Author: Beau Schemery
Genre: Steampunk, Young Adult
Length: Super Novel (350pgs)
Publisher: Harmony Ink (1st December 2012)
Heat Level: Low
Heart Rating: ♥♥♥♥♥5 Hearts
Blurb: After his parents and family die, Seven escapes his factory job. By wits and will alone, he survives in a London divided into the affluent Fairside and the squalor of London’s industrial Blackside, where many struggle to eke their existence out of despair. But Seven has to fight for more than just food and shelter.
All over Blackside, a secret cabal of prominent citizens and the mysterious Mr. Kettlebent are snatching children. Rumor has it a wizard is controlling the queen, and the country’s most notorious villain is the only one who wants to stop him. Seven is determined to find out why.
Hired by the criminal Jack Midnight to steal the evil wizard’s spellbook, Seven soon discovers the mystery runs deeper than he suspected. But events spiral out of control and it isn’t long before the intrigue sweeps Seven into its deadly current.
Review: Seven lives by his wits on the streets of London’s Blackside, dodging the men that hunt him since his escape from the factory that cost him his family. Seven keeps in the shadows taking odd jobs where he can and an odd figure of Mr. Kettlebent catches his eye. When Seven is approached to do a job for criminal mastermind Jack Midnight, Seven is pulled into a world of intrigue, danger and a mysterious old civilization. To save the children of London they have to save the Queen from a manipulating wizard, but keeping an old foe at bay is becoming difficult and joining an underground revolution is just the beginning.
Steampunk fascinates me to no end and Beau Schemery has created a wonderful Steampunk world. Seven is a great character. He is only about fifteen, but he survives on his own wits and refuses to give up. He has survived hell and although he feels guilt he is strong in mind and spirit. The other characters in this book are incredibly written and as we get to meet them they each become special to you. I must admit that out of all of them Jack Midnight is my favorite. He is a complete psychopath, but he is such an endearing psychopath that you can’t help like him. Tesla is a genius ten-year old, Annie is a young prostitute, Rat is a young messenger, Waverly works in a pub, Silas is a young revolutionary and all these are characters who make this story great.
The setting for this story is wonderful, London is split in two. Fairside where the well-to-do and the aristocracy lives, Darkside is like the slums and the air is foul, steam power is all the rage and Queen Victoria is being controlled by the wizard Fairgate. There’s a secret revolution being built beneath the streets of London in a long forgotten underground city and these are the things that Seven discovers when he is hired to steal the wizard’s journal. There is a slow love story in this book and it is between Seven and Silas. They somehow manage to fall in love while chaos ensues around them. This story is jam-packed with action, adventure, danger and hope glimmering through all the loss and devastation.
There are some scenes where there is torture and it is nasty. The person responsible, Fervis, has hunted for Seven for years, but you know the saying ‘what goes around comes around’? Well, Fervis gets his *evil cackle*. The ages of the characters vary, you have many young characters but there are also a select few adults who are trusted. I know some people may have concerns about young characters being portrayed as prostitutes and having relationships at such a young age, but the setting is 1865 when the age of consent was twelve. There is never any on page sexual content except one or two kisses shared by Seven and Silas.
I will recommend this to those who love Steampunk, Young Adult, rewritten history, spunky characters, a sweet love, an inventive storyline and a fantastic ending.