After writing happily ever afters for all of her friends in school, Karina Cooper eventually grew up (sort of), went to work in the real world (kind of), where she decided that making stuff up was way more fun (true!). She is the author of dark and sexy paranormal romance, steampunk urban fantasy, and writes across multiple genres with mad glee.
One part glamour, one part dork and all imagination, Karina is also a gamer, an airship captain’s wife, and a steampunk fashionista. She lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with a husband, a menagerie, a severe coffee habit, and a passel of adopted gamer geeks. Visit her at www.karinacooper.com, because she says so.
Corroded, book #3 of the ST. CROIX CHRONICLES
by Karina Cooper
Hungry for vengeance, Cherry St. Croix is forced to the fog-ridden streets of Victorian London.
My rival, a collector of bounties like myself, has murdered one of my own. In consequence, I have been removed from my house, my staff and all who would support me. I have nowhere else to turn, so I beg asylum within the Midnight Menagerie, London's decadent pleasure garden.
Micajah Hawke's dominance there will not tolerate my presence for long. I am fixated on revenge, but I walk a razor's edge under his scrutiny. His wicked power is not easily ignored, and I must not allow myself to submit—no matter how sweet the sacrifice.
Challenging my rival to a race is the only way to end this—no small task when the quarry is the murderous Jack the Ripper. As my enemies close in, I fear the consequences of this hunt. I am trapped between two killers, and what doesn't kill me may leave its scars forever.
*eARC Received from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review
Corroded was another amazing read by Karina Cooper! She's evolving so much with her St. Croix Chronicles, and you can really feel how enmeshed she's becoming in Cherry and the world when she's writing. Her narrative is so fluid and gripping, yet incredibly legitimate to the time period and sub-genre, even in regards to the divide of hierarchical social dialects. I found it absolutely fascinating.
As I stated at the end of my Gilded review, the series was on a continuously accelerating darkness slide - which I personally, absolutely loved - and after the tragic conclusion of book #2, Corroded was steeped in that darkness. Cherry falls back on old habits to numb her pain and help her on her quest for revenge, and more and more she heaps on the guilt for everything that has happened in the series thus far and finds new ways to punish herself. It was heartbreaking to read, especially after having learned to love Cherry like I have over the course of the series. You just want to give her a huge hug and then slap some sense into her immediately afterward. This heaviness also weighs the very beginning of the book down a bit, making it somewhat of a slower read than the previous books or the last 1/2 of Corroded, but I personally felt it necessary, and very apropos, given the heaviness weighing on and slowing down our leading lady.
Those of us on team Hawke get a startling amount of page time for Micajah in this installment, and it's oh - so - very - good! I can't say any more without giving anything away, but we all know how scary and sexy he can be... well the previous books had nothing on the Cage that we see in Corroded! :)
And as always, Karina gives us yet another incredible Victorian Horror Classic reference/feel (or at least I thought so), and the surprise unveiling of an antagonist that I don't think anybody will see coming. It was head shakingly gasp worthy.
Corroded's ending opened up a lot of doors for this series (or a possible spin-off)as well, and that has this loyal fan and reader incredibly excited.
Another beautifully written and intense St. Croix Chronicle installment that I would readily recommend. I can't wait for more!