The Shadow Revolution
by Clay & Susan Griffith
(Crown & Key #1)
June 2, 2015
Genre: Urban Fantasy, Paranormal, Steampunk
Contains: Violence, some sexual references
Source: eARC for Honest review
They are the realm’s last, best defense against supernatural evil. But they’re going to need a lot more silver.
As fog descends, obscuring the gas lamps of Victorian London, werewolves prowl the shadows of back alleys. But they have infiltrated the inner circles of upper-crust society as well. Only a handful of specially gifted practitioners are equipped to battle the beasts. Among them are the roguish Simon Archer, who conceals his powers as a spell-casting scribe behind the smooth veneer of a dashing playboy; his layabout mentor, Nick Barker, who prefers a good pub to thrilling heroics; and the self-possessed alchemist Kate Anstruther, who is equally at home in a ballroom as she is on a battlefield.
After a lycanthrope targets Kate’s vulnerable younger sister, the three join forces with fierce Scottish monster-hunter Malcolm MacFarlane—but quickly discover they’re dealing with a threat far greater than anything they ever imagined.
Set in Victorian London, 1829, we meet quite a cast of characters as we discover that there is magic and mystery behind the scenes of common society and not everyone and everything is as it seems. The story starts with a bang and continues to the very end. This was an exciting and engaging journey that may have started and ended with a werewolf, but in the midst of these pages was a lot of mystery, discovery, and action. The action sequences read like a movie, jumping off the page and incredibly easy to visualize. There was also incredible intrigue over how all of these characters are interconnected, how the past engages the present, who and what the ultimate villains are, and how many cool and/or creepy creatures and magic tricks would be coming out of the woodwork. Obviously I'm being vague, but it's intentional, because I personally went into the reading of this book blind, not even reading the synopsis, and loved all the reveals, layers, and discoveries along the way, so I would encourage you to avoid spoilers as well.
As for our cast of characters, I found them all very interesting and loved that they all had their own unique qualities, including women of strong character. I may not have found a Gareth among the group (honestly, he's just too awesome to replicate), but I did find a motley crew that brought so much to the table together, each having their own strengths and weaknesses, and I look forward to getting to know them even better in the books to come. The villains are uber creepy, and could have been fleshed-out a bit better, but their creepiness or just plain meanness certainly came through the pages. And these villains truly panicked me about the mortality of these characters I was coming to like so much. Very exciting stuff, particularly toward the end, with these guys!
Overall, this was a great start to the Crown & Key trilogy. The Shadow Revolution was filled with exciting action, strong characters, and intriguing discoveries. If you like a good mix of magic, paranormal, and steampunk, then I recommend you give this a try. I look forward to what this gang gets into next and what dangers are on the horizon.