest you try it for the world building alone.
Happy Reads Everyone!