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Title: The Machine (Book 1 of the Blood and Destiny series)
Author: EC Jarvis
Genre: Steampunk, Contemporary, Science Fiction
Amazon rating: 4 stars
In a world driven by steam, one man has the knowledge and the means to construct the most powerful machine in existence; one final element is all he needs. That same world is dominated by a patriarchal society and those at the top will do anything to maintain their position of influence. One seemingly unremarkable woman holds the key to the machine, and the potential to unravel the nefarious schemes of those in charge, although she has no concept of the power she holds in her hands. But she will learn.
Larissa Markus is a humble clerk in a clothing shop with a hidden past when she is swept off her feet by the charismatic Professor. Their whirlwind romance explodes in her face and leads her down a tumultuous path of adventure, intrigue, love and violence. Airships, pirates, corsets, torture, murder, and more await in the first novel of the Blood and Destiny Series from E.C. Jarvis. The Machine is an adult steampunk fantasy book. Possible triggers are present within the book including but not limited to sex, murder, torture, and violence.
E.C. Jarvis weaves a wonderful web of action that keeps going all the way to the very end.
Larissa is a regular girl, working a regular job, and falling for a dashing stranger who turns out not to be truly as interested in her as he seems. A dinner date goes disastrous and Larissa finds herself a fugitive in pursuit of the captors of this man who did her wrong. She meets plenty of scoundrels along the way, including air pirates, a purely evil doctor, and a handsome assassin. Also, enter in one of the coolest cats I have had the pleasure of reading about of late, and you have yourself a fabulous story.
Jarvis adds twist after twist, so you never truly know what to expect from the characters, who learn more and more about themselves as the story moves along. She doesn’t shy away from any issues, touching on gore, violence, rape, all the dastardly acts that happen in the world since the beginning of time. For this reader, those aspects added a touch of reality to this story, and the steampunk aspects made it an extra delightful treat.
Because the story moves along at a fast clip, Larissa’s exploration of her emotions and feelings after her brutal start on the pirate ship was a bit of a disappointment. There is no true aspect of time passing, but it is this reader’s personal opinion that the story could been enhanced more, and brought me closer to the heroine if there had been more development here. As it is right now, without the development of these emotions (the author touches on them briefly) the transition from ravaged to lustful doesn’t quite work. As it is only a small part of the story, however, it is easy to move past and right back into the adventure.
The book ends exactly as it should, with just enough happy to please anyone, and just enough teaser to build up for the second book in the series, which this reader will be watching for the release of.
“She mused that luck, rather than judgment, had prevented her from dying on the first day—or any day since.” ― EC Jarvis, The Machine