on Dec. 13, 2013 :
The last time I saw Violet, Ethan and Aurora in The Ruby Curse, they were on a quest to find the missing mages in Yokley’s steampunk world of Arcova. Violet was an angry brat of a werewolf saddled with a good two shoes Guardsman, Ethan and a blind mage, Aurora. They were endearing characters and I found myself wondering after the final chapter what happened next? Did they escape the house in one piece?
And that is the sign of a good book, you want to know more. Triton answers that question but leaves you with the same question at the very end, what will happen next and will they or won’t they? The sexual tension between Violet and Ethan is building and it looks like a battle Violet isn’t completely prepared for, it’s not like you can knock out the guy who saves you, right?
Convinced by Ethan to help retrieve a gifted scientist, Kaia from an underwater research lab, Triton, Violet is very much the reluctant hero and she’s still a pouting, streetwise brat we’ve come to know and love, unless you’re Ethan and the butt of her smartarse replies. Yokley however has started Violet on a journey of self discovery and part of that seems to be the peculiar notion that not all men are out to get you, Violet. It’s an oddity for young Violet and Yokley has treated us to flashback scenes of Violet’s childhood where we learn she was once just a normal girl. I won’t spoil it by telling you want happened to make her the way she is but I do understand the why now. Throw in an encounter with a sky pirate, an encounter with Flock agents and coming face to face with Desdemona and you’re in for the ride of your life.
Yokley’s style is instantly readable and you feel like you’re inside Violet’s head looking out with amusement at the situations unfolding before you. Her sense of humour is dark and sarcastic but you feel a part of Violet even while you watch her lashing out at those closest to her. However Yokley cares deeply about her characters and that comes through loud and clear, they’ve got a story to tell and things they need to do and say. Yokley is just the writer trotting alongside them to record the event as faithfully as possible. It’s that characteristic that lifts this book above many others I’ve seen lately, while there is some degree of control because you’ve got to finish the book, a good writer allows the characters room to breathe and make their own mistakes.
Book Two can be read as a standalone novel as there’s some back story connecting you to The Ruby Curse but I’d still recommend you read Book One first otherwise you might find yourself a little confused. On the plus side however the story moves very quickly and while there are moments of reflection they’re more like pauses in between the action scenes.
Yokley has started her own journey towards the creation of a fine series that will surely stand the test of time. It’s quirky and there are places where I think I wouldn’t have written that but these characters stay with you after you’ve finished the book. I’m waiting for the third book in the series and wondering what happens after she comes out of the tent.
I’d give it five stars, worth reading and I can’t wait for Book Three.
(reviewed 7 days after purchase)