Rating: 4/5 stars
Series: The Ministry of Curiosities, Book 2
Genres: Fantasy, Paranormal, Steampunk, Historical, Historical Fiction, Young Adult, Romance,
Publication Date: August 24, 2015
“He has parents, I know that much.”
“Does he?” Gus asked mildly. “Thought he was spawned by the devil.”
“Or the Reaper.” Cook grinned as he held out a plate with a scone on it. “That be why he’s called Death.” (Ch. 2)
Bodies have started going missing from the cemetery, leaving Lincoln and the Ministry of Curiosities to wonder if there’s something supernatural going on. Of course, as a lowly housemaid, it isn’t Charlie’s job to get involved in Ministry business.
Instead, Charlie begins an investigation of her own. Searching for details about her birth mother and making inquiries into Lincoln’s past might very well keep Charlie busy in her limited spare time. Especially when what she’s learned has the power to destroy the fragile trust growing between them.
This novel continues my descent into love for the Steampunk genre. I really did enjoy seeing Charlie start to understand her powers and how using them might be beneficial, seeing Lincoln try to come to terms with relying on others. I enjoyed seeing them trying to use their enhanced knowledge of the occult to solve crimes happening around them.
I might not know as much about history as my sister (who just so happens to have a history degree), but I greatly enjoyed seeing the mesh of Victorian England and fantasy. I loved seeing the way that the past seemed so effortlessly mixed with advanced technologies/techniques, of medical “advancements” in ways I never would’ve dreamed of.
On top of expanding my horizons in regards to genres, Archer did a fantastic job at expanding this world and its characters and making it all feel real. I almost felt like I was right there with Charlie as she tried to decipher Lincoln’s moods, when the gang was joking around with each other. Winding my way through London with Charlie felt like I was actually tagging along on her adventures – those that were both intentional and not.
Once again I find myself on the edge of my seat, waiting to see where the story will go next. I love hanging on Archers’ words and eagerly await the time that I can pick up the next book in the series, Beyond the Grave. Further, I can’t wait to see what else the Steampunk genre has in store for me. In case it wasn’t obvious, I certainly recommend giving this book – and this whole series – a read.
He. Kissed. Her. Mind = blown.
Okay, so I knew it was going to happen eventually. But still! When I read the scene, I was giddy with excitement. Charlie had been trying for so long to get Lincoln to treat her as anything other than an employee, to get him to trust her and let her in. It was clear that he trusted her enough to let her help him with Ministry business, but to see him finally give in to his desires was fantastic. And what a way to end the book!
Of course there are other cliffhangers that leave me wanting to pick up Beyond the Grave, but the kiss sealed my fate. I can’t not read what happens next between them! Their relationship is so rocky, so completely filled with hills and potholes, that I can’t help but want to see what happens next. I doubt their relationship will ever be easy, but at least it’s less cloak and daggers now. Okay, maybe it’s still cloak and daggers. It’ll probably always be cloak and daggers with Lincoln. But. Still!
I also wonder what happened to Lady Harcourt’s stepson. Sure he’s a right prick, but that doesn’t mean he should be left to suffer. While I’m not sure he doesn’t deserve it, it’s still the right thing to do to find him and help him out. Sure Lincoln is only willing to do it because it’s Ministry business, but Charlie would do it regardless because it’s the right thing to do. Who know, maybe she’ll end up being Lincoln’s conscious and he’ll start making calls to help people even when he doesn’t necessarily need to. People other than Charlie, that is. There’s no way he’d leave Charlie out to dry as he’s proven time and time again.
All of that aside, I can’t wait to learn more about Charlie and Lincoln’s pasts. It’s clear that there’s more to them than meets they eye – strange powers aside – and I can’t wait to get to the bottom of these mysteries. Sure Lincoln knows who his birth father is, but *I* don’t. The rest of his past remains a mystery as well, other than the fact that his mother was a gypsy and was said to have powers similar to his.
And then we have Charlie. Sure we met her father already and he certainly was a lovely character. But what about her mother? Being a necromancer is one hell of a defining characteristic, but there’s bound to be more to the story than that. Charlie alone proves that the title of necromancer doesn’t completely define a person. I look forward to seeing if Charlie’s spunk personality and no holds barred attitude come from her mother.
As usual, I absolutely adored the way that Lincoln allowed Charlie to help him with his investigation even though it went against what the Ministry wanted. Of course Charlie made it easier to get the information that was needed in some cases – she is less threatening than Lincoln – but I mostly enjoyed the fact that he wanted her to be around more. Even if he had problems admitting it. Sure he still wanted to protect Charlie from the more dangerous parts of the case, but that’s just who Lincoln is.
Plus it was amazing to see Charlie rush into the opium den without Lincoln just so that she could prove her usefulness to him. Charlie certainly has a reckless streak to her and it was blazing during that decision of hers. At least she thought to take a guard with her. Gordon was a perfect soul to take into the opium den as he not only knew the place but he also couldn’t be killed while protecting Charlie. Sure his decaying state might be less than desirable, but there’s a downside to everything.
Charlie being high could also be considered a downside to the situation, but I found it hilarious. I don’t know how she expected to go into an opium den and not be affected by the fumes. Especially since she spent years living on the streets and should know better about what goes on in the underground of the city.
It’s clear that Charlie doesn’t always think about the consequences of her actions. She didn’t even consider that asking about Lincoln’s birth records could raise some flags and it resulted in Lady Harcourt blackmailing Charlie into summoning Mr. Gurry. I’m not saying that I wasn’t interested in finding out what happened between Lincoln and Mr. Gurry, because I certainly was. But it was pretty low of Lady Harcourt to force Charlie to further break Lincoln’s trust by summoning his spirit.
I look forward to continuing on in this series. Steampunk wasn’t something that I ever saw myself getting into, but thanks to The Ministry of Curiosities and Finishing School (first review here) series I’ve found I immensely enjoy it.
Other reviews in this series:
- The Last Necromancer (Book 1)