on Dec. 13, 2013 :
I've only just started appreciating steampunk as a genre, so maybe I'm not the best one to review this from the perspective of a steampunk fan but having read The Ruby Curse I'm actually quite intrigued by the genre. I've read a few over the last six months but I admit my opinions were soured by the whole Batman thing which I found ludicrous and poorly done from the perspective of world building.That being said, I'm a stickler for realism when it comes to building worlds, if you want to break the laws of physics then do it but do it consistently and don't throw in silly little gadgets just for product placement value.
The world of The Ruby Curse is not one of those kinds of worlds. It's actually well thought out. Makayla has put a good amount of research into creating her fictional world, there could have been more detail but I would put that down to the size of the book, perhaps a larger novel would have given her time to expand her world and give it more colour.
The story revolves around an escaped convict, Violet who discovers that not only is she one in a long list of heroes but she's also crucial to unlocking the reason behind the disappearance of the mages. Along the way she is shackled to Ethan, a do gooder cop, and Aurora, a blind mage. This unlikely trio is helped by Aurora's cat, Nox and Violet's dog, Morrigan. The trouble starts almost straight away when Violet acting true to form refuses to play along as hero, not unless there's something in it for her. She's not your traditional hero, more the antihero, a teenage squalling brat who does whatever it takes to get what she wants when she wants. Ethan seems dragged along behind and Aurora looks to be the only one with the courage to slap her down now and then. It ends on a cliff hanger so I can only assume and hope that we see a sequel as I was really getting into it.
I found Violet to be an interesting character who might actually mellow and she probably has to if she's going to hold my interest. There are times I want to slap her down. Ethan looks a little too tame for her but maybe with a little more work he too can be a little tougher. The most fascinating character for me was Aurora who seems more in control of herself.
Overall it's a good read and a good start to a series. Character development over the next book, or two, will be the key but it's a great introduction to Arcova. We need a little more colour and detail about Arcova instead of being yanked along behind Violet and her comrades. It helps to draw breath now and then and take a good look around before facing the next obstacle. I think that's my one problem with the book, it wasn't long enough. Worlds like that take a little more time to unfold and you need the luxury of a longer word count to do that properly. But as I mentioned before it's a great start and I'm looking forward to seeing more of Violet, Ethan, and Aurora in the sequel.
NB* This review was originally posted on Goodreads twelve months ago.
(reviewed 2 years after purchase)
on Aug. 12, 2012 :
This book is absolutely amazing! I have always been a tough critic on books. If a book can't keep me interested for just one chapter, I drop it. This books has sucked me in since the first page and it continues to take me on an epic adventure, paragraph by paragraph. I love how well the author develops not just the story, but the characters as well. You don't just get a bit of background with a little character development, you learn more and more about the characters as the adventures unfold. I love this book!
(reviewed 22 days after purchase)