Author: Lisa Morton
Genre: Historical Fiction/Steampunk/Horror/Fantasy
Published: January 2014
Rating: 2 / 10
Synopsis: "In nineteenth-century Victorian England, a young widow finds that she has inherited more than her late husband’s property: The Furnavals serve as the ancestral keepers of supernatural portals scattered around the globe. When demonic entities begin crossing over from the Netherworld, Lady Diana realizes that a war is brewing, and she must be the one to confront it." (from Goodreads)
My Review: Disclaimer: I received an electronic version of this book from LibraryThing's Early Reviewers list in exchange for an honest review.
Here it is: I didn't like this book. I had to force myself to keep reading, even though it's relatively short, at least by my usual reading standards. I found the characters ridiculous and unbelievable and the historical bits anachronistic, and a huge chunk of the book was incredibly racist and offensive. The story sounded interesting; I expected Diana to be a steampunk Buffy Summers, kicking ass and killing demons. Instead, she's more of a Mary Sue (and I hate to use that phrase). She relies entirely too much on the men around her, and for a character who is purported to be intelligent I found many of her actions to be unconscionably stupid. I think (hope) this is meant to be an alternate universe, which would make some of the quibbles I have with the historical aspects of the story forgivable (but still bothersome to me). The worst part was the section which took place in China. My boyfriend is Chinese (so maybe I'm overly-sensitive to stereotyping?), and I found the trope of the "noble savage" a bit hard to swallow. Don't even get me started on the magic cat (who can understand English and is apparently indestructible). Or the two (TWO) near-rapes Diana endures after being seduced by demons pretending to be her husband. Or the resolution of the storyline involving her husband.
This book was definitely not for me. Perhaps I'm just not a fan of the steampunk/horror genre. It is the first in a new series, but I will not be reading any others.
If you have reviewed this book as well, leave me a message in the comments and I'll link to your review.