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Monday, October 27, 2014

The Clockwork Dagger (Clockwork Dagger Duology #1) by Beth Cato

The Clockwork Dagger


Full of magic, mystery, and romance, an enchanting steampunk fantasy debut in the bestselling vein of Trudi Canavan and Gail Carriger.

Orphaned as a child, Octavia Leander was doomed to grow up on the streets until Miss Percival saved her and taught her to become a medician. Gifted with incredible powers, the young healer is about to embark on her first mission, visiting suffering cities in the far reaches of the war-scarred realm. But the airship on which she is traveling is plagued by a series of strange and disturbing occurrences, including murder, and Octavia herself is threatened.

Suddenly, she is caught up in a flurry of intrigue: the dashingly attractive steward may be one of the infamous Clockwork Daggers—the Queen’s spies and assassins—and her cabin-mate harbors disturbing secrets. But the danger is only beginning, for Octavia discovers that the deadly conspiracy aboard the airship may reach the crown itself.

Summary & Cover taken from
Length: 368 pages (Paperback)
Source: Toronto Public Library
Available Formats: Print/E-book
Publication Date: September 16th 2014 by Harper Voyager

I'm going to be honest and say that I haven't read many steampunk novels, in fact I can count on one hand how many I've read so for me The Clockwork Dagger by  Beth Cato was kind of a re-introduction to the genre and what an introduction it was.

I was reading this one on a deadline, but that just made it all the more enjoyable because then I had even more of a reason to block the rest of the world out and immerse myself in the world that Beth Cato created. I liked the fact that the world this was set in wasn't so much an alternate reality of London but a new world unto itself. I found it refreshing and interesting to read about since it means it added that much more to the over all story itself. Plus I liked the fact that there was some mystery to it, I enjoyed reading about the politics in the story and really am looking forward to seeing how things turn out for everyone in the end.

My favourite thing about the book was the characters though. They were very well written and fleshed out in a way that didn't reveal all of their secrets and still left some mystery for me which I'm hoping to see in the next book.

Octavia was great and I thought it was refreshing to see a healer in a country being torn apart by a war that's been going on decades. I've gotten quite bored of the lady fighters (though they are wonderful) and wanted to see someone in a different occupation and situations which I got with her. Octavia is a Medician, a healer who is reportedly the most gifted of any other which has the unfortunate side effect of her being target not only by the people her country is at war with, but her country itself. She's smart, quick thinking and empathetic and everything I love in a main character. She isn't pretentious but she does know her own mind and her worth and she won't let anyone tell her different when she sets her mind to something.

Alonzo, was another good character. He's living in the shadow of his father's mistakes and I feel bad for him for it but he doesn't make you pity him as a character. He knows he's not responsible for his father's failures but he want's to make up for them in whatever way he can which is commendable really, because he's got a lot on his plate. Like Octavia, he has a strict moral compass and is very compassionate and a really loveable kind of guy. I liked that he wasn't afraid of responsibility because Octavia can be a handful and I love that he's a spy that still has some modesty, I think the fact that he's prone to blushes is adorable.

The relationship between the Alonzo and Octavia is fast moving but it is not, I repeat is not one of those dreaded insta-love relationships. No this is more like two people who know their time may be limited and give into the fact that they like each other and there could be something more. The romance isn't a huge part of the story over all but it does it's part in softening the story up from all the adventure and assassination attempts that occur.

For a first novel I'd say Beth Cato hit it out of the ball park.This was a fast paced, well thought out read that reminded me why I do enjoy Steampunk novels, even if I haven't read that many. It was literally full of high flying adventure, mystery and murder attempts and I cannot wait to see where the second book in this duology will find this duo next. I'm curious to learn more about the world the story is set in, as well as more about the Lady who is a deity whom it is thought to have blessed Octavia with her healing gift. As well as seeing what kind of roles Leaf the baby gremlin and Viola play in the next book.

Really Enjoyed It!
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  1. Sounds like a interesting read. Its great you enjoyed it. Hopefully the next book will be just as good

  2. This sounds good Kimberly. I enjoy this genre from the gadgets to the Victorian setting. The world sounds good and it looks to be the start of a fun series.

  3. Your good review sold me on this.

  4. Sounds like a really great book, and why I think Steampunk is a fast growing genre! I'm most intrigued by your ending comments, because without context, they're something of a mystery that I want to solve! Great review! Thanks for stopping by! Happy reading!


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