Friday, September 18, 2015

Blog Tour: Clockwork Menagerie by Karen Kincy

Released on September 1st, 2015, by Curiosity Quills Press, Clockwork Menagerie by Karen Kincy is a novella in the Shadows of Asphodel series. This one plugs into the series at #2.5. I've read the first book, and I Kickstartered the second, when they were being self-published. I haven't actually read book two yet though! Call this one "Historical-fantasy romance" (the publisher does). It's got that dieselpunk aesthetic with a big dash of romance and magic to liven things up.

I'm really happy to be hosting a stop on this novella's blog tour.

The Book

A companion novella to the Shadows of Asphodel series, from Konstantin's point of view.

Konstantin would love to hide in his laboratory and dissect the clockwork dragon captured from Russia, but the Archmages of Vienna have other plans. He finds himself shipped off to St. Petersburg as the scientific attaché to an ambassador. His orders? Look, but don't touch. Of course, he considers this an impossible request with so much enemy technomancy to explore.

To make matters worse, Konstantin has to work with the dashing zeppelin commander Himmel, a man who should also be untouchable. They can't act on the smoldering attraction between them without risking it all. Faced with an illegal relationship and a devious rival technomancer, Konstantin might not return from this mission in Russia without conquering the forbidden.

Clockwork Menagerie is available now!

My Review

Clockwork Menagerie is a dieselpunk romance set from the perspective of Konstantin, an Archmage who appeared earlier in the Shadows of Asphodel series. I don't have any strong memories of his role in earlier books, but his personality--quite reserved, quite focused on his job--felt very familiar.

This book sends Konstantin directly into danger, on a diplomatic mission. It seems a bit absurd as the people in his life all agree he cannot tell a lie nor is he particularly diplomatic. Still, off he dutifully goes. 

Of course, along the way, Konstantin faces his attraction to the handsome zeppelin commander Himmel. Himmel's clearly captivated by Konstantin, and does what he can to protect him from, well, the consequences of Konstantin's naive choices. Can I take a pause right now to underline how much I love Konstantin in general? He's so focused on his work that he sometimes ignores the bigger, broader picture, and his reactions when he's confronted by that made me smile.

There's quite a bit of heat in this book--if you like your romance m/m, there's a few scenes that will make you smile. I loved the dynamic between Himmel and Konstantin--there's some intriguing power exchanges going on here, not only in their intimate relationship but also in their professional lives. 

One of the highlights of this book, and the series, for me is the dieselpunk component. I love the way that diesel, magic, and clockwork bits and bobs are woven together to create an intriguing world at war. I don't often read dieselpunk (okay, truth, I'm not sure I could even name another dieselpunk book that I *have* read), but this book made me wish I did because I really like the aesthetic.

Bottom line:

I felt a little lost reading Clockwork Menagerie, having not read the first book in a while, and never having read the second. I think if I'd been more connected to the story surrounding/preceding this novella, I would have been that much more into it. There's lots of elements here that I really liked though, and I recommend you grab a copy--but first read the first two Shadows of Asphodel books!

4 stars
For fans of dieselpunk, gay romance, Shadows of Asphodel series

About the Author

Karen Kincy (Kirkland, Washington) can be found lurking in her writing cave, though sunshine will lure her outside. When not writing, she stays busy gardening, tinkering with aquariums, or running just one more mile. Karen has a BA in Linguistics and Literature from The Evergreen State College.

Curiosity Quills Press (CQ) is a small hybrid publishing company specializing in genre fiction of the highest quality. With 150+ titles in our catalog already and approximately 6 new books coming out each month, there’s never a dull moment at CQ. We work with major retailers such as Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Audible to ensure that you, the reader, can find whatever you are looking for at your convenience.

Founded in 2011 by Eugene Teplitsky and Lisa Gus, CQ was initially a resource portal for writing and publishing, created in an effort to help writers, like themselves, survive the publishing industry. After rapid success, CQ morphed into publishing press that over time has solidified its share in the market. Now we spend our days searching for the next great escape!

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