Monday, May 16, 2016

My Review: Tainted (and a request for help!)

Okay reader friends.  This is my first foray into the genre of Steampunk.  I've read a couple fantasy, and I honestly don't know what makes the genres different or really much of anything.  Please, enlighten me in the comments of anything I need to know going forward.

What Happens When Your Soul Dies?

Kat Bloodmayne is one of the first women chosen to attend the Tower Academy of Sciences. But she carries a secret: she can twist the natural laws of science. She has no idea where this ability came from, only that every time she loses control and unleashes this power, it kills a part of her soul. If she doesn't find a cure soon, her soul will die and she will become something else entirely.

After a devastating personal loss, Stephen Grey leaves the World City Police Force to become a bounty hunter. He believes in justice and will stop at nothing to ensure criminals are caught and locked up. However, when Kat Bloodmayne shows up in his office seeking his help, his world is turned upside down.

Together they search World City and beyond for a doctor who can cure Kat. But what they discover on the way goes beyond science and into the dark sphere of magic.

About the Author:  Morgan Busse
I am a wife, mother, and author. I write Christian fantasy and steampunk for the adult market. My work is published with Enclave Publishing, the premier publishing company for Christian fantasy and science fiction.

I’m married to a wonderful, wacky guy (who also happens to be a pastor) and together we are raising four monkeys…er…kids. I’m a shy introvert, but start talking geek and I’ll come out of my shell. Along with writing, I enjoy games of all sorts (including board games and video games), hiking, biking, and reading. I love rainy days, mountains, and a good cup of tea.

My Review: 4 stars
I’m honestly not sure which genre this book falls into: I’ve seen it described as “steam punk” and “fantasy.” Is it one of them? Both? I’m pretty new to the fantasy scene, having only read a few books in the genre, but I’ve come to really enjoy some of those I’ve read. Being so new to the genre, I had no idea what to expect from this book. I read the premise and was immediately fascinated by the idea. It was a bit odd for me, yes. But it sounded so intriguing that I couldn’t resist trying to scoop up a copy and I can very happily say that I was not at all disappointed! I managed to finish this book in a matter of hours, so engrossed as I was that I read for hours straight, not even noticing how quickly time was passing.

I can very honestly say that I’ve never read a book anywhere close to Tainted. It reminded me a bit of a historical novel at first: the clothing, transportation, the mindset of the people, but the further I read, the more I realized how fitting the “steam punk” generalization is to the story. There are flying ships, and mechanical birds, and a guy with a robotic arm, just to mention a few things. The author did an excellent job of creating a place that was entirely different, while still making it easily relatable for me. I really enjoyed her writing style, how she managed to bring the story to life with colorful descriptions while keeping the action and suspense going. I was on the edge of my seat for so much of this story, wanting to know what was going to happen next, and bemoaning each interruption! The only exception to this was the first few chapters that started out a tad slow, but the back story bit ended up being so important that I really can’t complain.

The characters were incredibly unique, too. Kathryn is such an interesting heroine and I very quickly fell in love with her. She is sweet and kind, but also fearful. She has a power she cannot control and is terrified of hurting others. When she gets angry, or feels almost any emotion strongly, it’s as though she becomes a completely different person. I found her to be a very compelling character and immensely enjoyed how I easily I was able to connect with it. It was almost as though I could feel her struggle and fears. Every emotion is just there, stark and bright, which fit with the themes of the story very well. I’m really curious to see where her story goes next, especially with how it ended. Not quite a terrible cliffhanger, but I definitely have lots of questions!

Steven is also a unique character and though I enjoyed getting to know him, I didn’t connect with him as easily as I did Kathryn. He is kind hearted and outwardly focused when I first met him, but them something awful happens to him and he becomes this dark and brooding person. This is actually my only really negative comment regarding the story. I found his reaction to what happened to him a bit over the top. I realize that something needed to spark a big change for the story to progress, but how he handled it just came across as a little immature, I think. Which may be part of the reason I didn’t like him quite as well as I’d hoped. He did redeem himself later with his care of Kat and how he still tries his best to be a kind person, while also protecting his heart from being broken again.

Going into this book, I was really curious as to how the author would weave a spiritual side into the story. It sounds like magic and maybe a bit of sci-fi, so I was really intrigued with the idea of how she’d explain Kathryn’s “power,” but also center it around Christian beliefs. Though I don’t quite have my answer yet, seeing as how this is the first book in the series, I did really appreciate how the author carefully wove the spiritual matters into the tale. They aren’t overt and never detracted from the action going on, but rather raised some important questions and opened the door for them to be answered in the future books. I’m still quite interested to learn what becomes of the characters and how she chooses to broach the topic of Kathryn’s power and God’s role.

Overall, despite a couple hiccups, I have to say that I really enjoyed this story. It was unique and kept me on my toes for sure. I liked the characters and getting the opportunity to visit their world for a few hours. I’m very much anticipating the next book and finding out what twists and turns will happen next! I would highly recommend this book to someone who enjoys fiction of the steam punk or fantasy genres, since I’m still undecided as to which label completely fits.

I received a complimentary copy of this book from Enclave Publishing for my honest review, which I have given. I was not required to write a positive review and have not been compensated for it in any way. All opinions expressed are my own.

Thank you so much for stopping by and reading my review!  I hope you enjoyed it and if you're really into fantasy and steampunk, please leave a comment below telling me something that I need to know about the genre!  Oh, and recommend a book for me, please!  I'm really curious to read more, but I have no idea where to start.  :)

Also, if you haven't read this book and you're at all curious about it, there are some links below for you to check it out - I doubt you'll be disappointed!


Barnes & Noble

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