Rating: 4.75/5 Penguins
Quick Reasons: can we talk about this cover?!; can we talk about THIS SERIES?!; awesome, complex, strong-willed characters; satisfying end; trigger warning for sensitive readers; this whole journey was filled with heartbreak, horror, and darkly intense atmospheres; I'm sad to see it end, but so happy to have read it
---Darkness. I woke up to it, I fell asleep to it. It was everything I saw, everything I touched, everything I dreamed.
And now I was creating it.---
Wheeeeeew, penguins. This was an intense, bitter-sweet ending to a journey that I've adored and been in awe of these last few years. And I don't mean bitter-sweet in terms of the way this series ended...but instead that it had to end at all. I've fallen so deeply in love with this world, and these characters... I'm sad to see them go. I know one of the first things I intend to do, as soon as I'm able, is buy these books in physical copies--I NEED them on my shelves. I mean, just the covers alone are GOOOOORGEOUS; whoever designed these books did an A++ job on it, seriously. But the stories?! The stories inside are just as gorgeous, and I need them in more than one form. NEED, penguins.
Let's talk gritty for a minute, though. This is a courtesy trigger warning for sensitive readers--certain difficult topics are broached and handled throughout. These include, but are not necessarily limited to: rape; physical assault; physical abuse. These are, by far, the biggest that I found. Please be careful if you decide to pick this series up--keep yourselves safe! While most scenes are brief and not overly detailed, there were some difficult moments, so keep this in mind.
---"I wasn't asking for good ideas," I pointed out. "You said this place is a source of the Vesper's power. That means he'll be vulnerable if I destroy it. He won't have power, and he won't have an army."
Riley's eyebrow rose. "You want to destroy an entire building?" He took in my sharp stare, then shook his head. "Of course you do. You're always blowing things up."
I frowned. "It's not always on purpose."---
These characters are just... They're going to haunt me for a while to come. They are well-rounded and realistic, and while they've made some judgement calls I'm not sure I agree with... I love them. I love them all so hardcore, I can't even. The plot is action-packed, filled with drama, and just SO epic I can't even begin to explain. Amy Braun knows how to ratchet up the tension, and she does so twenty-fold in this book especially. I found myself unhinged in several key instances, both glued to the pages and wanting to fling the book away in "NO NO NO don't hurt me again!" pleas. These, of course, went mostly unheard.
In the end, this was a WILD ride--from page one, book one to the last closing words. I have, once again, been reminded why I need to pick up more steampunk novels--they always wind up being some of my favorites, and this series is no exception! I definitely recommend this journey to lovers of alien vampires, cloud-surfing pirates, and plots that are more like delicious action stew. Amy Braun, this series has turned the cogs in my penguin heart; I cannot wait to see what the future has in store for your writing! Take down the Hellions with me, penguins; let's save the world!
Rating: 4.75/5 Penguins