There’s more fun and adventure to be had in The Conjurer’s Riddle, book two of The Inventor’s Secret series, by Andrea Cremer.
Let me start off by saying I’m not usually a big fan of historical fiction, basically because I’m not a big fan of history. And I’m not a big fan of steampunk, but I don’t hate it either. However, when I read The Inventor’s Secret, the first book of the Nightshade series author Andrea Cremer’s historical steampunk fiction series, I can honestly say that I found it to be a fun and intriguing read. The same can be said about The Conjurer’s Riddle, where we start off pretty much immediately where we left off, which Charlotte having left the high society of the Floating City in New York.
There are several new things we get to read through and several changes in this plot, including seeing Charlotte take the role as leader instead of follower. She has to make a lot of decisions that bring her and her group through some dangerous territories and situations, as well as trying to keep herself from dwelling on too many personal things when she has a group of youngsters to protect.
Not only do we see Charlotte in the leadership role, we are brought to several places throughout this alternate America, but not without its wonders and dangers.
I was impressed with the way Charlotte held the group together, even though it seemed a bit too easy for her. However, when you think about the dangers her and her group have gone through, it’s not an easy role to be a leader and be the one responsible to keep the group all safe, especially when so many of them are so young.
It was interesting seeing how this different America worked as compared to the America of today. As I said, I’m not quite a fanatic about history, including American history, but I was definitely fascinated with how strange and different this world seemed to be, especially when it came to the machinery and style of this world.
The pacing of the story helped as well, capturing the strangeness and beauty and adventure of it all. Charlotte was a pleasant enough character, but some of the supporting characters that we’ve known from the first book are just as interesting as we come to learn more about them as well.
There are some new characters that add more complexity to the story and so far I find them all to be a nice way of moving the story forward.
But alas, it’s not a perfect book, and there are a few qualms about it that somewhat bothered me, including much less page time with some of the characters from the first book (including the adorable Moses the bat.) We do get to see them again, but not nearly as much as I’d hoped. And there’s one part of Cremer’s writing style for this series was the process of having us read the thoughts in Charlotte’s mind, which was very often too many questions.
I can’t say that I find a very extreme connection to any of the characters, but I’d like to say that I have a fondness of them and can understand why they do what they do at times, even if I don’t agree with them.
Overall, I just found this to be a pretty good continuation of an adventure story in a unique and wildly exciting setting.
My Grade: B
Order your copy of The Conjurer’s Riddle: Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Local Bookseller
Order The Inventor’s Secret (book one): Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Local Bookseller