“The ending surprised me! I am not surprised by many books as I read so much but this one caught me off guard and I love that! Anxiously awaiting the next installment now....”see full review » see other reviews »
Didn’t Like It
“Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales.
“Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales.
Quick & Dirty: Woman on a mission to discover more about her father and circumvent the rules and regulations of her place in society lives two lives. But will she charm you?
Opening Sentence: When I was ten years of age, Monsieur Marceaux’s Traveling Circus retained a new magician.
Normally I don’t look at reviews prior to reading a book but this cover art had me very concerned. I get that the publisher was trying to visually display to the book buying public that this book is more gritty than your run of the mill romance. The only thing that it served for this reader was to bump it down to the “Must Be Read” category rather than “I can’t wait to read it” category.
My intuition about this book unfortunately proved to be true despite the numerous glowing reviews I had read, I am in the camp that would be quite happy to never see another book from this series EVER.
This story took an enormous amount of time to develop. In fact it was so long that there were points I literally decided that this was going to be the first book since I started reviewing book in January that I would not finish. Many of you will not know this but there are only a handful of books that I have in all my life ever not finished. Some have taken a while to draw me back but I finish books. This one nearly ended up on the infamous never to be finished list.
Here is why besides the story being stuck in the fog, our heroine, Cherry St. Croix is a drug addict. This is the first female lead I have read that I wanted to reach into the book and strangle or would have been happy to see her get strangled by the two villains in this book. Her addiction to opium and laudanum are not unusual for the time but didn’t gel with the scientific side of her. What scientist fills themselves with so much pain medication that she is unable to think clearly? I know I can hear a few of you yelling about Sherlock Holmes and Dr. Jeckyll and Mr. Hyde, but neither of those stories have I been asked to review.
Furthermore, this story is as confused as our heroine is when she is taking her drug of choice. I was unsure more times that I would like to recall whether this story is set in Victorian times or a future where we have resorted to Victorian methods as a way to cope with the future.
The two men that star in Miss St. Croix’s story are too ephemeral to even warrant an entire paragraph for themselves. Both Lord Cornelius Kerrigan Compton and Micajah Hawke only serve as street lamps in this story, glimpsed but often lost in the fog of poor story telling. I’m still unsure about the exact relationship that Hawke and St. Croix had in the past, even after completing the book. While Lord Compton is the typical Victorian suitor, I struggle to see why he is so enamored with St. Croix other than her unwillingness to follow social guidelines.
I have struggled with giving a rating for this book, which is typically the easiest part of the review process, but this was tough. In the end, I even revisited what my initial reaction was but after careful thought and even re-reading this review, there is but one answer that I can give with complete honesty. And if you haven’t guessed by this stage — this is a do not buy from me.
My maid hurried to catch up with my sudden frenetic pace. “What do you hope to find?”
“Anything.” A clue. A sign that I was not the only body on this world who knew what went on in that tunnel. Perhaps a hint that the collector I hunted–the so-named sweet tooth Zylphia and her fellow sweets had hired me to collect–was still out there.
I knew he was. He left me flowers for every successful assassination he answered on the collection board.
He left them for me upon my windowsill, regardless of its height above the ground. Somehow, he knew who I was, and I only knew that he taunted me.
Yet, even as I considered it, it occurred to me that I had not seen flowers for near a fortnight now. Perhaps he’d injured himself on a bounty?
FTC Advisory: Avon provided me with a copy of Gilded. No goody bags, sponsorships, “material connections,” or bribes were exchanged for my review.”
“The ending surprised me! I am not surprised by many books as I read so much but this one caught me off guard and I love that! Anxiously awaiting the next installment now....”Colorado_Cafe wrote this review Friday, May 10, 2013. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
“Really 4.5 stars, all I can say is that this is an amazing book & I really cannot wait for the next one. Perfect balance of action & romance. Incredible world building, wonderfully nuanced characters...just a really, really solid book. This is an excellent series & highly recommended to anyone who enjoys steampunk or really just a well crafted story”Kristin D wrote this review Thursday, December 27, 2012. ( reply | permalink ) Was this review helpful? Yes | No
I'm used to high-powered, adrenalin-induced adventures associated with Steampunk but Karina Cooper managed to squeeze in emotionally charged to her latest novel, GILDED, book two of Cherry St. Croix's Chronicles.
GILDED marked a major turning point in Cherry's life. I wouldn't necessary call it hitting bottom but from the looks of things, the world as Cherry knows it isn't the same anymore. As if being in debt to the notorious Karakash Veil and having your own father almost murder you to revive your own mother isn't enough, Cherry unknowingly handed over her life to her greatest nemesis, the Marchioness of Northampton.
GILDED has a lot of fun things in it. Jack the Ripper is mincing prostitutes in the streets of London. Then you have another murderer killing a bunch of University professors whose identity, Cherry, is trying to solve. However being a badass collector for the Veil is easy compared to being a socialite as Cherry endures one social mocking after the other. Her acceptance in the snobbish London elite within reach now because Cornelius Kerrigan Compton, Earl of Compton and the son of the Marchioness, asked for Cherry's hand in marriage! Cherry is hesitant but Micajah "Cage" Hawke, the sexy ringmaster of the Midnight Menagerie and the Veil's lieutenant of sorts, told Cherry that her debt will be paid once she marries the Earl. Win-win? Not quite. Tragedy struck and it seems HEA is not in Cherry's stars... yet.
GILDED had several scenes that really riled me up aside from the tragic ending KCooper dished out. Topping the list are those irritating tea parties and haughty balls the Marchioness of Northampton keeps on throwing and Cherry keeps on attending. I mean Cherry deals with street urchins and criminals on a nightly basis surely she can deal with a bunch of gossip mongering matronly socialites right?! Obviously Cherry's gadgets are useless against these titled vipers, she has to thicken her skin and sharpen her tongue to stop these women from harassing her. For the most part Cornelius was there to save her but usually Cherry has to suffer embarrassment first before she's whisked away by the dapper Earl.
Cage made himself sparse this time but Cherry's constant remembrance of that delicious drug-induced encounter he had with Cherry in Tarnished tidied me over a little bit. On those few scenes that he was in, I can feel the tension and his presence seems to leap off the pages... for me anyways, the man is so edible! Anyway, based on how GILDED ended, I don't think I'll be thirsting for Cage much longer because it's almost a guarantee that we'll be seeing a lot of him in the succeeding books.
GILDED is a great sequel to the series. I love how KCooper didn't balk on killing her characters and breaking the "bottom" of several situations. Cherry now has to deal with a lot of personal conflicts and the array of overpowering emotions and situations before her will test not just her already fragile mental state but her person and tenacity. We are in for a ride when book 3 comes out, Cherry is in the fork of her road and even though she looks like she's already made a decision in the end, I'm pretty sure KCooper will twist and turn things first before she makes it better for our red haired heroine again. But for now, I'll be comforted with thoughts of Cage and the comeback Cherry is sure to give us in the next installment.”
“Cherry St. Croix is a lady of Society that is living a dual life with that of a Collector. She has 2 men that make her pulse increase and a serial killer toying with her. Her life is unconventional so she doesn’t understand the interest of the Earl. Never wanting to lose her freedom, Cherry must continue to make drastic choices to insure her future.
Gilded is highly complex and I’ve decided not to give any more story details in fear that I may give away something that you should experience for yourself.
This book was bloody brilliant. My reaction after reading Gilded was bereft that it is over and a bit of awe at what a marvelous story! I love steampunk and if you looked up the definition of steampunk this book should be referenced. It had a fabulous historical atmosphere with the perfect amount of gadgets and scientific advanced! I loved this book. Karina Cooper weaved a fantastic, riveting tale that sucked me into this fabulous world she created. I was literally hanging on every word and shocked by the explosive ending. My only complaint is waiting for the next book in The St. Croix Chronicles. Gilded is a fast paced, action packed adventure with an imperfect heroin. Perfectly crafted story, that you definitely don’t want to miss. Gilded is 5 Stars and definitely joining those special books on my favorite shelf.
This copy of Gilded was given to me by Edelweiss and Avon in exchange for an honest review. Publish Date: December 26, 2012.”