I am a 20 year-old college student majoring in Biochemistry, who loves to read and make book-related videos on my YouTube channel. :)
This is an enjoyable and entertaining read, but, to me, it lacks depth.
This book is an alternate history story. It explores the idea of what America would be like if the British won the Revolutionary war. The British control the country from the Empire, which is located in NYC.
Our main character, Charlotte, is part of the resistance, living in underground catacombs. Teens live in these catacombs until they are old enough to join the adults in fighting the British control.
Along with this awesome premise, there are steampunk elements. The British have invented all kinds of mechanical devices and creations to put down the rebellions and to keep the rich safe.
I love fantasy, historical fiction, and steampunk, so this one sounded perfect for me. However, it fell a little flat. At the beginning, I was really into the story and the characters, but as I moved further along in the book, I felt like it was missing a lot. The world is complex, but not in a good way. Along with the steampunk elements, the author mixes in mythology, which I found strange. I do not think it flowed well together at all. The mythology seemed frivolous and unnecessary. The world is, in a way, pretty with all of the mechanized aspects, but it did not go much further than that.
While the plot is fun, it is also predictable, along with the characters. I did not dislike the characters, but I felt like I was 2 steps ahead of them at all times. I was just waiting for them to figure things out that I thought were obvious. Sure, there are some little twists and surprises, but I was not shocked by anything. The romance was weird as well. I enjoyed it to an extent, but did not feel invested.
I liked the main character, she is a strong, funny female who speaks her mind, but I also thought she was immature. She is only 16, but it just got annoying at points. Actually, this whole book felt immature and underdeveloped to me. I would almost say it would be good for the middle-grade age range. However, there are some pretty violent fight scenes and a good bit of sexual innuendos.
With all of that said, I found this book to be a fun adventure and it is entertaining. The flaws I mentioned did not ruin the book for me, but I could see many people strongly disliking this book haha. It does lack development, but the steampunk elements and the plot were interesting to read about.
Thank you to Penguin Publishing for sending my a copy of this book in return for an honest review.