Book Review

by Karina Cooper

Genre: Paranormal/Urban Fantasy, Urban Fantasy, E-book

RT Rating

This is a prequel novella in the entrancing steampunk series, the St. Croix Chronicles. It’s always interesting to learn where a complex character comes from, what drives her to do what she does and why. This adventure in the world of debutante/bounty hunter Cherry St. Croix is so well written, readers would almost expect to see men in brass suits and a city in the sky materialize before them. If you have yet to try this series, this is the perfect way to get started!

A young lady of society, Cherry St. Croix has been provided with everything. After the death of her parents, she lives in a gilded cage — a boring cage she will do anything to escape. And she does. As a collector of bounties, she delves into a dangerous world she knows nothing about. Her first collection job seems easy enough. Mr. Strangeway is simply behind in his debts and the purse for his capture is enough to tempt anyone. However, Cherry soon discovers she has a competitor for all that coin, and the simple case turns into something more diabolical. (CARINAPRESS.COM, dl $1.99)

Reviewed By: Terri Dukes


Published: August 2013

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LITERAL ADDICTION's Review: The Mysterious Case of Mr Strangeway

Submitted by MichelleLOlson on July 28, 2013 - 2:57pm.

Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Pack Alpha - Michelle L. Olson:
*eARC received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review

Yeah... the lady can write!! I have loved everything Karina Cooper has turned out, & hail the day that I discovered her books. Her Dark Mission series was a captivating thrill ride from book one to its amazing finale, and The St. Croix Chronicles were my first foray into Steampunk. They instantly added a heroine to my list of top favorites, and reminded me why I adore the Victorian era Horror Classics so very much.

A foray into Cherry's life is always an eagerly awaited adventure, so The Mysterious Case of Mr. Strangeway was a fabulous surprise in my not-so-patient wait for Corroded; and what a surprise it was! As I started with, Karina can write - she has a gift - but this book was SO beautifully written I found myself whispering a "wow" to myself on more than one occasion and highlighting several passages. It was like dark poetry - fluid, sinuous, and wonderfully tenebrous.

Being a fan of the series, it was awesome to read Cherry's recounting of how everything came to be; how she became a collector at the age of 15, how her debut take went down, how she first met the enigmatic Micajah Hawke, how her odd turns of fate would eventually lend to her extremely high rate of success (as twisted as the facts may be), and more -including some more tidbits into her childhood before she was sent to London proper in the care of Fanny and the Booths. There is an absolutely beautiful passage from the book that I have to quote here, as it was the perfect phrase to denote the catalyst for Cherry's character throuout the series: "This point, the lowest I can recall clearly enough to remember it as something other than a dream, became the match that would light the sick of my aspirations. For this was the moment in which a deliberate disregard for the expectations of others overwhelmed the inner voice of the young girl who sobbed for help." [You want to know what brought on that thought don't you!!? Well you're just going to have to read it to find out! ;)]

Outside of all of that, the story itself was wonderful. Like all of the St. Croix Chronicles installments, Karina took something from history and twined it into the story, it was chock full of intrigue, there was plenty of action, and the dynamic characters and vivid world building absolutely sucked you in.

The Mysterious Case of Mr Strangeway is a solid 5 Skull read and I would highly recommend it! I, personally, would not recommend reading it as a standalone, however, and even though it's classified as a Prequel due to the timeline of the story, it works best exactly where it was released, and should be slotted in after Gilded.

An absolutely wonderful tide-over until Corroded. A big thanks to Karina for sharing her beautiful mind with us all, and a portion of her sales with kids who have big dreams (kinda like Cherry)*!
*A portion of the sales of The Mysterious Case of Mr Strangeway are going to the Make A Wish Foundation.