A CLOCKWORK HEART
Schwarz’s second Light and Shadow story is a highly satisfying, expertly crafted steampunk adventure. The domestic tension between Elle,who wants nothing more than to fly, and her husband, who wants a proper wife, is balanced with a heaping dose of paranormal mystery. Elle’s sharp wit proves that she has more to offer than domesticity, and her bravery shows that her love for her husband trumps all.
Adjusting to married life isn’t easy for Elle, who longs to return to her work as an airship pilot. But now she’s occupied fulfilling her responsibilities as both a wife and as the Oracle — the sole being who can maintain the balance between Shadow and Light. Her husband, Marsh, meanwhile, misses the magical powers he sacrificed to be with Elle, and so he accepts a dangerous mission to replace the thrill he experienced being a warlock. But when Marsh gets himself in too deep, he becomes one of many zombie-like victims of a dangerous woman who’s replacing human hearts with mechanical ones. It’s up to Elle to get to the bottom of things, and to replace Marsh’s clockwork heart before it needs winding. (DEL REY, Aug., 304 pp., $25.00)