Title: The Shadow Revolution (Crown & Key #1)
Author: Clay & Susan Griffith
Genre: Fiction; Urban Fantasy; Steampunk
Publisher: Del Rey
Release Date: June 2, 2015 (Estimated)
Acquired: Netgalley ARC
Date Finished: April 6, 2015
They are the realm’s last, best defense against supernatural evil. But they’re going to need a lot more silver.
As fog descends, obscuring the gas lamps of Victorian London, werewolves prowl the shadows of back alleys. But they have infiltrated the inner circles of upper-crust society as well. Only a handful of specially gifted practitioners are equipped to battle the beasts. Among them are the roguish Simon Archer, who conceals his powers as a spell-casting scribe behind the smooth veneer of a dashing playboy; his lay about mentor, Nick Barker, who prefers a good pub to thrilling heroics; and the self-possessed alchemist Kate Anstruther, who is equally at home in a ballroom as she is on a battlefield.
After a lycanthrope targets Kate’s vulnerable younger sister, the three join forces with fierce Scottish monster-hunter Malcolm MacFarlane—but quickly discover they’re dealing with a threat far greater than anything they ever imagined.
This was a stunning introduction to the new Crown & Key series by Clay and Susan Griffith! Set in Victorian London, it had just the right amount of magic and steampunk elements. They were not overdone and were woven into the story without being pretentious. The Griffiths also did a fabulous job with their world building. The reader is introduced to bits and pieces of the backstories throughout the book which gives the characters a mysterious air and leaves the reader wanting more. That is always the mark of story-telling at its best!
After I finished, I immediately went to see if there was more to be had. Unfortunately, that is a drawback of ARCs. You’ve already gotten the blasted book early, so you have to wait even longer to get the follow-ups!
I enjoyed the characters immensely. Simon Archer is a scribe who can wield a sword in more ways than one. ((Wiggly Eyebrows)) But, he also has a soft side and seems to be more of a gentleman than a rake. Nick Barker is the curmudgeonly side-kick who can shoot fire bolts from his hands, but also dabbles in necromancy. Kate Anstruther, the heroine of the tale, does not wield magic, but she can whip-up some mean recipes in her alchemistic kitchen. The last, but definitely not least, of the group is Malcolm MacFarlane who is Scottish and a monster-hunter to boot. I have a lovely picture in my head of what he looks like…a strapping, ginger rogue dressed in a kilt with guns blazing! The Griffiths don’t give us much to go on as far as physical attributes, and I know he probably wouldn’t have been in a kilt, but he is in my version. He’s snarky and no non-sense and I love him.
The baddies in this book were the werewolves, and they were really well done. Again, not over the top. Everything in this book was done tastefully and had just the right balance.
This promises to be a really great series. I cannot wait for the next book! In the synopsis it was compared to Sherlock Holmes (Robert Downey Jr.’s version, not Benedict Cumberbatch’s), as well as Showtime’s Penny Dreadful series, and Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles. I definitely see the Sherlock connection. The dirt and grit of the time period really shows through, and it has that same feel. I have not seen the Penny Dreadful series or read the Iron Druid Chronicles, but if they are anything like this book, I need to get my hands on them.
I hope you will give this book a go. It was an exceptional read.
I’d like to give a shout out to Netgalley, Del Rey, and Clay and Susan Griffith for giving me the opportunity to read and review this ARC.