Book Review: Shadows of Asphodel by Karen Kincy


When Ardis discovers a man bleeding to death on the battlefield, she knows she has to walk away.

1913. In her work as a mercenary for Austria-Hungary, Ardis has killed many men without hesitation. One more man shouldn’t matter, even if he manages to be a charming bastard while he stands dying in the snow.

But when he raises the dead to fight for him, she realizes she must save his life.

If a necromancer like Wendel dies, he will return as a monster—or so the rumors say. Ardis decides to play it safe and rescues him. What she doesn’t expect is Wendel falling to one knee and swearing fealty. Ardis never asked for the undying loyalty of a necromancer, but it’s too late now.

Ardis and Wendel forge an uneasy alliance underscored with sexual tension. Together, they confront rebels, assassins, and a conspiracy involving a military secret: robotically-enhanced soldiers for a world on the brink of war. But as Ardis starts to fall for Wendel, she realizes the scars from his past run more deeply than she ever imagined. Can Ardis stop Wendel before his thirst for revenge destroys him and everyone else around him?

About the Author: Author-Photo-Karen-Kincy-091013

Karen Kincy (Redmond, Washington) can be found lurking in her writing cave, though sunshine will lure her outside. When not writing, she stays busy gardening, tinkering with aquariums, or running just one more mile. Karen has a BA in Linguistics and Literature from The Evergreen State College.

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My Review:

Oh, finally a bit of Dieselpunk romance! What a treat! Right from the start of the book I was hooked. The relationship between the two antagonists was wonderfully deep and flawed at the same time. The setting was amazing and the author had such a way with moving the story on, it was like watching a movie (I’d love to know who she’d cast in the leads)

Definitely an over 18 book though, and it was good to not have it end on a cliff-hanger – but does that mean that there won’t be another a series? There’s definitely more scope in the carefully built-up world itself to throw in a few more characters…

From a writer’s perspective, the action was intense and the plot was interesting and moved at a steady pace. I really have to applaud Karen for tackling this genre. I really hope that readers pick it up and give it go. It’s so refreshing to have a new twist on romance. Maybe we should see more genre mash-ups on the market? There was some lovely turns of phrase in there and the female lead was strong yet felt real – a hard thing to write but a pleasure to read.

The front cover does let it down for me. I don’t think it really lives up the book itself. The woman on the front doesn’t look like the main character who’s described as half Chinese with Tawny hair.

Overall I’d give Shadows of Asphodel 4 out of 5 stars – get your Dieselpunk romance on! Yeah!



2 comments on “Book Review: Shadows of Asphodel by Karen Kincy

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