Iron, Ink and Glass

ink iron glass

Iron, Ink and Glass (Book 1)

By Gwendolyn Clare

Genre: Steampunk/Historical Fiction

Publication Date: February 20, 2018

Bang Bang Review

Elsa lives in the scripted society and her mother is a scriptologist or in other words, her mother can write new worlds that come alive.  One day, Elsa is knocked unconscious and when she awakes, her mother has been taken.  Determined to find her mother, Elsa travels through an alternate dimension, Earth, and meets other mad scientists like herself.

This is a pretty cool premise and Elsa is black which is also pretty cool. Elsa can travel through dimensions with a doorknob, I think, and she travels to Paris, I think, to find an important person murdered and his house on fire.  This leaves Elsa with no leads so she finds her mother’s mentor to help.  He takes her to Italy to a couple who is in an Order and they live in a house full of orphans who are also mad scientist-special teens.  Of course there’s a hot guy and a busy body girl but Elsa just wants to be left alone (eye roll).    Of course Elsa finds out she’s more special than the special ones, I won’t say what, but this catches the eye of the hot guy which makes the busy body jealous.

Remember this is steampunk in a 19th century Italy and at one point, Elsa and the hot guy travel by hansom cab spider and Elsa is insecure because people are looking at her because she’s brown but no one does a double take at the huge spider carrying people? This book turned into an adventure story with Elsa, the hot guy, the busy body, and some other dude and of course they know all kinds of history that’s important to the plot and begins to info dump everything-super convenient.  The next section is a spoilery rant so highlight it if you want to see it. So mid way through we find out about some random guy named Gabraldi or something like that.  He’s a real Italian historical figure. Anyway, his name is suddently on everyone’s tongue and of course he’s the bad guy and we know that the hot guy’s father and brother were killed but SURPRISE, his father is the badee.  This happened so quickly, I shouted my disgust out loud-COME ON!There was no set up or foreshadowing and it just came out of left field. 

The pacing of this novel was bananas and it should have been a red flag that this is a fantasy novel with a new world and it’s only 336 pages.  This book reeks with instalove and info dumping and I DNFed at 75%.

Bang Bang Rating: bombbomb

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