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I Belong


Review: Corroded by Karina Cooper

CorrodedTitle: Corroded

Author: Karina Cooper

Genre: Steampunk

Series: St. Croix Chronicles (Book #3)

Publication Date: September 23, 2013

Format: eBook, 264 Pages

ISBN-10: 1426896395 (Carina Press)

ISBN-13: 978-1426896392 (Carina Press)

Reviewed by: Steph

Synopsis:

Hungry for vengeance, Cherry St. Croix is forced to the fog-ridden streets of Victorian London.

My rival, a collector of bounties like myself, has murdered one of my own. In consequence, I have been removed from my house, my staff, and all who would support me. I have nowhere else to turn, so I beg asylum within the Midnight Menagerie, London’s decadent pleasure garden.

Micajah Hawke’s dominance there will not tolerate my presence for long. I am fixated on revenge, but I walk a razor’s edge under his scrutiny His wicked power is not easily ignored, and I must not allow myself to submit—no matter how sweet the sacrifice.

Challenging my rival to a race is the only way to end this, no small task when the quarry is the murderous Jack the Ripper. As my enemies close in, I fear the consequences of this hunt. I am trapped between two killers, and what doesn’t kill me may leave its scars forever.

Quick & Dirty: Cherry is eager for vengeance on the sweet tooth killer. The only problem is she doesn’t know how to find him. So, she issues a challenge he won’t be able to resist: the first of them to find Jack the Ripper wins. Now she just has to figure out how to find Jack…

Opening Sentence: A fortnight after my husband was murdered, I exhibited a severe allergy to sobriety.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

I’ve spent the last week speed reading my way through the first three books in this series. That more than anything should show how I feel about this series. Before starting this third book, I was very interested in finding out where the series was going to go after the way the second book ended. Thankfully, I was not disappointed.

Cherry St. Croix’s life has fallen apart. After the events of the second book, she finds herself living in the Menagerie because she feels there is nothing else left for her in London above the fog. Relegated to London below, she tries to continue collecting in order to both repay her debt to the Veil and to support her ever increasing opium habit. She’s haunted by the memory of her last encounter with the sweet tooth killer and will not rest until she finds him and gets her revenge. Trying to lure him out, Cherry issues a challenge on the collector’s board, letting the sweet tooth know she is going after Jack the Ripper. Will her challenge succeed? Will she be able to clear her mind of its opium-induced haze long enough to take her revenge?

Cherry is in a very rough spot in this book, easily hitting rock bottom. The reader can see Cherry fraying apart at the seams. She’s constantly taking opium, eating it now rather than smoking it, something she swore she would never do. It’s beginning to affect her judgment, making her feel invincible in situations where she really needs to take a moment and think rather than act impulsively. She knows she’s gone over the line with her opium use, but she just can’t bring herself to stop. While I continue to like Cherry, all of these factors led to me feeling extremely frustrated with her. At the same time, I couldn’t help but feel sorry for her. She’s separated herself from everyone she loves in an attempt to keep them safe, and this lack of her loved ones only makes her downward spiral accelerate. She’s definitely a sympathetic character, but not one who is easily likeable.

On the subject of likeability, I’m still not sure how I feel about Hawke. We see a lot of him here but don’t really learn anything more about him than what we already know. More mysteries are added to his character, and I’m definitely itching to know the answers, but I’m just not sure if I want him and Cherry to be together. Hopefully future books will help me figure out my feelings one way or the other.

The only negative thing I can really say about the book is it does take a while to get going. It just seemed like nothing was happening for the first third of the book, making it hard to get through. Once I got through that point though, I didn’t want to put the book down.

Aside from the slow start, this was another very good installment in the St. Croix Chronicles. While I think people who haven’t read the first two books could still enjoy this third installment, it’s definitely better to read the earlier books first in order to get a good idea of Cherry’s state of mind. Fans of this series are definitely in for a roller coaster ride, and the ending will leave them anxious to get their hands on book four.

Notable Scene:

I breathed as if I had run for hours, gasping for air as I rocked once more. My backside ached from the wear, but everything I was had become a terrible knot of panic and fear and pain and illness.

I wanted to laugh, but could not understand why.

“One miller, two millers,” I whispered. “Three millers, four.” The term was Ishmael’s, interchangeable with hang-in-chains for the name of a murderer.

“How many millers to open a door?”

Two that I knew of, each demanding justice. Revenge. Rivals with each other, rivals with me.

The dead haunted my every waking breath. Feminine laughter, a woman’s screams. the wide, shocked eyes of an earl’s dying stare–foggy green, and never again to fill with warmth when he looked at me, or delight when I surprised him.

I saw in red and breathed the metallic reek of fresh spilled blood. Mine, perhaps, from the wound I would not leave alone between my teeth.

The earl’s, perhaps, from the wound I would not leave alone in my heart.

St. Croix Chronicles:

0.5 The Mysterious Case of Mr. Strangeway

1. Tarnished

2. Gilded

3. Corroded

4. Tempered

5. Engraved

6. Transmuted (January 26, 2015)

crow4

FTC Advisory: Carina Press provided me with a copy of Corroded. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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