Release Day Review and Giveaway: Gilded by Karina Cooper
Author: Karina Cooper
The St. Croix Chronicles, book 2
Source: From publisher for review
Buy it here: Amazon | Book Depository
For more information visit Karina Cooper’s website
Reviewed by: Beth
Cherry St. Croix is a society lady by day, but at night she is a collector. A collector is something like a bounty hunter who flies under the radar, or in this case below the drift. There is a kind of fog that surrounds most of London. Most of society lives above it for the most part. Cherry is invited to a luncheon and given a mystery that leads her to a dead college professor. As she is piecing together the mystery and Earl decides to court her.
Gilded is the second book of Karina Cooper’s The St. Croix Chronicles. It took me a little while to get used to the tone of the novel. Cherry starts out in her collector disguise, and then moved to her getting home. I was thrown by it, not only because of the double lives, but because she seemed to self-aware and independent on the street and the complete opposite at home. I didn’t read the first book, Tarnished. It did fill in some of the background that happened in the first book, but some parts were a little confusing. In other words, it’s best to start with book one.
My favorite thing about this book, other than the jaw dropping ending, is that I had no idea how versatile Cooper is. The tone of the novel is completely different from anything I have ever read by her. I thought when I opened the book it would remind me of her Paranormal series, but it didn’t. Instead it surprised me.
Let’s be honest, history wasn’t that great to women. Steam Punk has a funny nature about carrying over some of the things I don’t like about the Victorian age. All those manners, all those rules give me the shivers. Cherry would agree with me, the difference is she has to live it. The problem here though is that while she is a no fear kind of girl, she does fear the social elite. This kept me at a distance from her. So much of her claims not to care, but in that she is very dishonest, she does care or it wouldn’t give her fits.
I haven’t gone hardcore into the plot, and that’s because it’s hard without being spoilerish. I have said there is a mystery, and who is dead, but there is a lot more going on. She is being pursued for her hand by an Earl, who isn’t bad looking. This rivaled for my attention when it came down to it. This isn’t something that takes a back seat in the plot. Everything is connected in some way, but the main mystery opens doors to bigger ones like her family’s past. Even the Earl’s family provides little hidden details into what, or who her parents were as people. There are some serious secrets playing in the background of the overall plot line.
I mentioned the jaw dropping ending. Actually, the very end wasn’t so jaw dropping, but the space right before it. Gilded took me by surprise. It wasn’t something I expected, and it has a lot more flavor than other Steam Punk novels out there. The main character isn’t my favorite. I felt distant from Cherry and her ever wandering mind. The dead professor mystery seemed a little bland, and not for me. On the other hand a glimpse at the bigger picture going on behind the actually story held my interest. I often say, ‘yea, that novel didn’t go far enough.’ That’s not true here. I was pleasantly surprised by how far it went.
We are giving away 1 copy of Gilded. This is open internationally and the winner will be announced on December 29th. Read giveaway policy before entering.
Elizabeth is a constant reader from down south. If she doesn’t have a book open she can often be found behind the computer or with a gaming console. She is an eccentric bookworm who enjoys all types of genres: Science Fiction, Historical Fiction, Romance, and Horror.