November 13, 2014

Book Review - Gilded

The St. Croix Chronicles #2
Karina Cooper

Published: January 2013

AVON, mass market pbk, 372p.
ISBN: 978-0-06-212766-2

In the gleaming heights of Victorian London, a world of deceptin awaits an uncovnentional Society lady whose taste for adventure makes her a most formidable adversary...

Though Society demands that I make a good marriage, I, Cherry St. Croix, have neither the time nor the interest.  Iam on the trail of a murder with no victim, a mystery with no motive, and the key to an alchemical formula that could be my family's legacy.

Yet the world is not so kind as to let me pursue simple murder and uncomplicated bounties.  Above the foggy drift, an earl insists on my attention, while my friends watch my increasingly desperate attempts to remain my own woman.  From the silken demands of the Midnight Menagerie - to whose dangerously seductive ringmaster I owe a debt - to the rigorous pressures of the peerage, all are conspiring to place before me a choice that will forever change my life.

I just don't think I can convey to you just how much I detested, disliked and or how much this book disappointed me.  So for that reason, be warned that there are no warm and fuzzy feelings in the below review ;-D

I picked this copy of Gilded up at a local booksale {see here} and I'm so grateful that I didn't pay more than $1 for this absolutely depressing book.  While the cover art depicts a suitably Victorian/paranormal - edging towards a slight Steampunk vibe - it does little to make up for this story.  Which was surprising given the suitably dark and mysterious atmosphere that the author was able to convey.   {note, that was my only positive point about Gilded!}

The characters were tolerable at best, and our main protagonist, Lady Cherry St. Croix, was nothing more than an adventure seeking drug addict who had a penchant for opium and laundenum to escape her worries.  Now I haven't read book one - and I have absolutely no desire to - but I think her drug use stems from something that occured during that book.  Nethertheless, I really dislike reading about characters who rely on drugs to get through their days.  Also, as an heiress, she is supposed to be at least competent in society, but I found her floundering in social situations to be just stupid.  She would have been brought up to cope with any verbal riposte.

Other characters that we are introduced to did nothing for me, and I couldn't feel any emotional connection, and therefore didn't give a sh*t about any of them.

The ending was just plain crappy.  After investing in the book, a reader likes to get an emotional payoff rather than the character falling totally from grace and doing a complete 180° in social standing and fortune (from what happens).  Why couldn't it have ended on a high note with the wedding, and have the sh*t hit the fan at the beginning of the next book?

 (for cover art, and Victorian setting alone)

Until next time,

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