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I Belong

Review: His Clockwork Canary by Beth Ciotta

His Clockwork CanaryTitle: His Clockwork Canary

Author: Beth Ciotta

Genre: Steampunk Romance

Series: The Glorious Victorious Darcys (Book #2)

Publication Date: June 4, 2013

Format: Paperback, 352 Pages

ISBN-10: 0451239997 (Signet/Penguin)

ISBN-13: 9780451239990 (Signet/Penguin)

Reviewed by: Shirene


History is repeating itself.

For ambitious engineer Simon Darcy, winning Queen Victoria’s competition to recover lost inventions of historical significance is a matter of pride—and redemption. After all, it was Simon’s failed monorail project that left his family destitute, and winning the tournament would surely restore the Darcys’ reputation.

Simon sets his sights high, targeting no less than the infamous time-travel device that forever changed the world by transporting scientists, engineers, and artists from the twentieth century. The Mod technology was banned and supposedly destroyed, but Simon is sure he can re-create it.

His daring plan draws the attention of Willie G., the Clockwork Canary, London’s sensationalist reporter. Simon soon discovers that Willie is a male guise for Wilhemina Goodenough, the love of his youth, who left him jilted and bitter. He questions her motives even as he falls prey to her unique charm. As the attraction between the two reignites, Simon realizes that this vixen from his past has secrets that could be the key to his future…as long as he can put their history behind him.

Quick & Dirty: Too slow and I completely lost interest even though I’ve read over 67% of the book.

Opening Sentence: Since the day he’d been born (three and a half minutes later than his twin brother), Simon Darcy had been waging war with time.

Excerpt: Yes

The Review:

I have to regrettably inform you that His Clockwork Canary is the first book that I shall be adding to my DNF (Did Not Finish) list since joining Dark Faerie Tales over a year ago. I have been reading this book since before Christmas and thought I’d have it done by New Year which is my standard procedure, but no such luck.

Many of you may wonder why I didn’t finish, well let me tell you. Once you have read over 67% of the book, I want to feel a connection or something from the story, characters or a desire to know how it all plays out. And all I’ve got is “Blah”. Every time I have tried to pick this book back up in the past 3 weeks all I feel is a sense of dread —- not anticipation. In fact, I even kept putting off writing this review in the hopes that I would have a change of mind, but no such miracle has occurred. Unfortunately, this book and I right now are not meant to be buddies.

So you may be wondering, did I just pick up this book and start reading or did I have any prior knowledge of the world or even the author. The answer is “no” to both. But I don’t believe that played into this at all.

Some of you may even know if you have been following my reviews that Steampunk is a new genre for me, and I’ve had a few that I was riveted to and others have been just ok, but there is nothing that interested me in this particular book.

I seem to be in a minority because the average rating for this book on Goodreads is 3.76 out of 5. But just like anything in life, there are times and situations that you will find mind-blowing and someone else may experience the same and walk away going “I could have lived without that experience.”

The turning point for me was the point that Simon Darcy finally realized who the Clockwork Canary in fact was. Once this part of the story was over, I lost all interest in everything else. One of my favorite themes throughout romance novels is a character in disguise, whether that is portraying themselves as a different class, profession or in this case, different gender. But once that was gone there was no other interesting things to encourage me to continue reading.

Final note, I will try another Beth Ciotta novel in the future. And I’m sure I will eventually finish this book too, but there are too many other books to consume to get stuck on this one.

Notable Scene:

The kid fussed with his colorful scarves, stealing a glance at his bronze time cuff.  “I have a proposition.”

Simon raised a brow.

“Not that kind of proposition.”

“Do I know you?” Simon couldn’t shake the sense of familiarity even though he was most certain he’d never met this dark-eyed bohemian.  A pretty boy with an intense, caged energy.  A source of increasing fascination.

“Undoubtedly, you know of me.”  He offered a worn gloved hand in greeting.  “The name is Willie G,” he said in a clipped, gruff town.  “Known professionally as the Clockwork Canary.”

Simon ignored the proffered hand and grabbed the Canary by his ridiculous lapels.

“Cheese and crackers!” The kid exclaimed.

The Glorious Victorious Darcys Series:

1. Her Sky Cowboy

1.5 His Broken Angel

2. His Clockwork Canary


FTC Advisory: Signet/Penguin provided me with a copy of His Clockwork Canary. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.

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