Book Review: The Mysterious Adventures of Becca Carlisle by Cate Morgan

Title: The Mysterious Adventures of Becca Carlisle (Blood & Steam #2)
Author: Cate Morgan
Genre: Steampunk/YA
Date Read: 09/09/2016 – 11/09/2016
Rating: ★★★★

Review:

I read this book almost exactly a year to the day after I read the first Blood & Steam novella, and while this one had less of the exciting exotic locations, it still had all the bright, vibrant characters that I enjoyed in the first one.

Becca Carlisle receives a letter from her family lawyers in London, claiming that her brother is going to be charged with desertion from the army. She soon learns from a junior partner in the firm, however, that her lawyer is in league with Baron Lindsey, the same man responsible for her father’s alleged death in an airship accident.  As she and Avery begin to build a case to prove their senior’s connection to the Lindseys, they find there are a few people determined to stop them investigating.

Becca and Avery were both fun characters. Becca is the slightly more “normal” Carlisle sister, compared with adventurous Acacia and inventor Lucia. Still, she sticks up for what she believes in and isn’t afraid to join with Avery in building a case against Avery’s former employer and the Lindseys. Avery is very sweet, a bit dorky, but also determined to have revenge for his father, who came to grief when he crossed the Lindseys some years before. There was also some entertaining side characters in the Ladies’ Adventurers Club, in particular three ofo these ladies who were too old to give much of a damn what other people thought of them.

As this book was set in London, it did lack the exciting description of faraway lands that the first book did, and there was even less of a steampunk vibe than in the first. Apart from a few telescopes and a fancy telegraph system, there was little to distinguish the setting from regular Victorian England. Even so, it was a quick, fun read and I certainly look forward to reading book three and concluding the story.


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Book Review: The Amazing Adventures of Acacia Carlisle by Cate Morgan

Title: The Amazing Adventures of Acacia Carlisle (Blood & Steam #1)
Author: Cate Morgan
Genre: Steampunk/YA
Date Read: 11/09/2015
Rating: ★★★★

Review:

acaciacarlisleThis a quick, fun read and despite its short length (GoodReads tells me it comes in at 96 pages), it packs in a really tight plot. I read it in an airport; it was just perfect for that type of environment and waiting period.

When Acacia Carlisle’s brother goes missing, and then her father’s airship goes down while searching for him, Acacia sets out to track down the man responsible for it all, Baron Lindsey. She enlists the help of Captain Drew McCallan, offering the patronage of the Carlisle shipping line in return for use of his airship and crew. Together, they end up on an adventure neither of them expected.

Acacia and Drew were both really fun characters. I could hear their voices in my head, both very distinct. Acacia has loads of self-confidence and isn’t afraid to use the resources available to her (such as her family’s name and money) to get what she needs. Drew has been a bit more down on his luck, but he is knowledgeable when it comes to airships and navigation, and together, he and Acacia make a good team.

The book’s descriptions were also very vivid, especially the mountaintop airship port where the climax of the story takes place. I could imagine it all. However, I did expect that the world would be a little bit more steampunk-y. Apart from airships being the main mode of long distance transport, I felt we were basically in the a regular Victorian set-up.

That was my only real quibble, though. I’m definitely going to look up the next book when it comes out.