After the death of their father, Honoria Todd and her siblings have fled their comfortable home and are forced to find shelter in the rookeries of Whitechapel. Living under assumed names, the siblings live hand-to-mouth and in fear that their existence will be discovered. When Honoria has nowhere left to turn, she is forced to seek the help of Blade, the criminal who runs Whitechapel.
Did I mention Blade is vampire? And that this is the first book in the author’s new London Steampunk series?
Steampunk has become one of my favorite genres and I really enjoyed the world created by this author. I’ve found that when dealing with alternate worlds, there’s a fine line between crazy and good and I think McMaster got it just right. This world is a mix of steampunk and alternate history and paranormal, although it’s a bit more paranormal than science fiction. But if you like vampires and werewolves and mechanical men and robots, you’ll probably like this book.
McMaster’s world is an interesting world where vampires are the elite. England is run by seven noble houses known as the Echelon and it is this ruling party that decides who gets infected with the craving virus. But all is not right with this world. Many people cannot pay the blood taxes. The poor watch themselves on the street so they don’t get abducted and killed by the bleeders. And there is an uprising faction known as the humanists who seek equal rights for humans and the Echelon.
I thought Honoria and Blade were fantastic characters. On the run from the Echelon, Honoria is wary of trusting Blade. She’s a bit stubborn and Blade is a bit cocky, but by the time these two get together (because of course they’re going to get together!) it’s well worth it.
The good news about this book is that it was published in 2012. The series contains 5 books, which also have all been published. They’re all available at my library so I’m off to binge read!