My rating: 3 of 5 stars
I liked the premise of this book: three young ladies who work as assistants to a scientist/inventor, a magician, and a fencing teacher. The girls team up to solve murders and save all of steampunk Victorian London, proving that they are just as capable and intelligent as their bosses. It’s just good fun!
The plot moved a little too slowly for me. This 440 page book could have been told in 200 pages. It dragged on a bit in places, setting up relationships, setting up dialogue, explaining this and that.
I liked the characters of the girls, but I didn’t love them. They are spunky and sweet and sassy and intelligent and independent, but somehow…. I wasn’t particularly impressed.
Of course, the author killed off the ONE supporting character that I actually loved!
And then there was the S-word, which popped up about 10 times, and annoyed me every time.
The chapter titles are boring. This shows a lack of creativity. meh.
The villains and henchmen were decidedly unoriginal and one-dimensional; the sort that twirl their mustaches and laugh in deep baritones. double meh.
The one really good thing was Michiko, a Japanese girl living and working in London, trying to learn to speak English and feeling very out of place in a new and strange society. Her culture shock was well-described, and I loved her dignified attempts to learn a new language. She’s a treasure!