31 March, 2014

Book Tour Review: Obsidian Eyes by A. W. Exley

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GoodReads Summary:

1836, a world of light and dark, noble and guild. The two spheres intersect when seventeen-year-old Allie Donovan is placed at the aristocratic St Matthews Academy. More at ease with a blade than a needle, she finds herself ostracised by the girls and stalked by a Scottish lord intent on learning why she is among them.

She begins to suspect the underlying reasons when soldiers arrive to see her friend, Zeb, a mechanical genius. On the hunt for answers she breaks into his underground laboratory. There, Allie discovers he is not just constructing sentient mechanical creatures, he is building a devastating new weapon for the military.

The guilds want the weapon and Allie is trapped by ties of blood. She must obey the overlord of the guild and deliver up her friend, unless she can rely on bonds of friendship, to save both their lives.

About the Author:

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Books and writing have always been an enormous part of Anita’s life. She survived school by hiding out in the library, with several thousand fictional characters for company. At university, she overcame the boredom of studying accountancy by squeezing in Egyptology papers and learning to read hieroglyphics.

Today, Anita writes steampunk novels with a sexy edge and an Egyptian twist. She lives in rural New Zealand surrounded by an assortment of weird and wonderful equines, felines, canine and homicidal chickens.

Author Links:


Series: N/A
Release Date: 24 March, 2014
Publisher:  Curiosity Quills
Purchase: Amazon, B&N
ISBN: 9781620075036
Edition: Ebook
Review Written: 18 March, 2014

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I love Steampunk. I can't tell you what exactly about it draws me into the concept of Steampunk; there's far too many little nuances and just the idea of the Victorian Era combined with steam-powered computers, mechanical advancements both for the correct time period and a bit futuristic, and the society of the time. So when I can find a book that draws me into it and keep me entertained with the well-written Steampunk themes, I absolutely adore it.

Obsidian Eyes is a masterfully written novel that follows the life of Allie, a seventeen year old with a shadowy past. In Allie's world there's two main fractions; the elite lords and ladies of the land who rule society with grace and honor and the guilds who rule the underworld in a shadowy mafia-esque way. Having narrowly escaped with her life five years prior, our shadowy heroine has been living in Egypt with her Grandfather, a professor of history who loves his books and his explorations. When her Grandfather finds himself a job at one of the most prestigious boarding schools in England, Allie fears she's being used by her guild overlord and father to break a treaty between the guilds and the nobles. 

Throughout the book Allie grows and changes, discovering that friendships are sometimes stronger than the blood ties and birthrights, and that people aren't always bound by what they perceive to be their cages. Over the course of her journey, Allie finds companionship with an odd assortment of fellow students including her roommate Eloise, who would love to go into biological studies, Zeb, a boy who's already finished school and helps his father with top-secret military projects, and the cousins Duncan and Jared McLeod, Scottish lords who seem interested in Allie for more than just the purpose of learning guild secrets. There seem to be strange things afoot as the group of friends discover exactly what the guilds are trying to get their hands on.

No novel is perfect, and while Exley does a fantastic job of explaining so many things within the book, I was left bothered by a couple of things. The book starts out in Jared's perspective, focusing around him when first introducing the reader to Allie, and then it switches to Allie. Later on in the book, we once again get a glimpse of Jared's thoughts in a conversation with his cousin Duncan, but this glimpse is also rather brief, only a couple of pages long, before we're returned to Allie's side of the story. I would have loved to have seen more ideas from Jared. While the reader can see him changing in Allie's eyes, we lack knowledge of whether or not he's actually changing in his own perception or if he's simply becoming more aware to his nature. I was also baffled by Jared's apparent choice of weapon, a katana instead of a more traditionally Scottish weapon such as the broadsword or a Scottish long sword.

Beyond the minor issues of Jared's choice of weapon and the lack of chapters from his view, Obsidian Eyes constantly left me wanting to know what was going to happen next. I truly hope that another novel might come to sequel this one as I want to see if Allie and Jared do get together despite the differences in social classes. I want to see what becomes of the possible romance between Eloise and Zeb, and I'd love to know if Allie manages to escape the guilds or work as a neutral party between the nobles and the guilds. I'd definitely recommend people read this book. 

1 comment:

  1. Glad you liked it despite the issues you had with it. It sounds like a pretty fun read overall! :)