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.
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.
I do like a bit Steampunk. And a YA steampunk novel has the potential to be amazing. Obsidian Eyes was, for me, a little hard to get into. It felt like I was thrust into this new world pretty quickly and given quite a large amount of information in the beginning to find my way. I did enjoy the book, once I got into it – however I’m quite an impatient reader and if this hadn’t been for a tour I might have given up on it sooner, and therefore missed out.
The characters were very YA, and although this could be deemed as cliché, I always find the youth adult dynamics between protagonists welcoming and especially needed when there’s a whole new world, that they are living In, to learn about. This story is told third person and head hops between the characters, which as you probably already know, isn’t my bag. I find it hard to relate to the characters in this way and much prefer first person narrative – this is just me – it has to be a pretty amazingly written book to have me think otherwise.
From a writer’s perspective, the beginning was a bit clunky for me and there was a lot of ‘show don’t tell’ moments. Stray sentences that give us history on characters where they shouldn’t be, is a bit lazy. Don’t tell us the character is military, show us through his stance, his language, or even through a brief mention of it in his dialogue with another character. Once the essential information has been ‘told’ though, the book quickly starts to enter into the ‘show’ phase, which is much better, and held my attention easier.
The front cover is great – definitely will stand out and shows that its YA with a dash of steampunk, so two thumbs up on this.
Overall I’d give Obsidian Eyes 3 out 5 stars – if you’re looking for something different and want to expand your YA tastes, then pick it up today.