Yup, it’s another Cari Silverwood post. There are so many good reasons why I read and review so many of her books. All the books are just so good. I haven’t read one yet that I didn’t like. Cari does some of the best world building I’ve ever seen, hands down. She takes all these things, both big and little, and puts them together in a way that brings you into her worlds and lets you see, smell, taste, and feel everything going on. You are wrapped up and in the books and it’s hard to get back out into the real world sometimes.
The world of Cari’s Steamworks Chronicles is an alternate Earth. The lands are the same, with the same basic ethnic groups, but the states and countries and nations are different. For example, you get the Brito-Gallic League and the Byzantine Empire. The technology, however, is totally different. It’s all steampunk. If you aren’t familiar with steampunk, it’s an alternate Earth with technology that is stuck in approximately the Victorian era. Things run by steam, coal, or early electric batteries. Instead of airplanes, you get airships, instead of helicopters, you get gyrocopters. You get clockwork animals, creations, and oh yeah, sex toys. You get the idea. In Cari’s world, you are at something similar to modern times, give or take, but with the steampunk technology.
So, the Chronicles is a boxset that contains 3 books, Iron Dominance, Lust Plague, and Steel Dominance. They are all standalones within the same world, so you don’t have to read them all to understand any one of them. However, the two Dominances are related, so you may want to read Iron before you read Steel. Not necessary, but you get more info on the characters altogether.
One word you will hear me talk about with the books is frankenstruct. A frankenstruct is a being that is made up of a whole lot of cloned human parts. If the person is just 1 clone, then they are obviously a person, right? So the theory is that if you take a lot of pieces of a lot of different clones and then put them together and make a person, then morally and ethically that being isn’t a person. At least, that’s how some of the governments in this world think. I think frankenstructs can get a bad rap and I think that making them be legally not a person or having an extermination order against them is despicable. Anyway.
Claire is a frankenstruct. She looks lovely, innocent, and oh so sexy. However, what she really is is deadly. She’s bred and trained as an assassin and can kill you in about 50 different ways. Her current “master” is a scummy scumbag named Inkvine. I mean, he’s a nasty-arse piece of work. He pretty much needs to die right after he open his mouth. He’s posing as a diplomat and she’s supposed to be his arm candy so that they can get close to an enemy named Theo and off him. At least, that was the plan, until their airship got blown up.
The next thing she knows, she’s waking up buried in wreckage and she’s being told that she is one of the few survivors of the airship, and all the others were men. Lord Theo Kevonis, her rescuer, says that she can stay on his estate while all the men get sent off. There are several reasons for this. One is that she’s hurt. Another is that the doctor told Theo that she was a frankenstruct and his government will euthanise her, so keeping her on his estate is just a good idea. Then there’s the fact that Theo is incredibly taken with Claire, and thinks that she’s probably a pleasure slave, as evidenced by the fact she was wearing a lovely evening gown when they found her.
Meanwhile, Claire is trying to keep ahold of herself around Theo. She’s told him that she’s a bodyguard. She’s told him all about frankenstructs, and she’s done everything he’s asked. The problem is that he overwhelms her. No one ever taught her how to deal with feelings or how to do relationships. And even if they had, they probably wouldn’t have taught her how to handle the kinds of domination and submission and bondage sexy games that Theo wants to play with her. All she knows is that she has serious feelings for him and she doesn’t want to be an assasin anymore, and is Theo her target and can she keep him safe?
This zombie plague is not your mama’s zombie plague and you sure as hell aren’t going to see it on The Walking Dead anytime soon. That’s because the zombies don’t want to just eat your brains, they want to fuck those brains out first.
There are actually various levels of plague. Some of the zombies go straight into eating, some go straight into fucking, and some do all of the above.
Captain Kaysana Onomi and her crew on Art of War are off to find out about the plague and to see if they can find a cure, because the plague is getting worse and more and more people are succumbing. And all of a sudden, so are the people on Art of War.
Kaysana is trying to meet with the frankenstruct mercs that are a temporary part of her crew. The prevailing theory is that frankenstructs are immune to the plague. Except, whoops, that’s about to be proven wrong. As she’s leaving the gym where she was meeting all the mercs minus one, her officer and the mercs are suddenly infected by the plague. Ling becomes a risen man, which means he stays smart, and he has firey eyes, and murder and rape on his mind. Kaysana is his number one target. He and the mercs tie her to a rope climbing wall and are about to have their evil way when she gets rescued by Sten.
Sten is one of the frankenstruct mercs. He doesn’t really people well, and he normally hides in the mountains with his wolf Cadrach. When the government asks for help, he decides to go, but mostly because of Kaysana. This isn’t the first time that he’s seen her and he really feels a connection. He also thinks she’s pretty drop dead sexy, because well, she is. He was late going to the meeting, but when he finally gets there, he finds Emily, the ship’s librarian being attacked by some zombies. He rescues her and helps her to escape while he’s on his way to rescue Kaysana. He gets her off the ship, and then they have their wicked way with each other.
It may have felt good in the moment, but Kaysana has problems. He’s a frankenstruct and she can’t have any kind of relationship with a frankenstruct. First of all, she’s a military officer, secondly, she blames all frankestructs for her family’s deaths. But every time Sten touches her, she gets all fuzzy and all her thinking goes right out the window. They both like the games that he plays, but she’s not sure how to make it all fit in her head.
And can we just say that I will never, ever look at a hood ornament the same way, ever again. Out of 3 very, very hot books, that is seriously one of the hottest things in the whole series.
Dankyo is the head of security of House Kevonis. Normally he is only concerned with keep Theo safe. But the government has sent him off on a two part mission. The first part is that he’s supposed to help upgrade the security of the palace in the Byzantine Empire. The second part is that he’s supposed to keep Sophia White safe on her job.
Dankyo has only learned in the recent past that he really likes BDSM in lots of wonderful ways. He’s played with some people, but he’s never found the woman who he wants to be fully and completely his. So, he devotes all his time to making sure that House Kevonis and Theo is safe. He takes his job incredibly seriously.
Sophia White is a scholar. Her entire world is puzzles and patterns. They talk to her. She sees them in her head and something just clicks and all of a sudden the confusion makes sense and the puzzle is solved. She’s on her way to the Byzantine Empire to solve the biggest puzzle ever, the Clockwork Warrior. She has spent years and years studying it and she knows that she can learn all its secrets. Since the Tomb she needs to get to is in the palace harem, the only way she can get in is to be a slave. Dankyo’s slave, to be precise. Sophie has secrets too. She’s always fantasized about being taken by force by a man and being made to submit to him. Luckily, Dankyo is more than happy to help her with that.
All three books have serious secrets and conspiracies involved in them. Some of them you can see right out so you can try to figure out what’s going on, but then you get the hidden secrets and conspiracies that Cari all of a sudden drops in your lap and totally surprises you with. I mean, forget about coming out of left field, some of them seriously come out of another galaxy to all of a sudden hit you. Just totally amazing. There are layers and layers and layers.
I’ve said it before and I will definitely say it again. Cari is one of the best world builders out there. The details she puts in little throwaway things that you might not even realize are there and don’t have a huge impact on the story help you feel the entire world and turn it into something that you don’t just read but you experience and live. The world is lush and beautiful and textured and… All that translates into characters that are living and breathing and that you can nearly reach out and touch. They really are just that good.
Since they are a Cari Silverwood series, they are kinky as all fucking fuck. I mean, yeah. I need the vibrator from this book. There is all kinds of BDSM and non/dubcon. It’s all just so delicious and dark and erotic and sends little shivers down your spine in just the right way. Go check them out. The boxset is currently $1.99, so for less than a cup of coffee, you can get some books that will wake all the way up.
There is no spoiler section today, because this is long enough. You will just have to go experience these books on your own. Have a picture though.