Wednesday, March 18, 2015

The Gilded Scarab

Author: Anna Butler
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
ISBN/BIN: 978-1-63216-773-6
Genre: {M/M} Steampunk
Rating: 4.5 Nymphs
Literary Nymphs Reviewer: Dragon Minx

Captain Rafe Lancaster suffers a permanent eye injury after crashing his aerofighter, and it ends his military career.  Wearing glasses to correct his vision, Rafe returns to Londinium in late 1899...the first time in almost a decade. He’s avoided the city for many reasons, mostly because of the powerful society Houses of which he’s a disowned member.

Now he’s home and being forced to find a new focus in life. After several weeks, Rafe settles on purchasing a coffeehouse near the Britannic Imperium Museum, putting him in close contact with several Aegyptologists. He also comes into the line of fire of powerful men with assassins on their payroll and Rafe’s forgotten how much he hates House politics. Making matters worse, an ex-lover is hovering in the background. Rafe has to handle these problems and deal with a kidnapping attempt all while trying to make the relationship with the man he loves work.   

In the past I’ve not been a big fan of the steampunk genre but Anna Butler has changed my mind with her new release The Gilded Scarab. It’s well written, has interesting characters with thoroughly developed personalities and the world building is top-notch. The vivid details of the time period, costumes and people make it a creative blend of Victorian England, science fiction and fantasy. The author created a world filled with danger, intrigue and society “Houses” that pulled me along with her gripping, complicated and fast paced plot. I liked it…no I really enjoyed it, and found it vastly entertaining. I could hardly put it down and think I read it in one day. Oh, and for those of you put-off by the steampunk verbiage…never fear, Ms. Butler has placed a glossary at the back.  I hope Ms. Butler intends to write a sequel in the near future.

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