Series Review: London Steampunk by Bec McMaster

SERIESous’ Top Book Series: Favourite Steampunk Series
Series: London Steampunk
Author: Bec McMaster
# of Books: 5 (Kiss of Steel, Heart of Iron, My Lady Quicksilver, Forged by Desire, Of Silk and Steam)

There is a novella, Tarnished Knight, that is #1.5 of the series and #3.5 The Curious Case of the Clockwork Menace

Book Order: Connected
Complete?: No, Of Silk and Steam will be published March 2015
Genre: Steampunk, Action, Romance, Suspense, Paranormal
Heat Rating: hot
Point of View: Third Person, multiple

Thoughts:

I’m a sucker for a good Steampunk novel.  I think it’s the inner scientist in me who loves these mechanical contraptions that come to life in the Victorian era (which the romantic side of me also loves). It’s a great blend of my two favourite genres to read: I just find as a whole the genre does a great job of keeping the action going while having great romantic stories. But what sets this series apart from it other books in this genre is the paranormal aspect of it–vampires. Twilight aside, I do like vampire novels (Vampire Academy anyone?) and this series is not Twilight by any means!

What I love about this series is that it isn’t overly complicated despite the many layers. I know it must sound daunting that there is steampunk elements AND vampire elements but Ms. McMaster does a great job in each book with refreshing you on what the Blue Blood world is so you always know what is going on. I found in Kiss of Steel that I quickly got used to the new terms regarding vampires and how their “vampirism” worked (let’s get real, every vampire novel has its own twist on the vampire and this is no exception).

I won’t lie–I admit that I read this book because I was hoping for a steamier steampunk read (no pun is intended). When I picked up Kiss of Steel, I had been reading more young adult steampunk novels and while I absolutely loved them, I wanted that little dash of maturity and romance that comes with an “adult” steampunk/romance novel. If you are expecting a book where the characters get it on within the first 50 pages, you will be severely disappointed. These books are BRIMING with sexual tension–great sexual tension that makes the wait worth it! More on that later though…

Which brings me to the characters–there wasn’t a single lead that I didn’t like (ok, perhaps Lena for a bit at the start of Heart of Iron but she really grew on me by the halfway point). All the female leads are strong, independent woman who don’t suffer from clinginess or lose themselves to their male counterpart. They kick some serious ass–especially Rosalind in My Lady Quicksilver. The males are definitely alpha but not in an overly unhealthy way that would turn you off (unless you like that–I don’t so this series gets bonus marks from me).

Now back to the sexual tension. While the books follow a series of chronological events, they all focus on different characters. The great part is that characters that star in the sequel books are characters that we have been introduced to before and in some capacity have seen them together in some sexually tense scene prior to their starring novel. This gets you super pumped for the next book–so make sure you have the rest on hand when you are reading! Also, we still get the occasional visit from past characters which is always awesome. I am so upset that I have to wait for Forged by Desire because the little slice we get in My Lady Quicksilver has me dying to read it!

UPDATED (November 25/14): I finally got my hands on Forged by Desire and it was worth the wait! I absolutely loved it but I think the only reason why I liked it so much was because I read the novella that is listed between My Lady Quicksilver and Forged by Desire. Technically, The Curious Case of the Clockwork Menace takes place 3 years before Forged by Desire and the other novels so it is a prequel of sorts; however, you should read it after My Lady Quicksilver but before Forged by Desire. Because the romantic leads in Forged by Desire are two people who have known each other for years and not leads that meet within their starring novel, there is a lot of assumed knowledge about their relationship. By reading the novella first, I felt like I better understood the sexual tension in the novel and enjoyed it all that more. Otherwise, I think I would have been frustrated with how their relationship progresses in the novel and felt like I was missing something.

As for the actual plot of the story, I loved the detective fiction spin to it. It made it a lot of fun to read and gave the book a different vibe than the other three novels. While not my favourite of the series, I still think it is a solid novel and fans shouldn’t be disappointed in it.

Of Silk and Steam is probably the novel I have been anticipating the most. Not only will the overarching plot line reach its own crazy climax, but I’ve been dying to see more of the male lead since his introduction in the first novel. March can’t get here quick enough!

Conclusion:

If you asked me to pick a favourite from the series, I would be hard pressed! I’ve enjoyed all the books so far in the series and they always meet my expectations. If you love romance, action, strong characters, steampunk and don’t mind a dash of the paranormal, GRAB THESE BOOKS! You will not be disappointed!

Rating: 4.5/5

Similar Reads: Iron Duke by Meljean Brook (Iron Seas #1); The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross (Steampunk Chronicles #1) and Clockwork Prince by Cassandra Clare (The Infernal Devices Trilogy #1)

Synopsis for Kiss of Steel (from Goodreads):
When Nowhere Is Safe

Most people avoid the dreaded Whitechapel district. For Honoria Todd, it’s the last safe haven. But at what price?

Blade is known as the master of the rookeries—no one dares cross him. It’s been said he faced down the Echelon’s army single-handedly, that ever since being infected by the blood-craving he’s been quicker, stronger, and almost immortal.

When Honoria shows up at his door, his tenuous control comes close to snapping. She’s so…innocent. He doesn’t see her backbone of steel—or that she could be the very salvation he’s been seeking

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