I received A Clockwork Heart as a publisher ARC through NetGalley in exchange for my honest review.
A Conspiracy of Alchemists was a great novel, it set the standard for the Liesel Schwarz steam-punk series. It was exciting with some strange flaws, but I opted to like it anyways.
A Clockwork Heart sadly fell flat of my expectations. While it was more interesting to read, the story was dry and everything seemed to work out a bit too perfectly. Elle is a completely different character than she was in the first novel, she’s far too dependant on Marsh and seems incapable of functioning once he disappears from the novel, about 20% in.
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The dialogue was filled with old-tymey banter, it gives you the feeling that the author was trying way too hard. There was a scene where I swore they said the term “ever so slightly” at least 18 times.
The new protagonist was too good to be true. An evil (but gorgeous) witch lady who can control the weather and wants Marsh for her own? And then, of course, her death comes by far too easily. The climax battle was overly confusing. It goes from a civil conversation between enemies to a battle of air balloons in a matter of seconds.
The ending seemed harsh to me. I got the feeling that Schwarz was just trying way too hard to have an unhappy ending. The book went on way too long as well, it should have ended chapters before it did.
All in all, I was extremely disappointed with the novel, but because I liked the first one so much I will give Schwarz the benefit of the doubt and read the third when it comes out.