Book Review: The Inventress by Mary Victoria Johnson

The Inventress by Mary Victoria Johnson

A Young Adult Steampunk Mystery Novel published by Fire & Ice Young Adult Books (07/18/17)

Summary:

Kay Ross, daughter of one of the most hated families in England, hasn’t been able to make many friends. Domino is her only friend. Domino is the genius and the inventor, but she doesn’t always tell Kay all her secrets. Her new invention is going to be the grandest of them all, but she never gets to show the world. The same day Domino lets Kay in on her new security camera invention and lets Kay take her to a society ball, she is murdered. In order to figure out who is to blame, Kay will have to find out more about her own family history and what on earth Domino was inventing.

Keywords:

Steampunk, Mystery, Death, Murder, Friendship, Loyalty, Family, Rivalry, Inventors, Socialite, England, Past, Challenges, Enemies

My Review:

Slow to start, this story soon wound me up in its intrigue. I desperately needed to know what happened to Domino. The more that Johnson expertly showed me the past friendship between Domino and Kay, the more I was sucked into the story. Domino is more than just an inventor – she puts up with Kay and her moods. She would never harm anyone and doesn’t believe in weapons. Who killed Domino? And why? Kay will stop at nothing to figure this mystery out.

I absolutely love stories that have strong friendships and interesting character details. Kay is closed off from her world, choosing to become what those around her think she is – the same power-hungry money-hungry person as her parents.

The steampunk elements were subtle throughout the novel. They were woven into the details of the world. At times, I got a strong historical fiction vibe from when Kay had to dress up to go to society affairs, but for the most part the story centers around Kay and her need to solve Domino’s murder. Everyone is a suspect and the only clues left behind are Domino’s latest invention and a slow trail that keeps including Kay in the mystery.

Disclaimer: I received a free ARC of this novel. This is my honest opinion.

This novel was published by Fire & Ice Young Adult Books on 07/18/2017 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.75

Links for more information:

Mary Victoria Johnson’s Website

Goodreads

Twitter

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Book Review: The Ashes and the Sparks by Mary Victoria Johnson

The Ashes and the Sparks by Mary Victoria Johnson

A Young Adult Fantasy Novel published by Fire and Ice for Young Adults (10/18/16)

Summary:

“You can hide things as well as you want, but they’ll never go away. Not entirely.” (Kindle Locations 1209-1210).

Jorun spends her nights prowling around underground with a group of other teenagers. They run through a series of tunnels under their isolated island village, pretending to be monsters to scare their family and friends. One day, a boy from a neighboring island makes his way into their secret tunnels with stories of real monsters – invaders in airships. At first nobody believes him, but after the sky is darkened by flying ships, they will have to believe him and do something about the invasion.

Keywords:

Steampunk, Isolation, Small Village, Friendship, Family, Adventure, Danger, War, Technology, Weapons, Fighting, Civilization, Parallel Reality, Tension

My Review:

I have never before read a book where part one and part two worked so well together even though they were very different from each other. The first part of the novel was about a new civilization that had its own customs and traditions. The main character, Jorun, felt different and didn’t quite fit into her society’s customs. This story was interesting, especially with the secret tunnels and the mythology the people told their children. I was intrigued. It was hard to like Jorun at first though, since she spent her nights scaring little kids. She wanted to impress the other tunnelers and didn’t really try to change anything about her role in the village or rebel against the tunnelers when she didn’t agree with what they were doing.

Part two really brought the story and Jorun to life. She became a stronger person and didn’t just follow the traditions of her village or the footsteps of the other teenagers. She became alive and defiant and a true strong main character.

The dynamics of the parallel universe of Europe were fascinating without feeling politically cumbersome. The plot twists totally threw me and completely made sense! Part one dragged a bit, but part two was excellently paced and the climax was very exciting.

It was nice to read a standalone fantasy/steampunk with a good and satisfying ending. I look forward to seeing what Johnson comes up with next.

This novel was published by Fire and Ice for Young Adults on October 18th, 2016 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.75

Links for more information:

Mary Victoria Johnson’s Website

Goodreads

Twitter