Title: Charmed Vengeance
Author: Suzanne Lazear
Genre: YA Steampunk
Series: The Aether Chronicles (Book 2)
Publication Date: August 8, 2013
Format: Paperback, 408 pages
ISBN-10: 0738733024 (Flux)
ISBN-13: 978-0738733029 (Flux)
Reviewed by: Kayla
When her true love, Steven, is forced to break their magical bond, Noli Braddock decides to join her brother on the crew of the Vixen’s Revenge.
With its gleaming brass, dark wood, and spotless clockwork gears, the Vixen’s Revenge is a beautiful airship. But Noli discovers a dangerous secret beneath its polished exterior—the crew has been hired to steal dozens of priceless Otherworld artifacts. Desperate to keep her past Otherworld experiences hidden from the airship crew, Noli fears that if she doesn’t risk telling her own secrets, the stolen artifacts will be used to destroy both of the worlds she loves.
Quick & Dirty: Noli struggles with her sprite self and Steven’s break up, while Steven and James go questing for the queen.
Opening Sentence: “Welcome everyone to this special day.”
Noli has finally become a lady (according to her mother) but from no help from the “school” Noli was sent to in the previous book. Nope, Noli has the sprite in her head to thank for all of the dainty sewing and mindless curtsies she has perfected in the past two months. But with her previous visit to the Otherworld still looming over her and Steven, home has not been the relief she expected. Especially when her grandfather stops by to visit and discovers her and her mother’s financial needs. Or when Steven is called away to Queen Tiana to finish the “task” he promised her. Or when the sprite takes over and Noli can’t remember what happened five minutes ago. In fact, the highlight of the summer would be her brother Jeff visiting for a day…until that visit turns into an offer as an engineer aboard his pirate ship the Vixen’s Revenge. Stuck between a rock and a hard place, Noli takes the offer until she and Steven can be together again…except it may be more complicated than just fixing the engine fans for a couple weeks. Past promises and future love struggle against each other as the characters are pulled into the Otherworld’s brewing rebellion.
Once the story gets going (as in after the first 100 pages) this story has non-stop twists and turns, revelations and hidden agendas, and introducing a new set of characters you will love and hate. The plot became a bit muddled since the book is really three stories in one: Noli on board the pirate ship, Steven and James questing and Kevighn Silver’s life of exile. And really, the plots only became interesting after they became intertwined in each others’ stories. But enough was happening in Noli’s story that I kept reading. Really, just getting through the first 100 pages is worth it.
Noli’s character developed so much throughout this book. It isn’t often someone has another person (let alone fey) in their head. As Noli fights with the sprite in her head for control, it brings her brother to question her mental state: but also what happened in those two months Noli disappeared. As Jeff inches closer to the truth and the sprite controls more of their life, Noli struggles to manage her new life. I really enjoyed this new Noli, one who is more complex and less naive than before. And although the sprite could be ridiculously annoying, I grew to sympathize with her and by the end of the book, I was surprised how much I appreciated her too.
Once the plot gets rolling and the new characters are introduced, I could not put this book down. From the old and new characters to the mortal world and the Otherworld, the book really is a great read. There is no major cliffhanger, but there is a whisper of rebellion off in the distance. Who knows what the next installment will bring?
“Winky, why don’t you ensure Noli knows everything she needs to about the ship.” Vix picked up her coffee mug and shoved it in Jeff’s hands. “Jeff will wash up. I’ll take the helm.” She strode onto the bridge with as much poise as Queen Tiana.
“And that is our beloved ship’s captain.” The corners of Thad’s lips twitched as he leaned on the back legs of his chair, the unpatched eye gleaming.
Jeff shook his head, smiling to himself, as he began to wash up.
Noli brought him the stack of plates. “You sure know how to pick them.”
He laughed. “Oh, Noli, you have no idea.”
The Aether Chronicles:
3. Fragile Destiny (2014)
FTC Advisory: Flux provided me with a copy of Charmed Vengeance. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.
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