Saturday, 27 July 2013

The 7th of London, Beau Schemery

- Review by Trisha

3.5 out of 5 stars

The 7th of London is a beautifully written Steampunk, YA novel. It was my very first Steampunk novel, as well as my first by the author, Beau Schemery. I was captivated by the writing and the world building in this book. The author definitely has a natural talent for the genre as well as writing. 
The 7th of London

I want to start by saying that I adored the fact that Seven was of Irish decent. Even though this is a historical novel, some of the words used are still used today in Ireland. I am always looking to read books in the mm genre with characters from Ireland. The dialogue was also very good when you consider the accents, even when it was a bit stiff.

The story is based in London, England in the 1800’s. Seven, the main character, is an orphan. His family died tragically in separate incidents that Seven witnessed. The book starts off relatively slowly. It builds gradually but then the pace of the story speeds up, allowing the reader to get drawn into the story. I’m one of the unfortunate few as I got lost at different points of the story, which hindered my enjoyment. But the writing was good enough to keep me reading.

The story in general is told from Seven’s POV. But sometimes we get Silas or another character. When the switches happened, I was able to follow that part easily. I knew when it happened and felt that it all flowed well throughout. Unfortunately, I was not able to keep up with the overall plot. I found myself rereading scenes and trying to figure out what was going on. I loved the names, though sometimes I felt that there were too many of them in one scene. I appreciate a large number of characters, but sometimes I like it when there are less introduced at one time. The names and nicknames of the characters being used sometimes made me stop for a minute.  Kettlebent, aka. Silas was the easiest for me to remember for some reason.

I enjoyed watching Seven and Silas’ relationship development. It felt natural and it really was a great part of the story. Both boys could be so shy, and at the same time so sure. There was a slight bit of jealousy on Silas’ part. I love a good couple in a book and these two were the right amount of sweet for me to enjoy this story. They take a while to get together, but there is always a little something there.

There was a degree of violence in this book. It worked well with the story and the characters, Midnight and Seven especially. The fight scenes at the end were well written, with just the right knowledge on the authors behalf to keep it all YA, which is something that can cause issues. The blurb tells the main plot, which indicates that fight scenes could happen. So, if anyone has issues with any level of violence they should stay away from this book because it is kind of hinted at in the blurb.

This book is angsty. In fact it has a lot of death inside. Seven didn’t seem to have a whole lot of luck and normally that wouldn’t bother me. In The 7th of London, however, I didn’t really feel as much of the emotion. There was a scene in which Seven and Silas were talking about Seven’s past and his life after his parents were killed, in which I felt all the emotion I would have liked to have felt in the rest of the book. It just felt like a lot of drama and not enough of emotion. I did enjoy a few of those scenes and maybe had it been less depressing I would have enjoyed it more.

I liked Midnight, aka. Jonathan or Jack. See what I mean about the names? His character was particularly surprising. He was known as a criminal but I didn’t really see it. He just appeared, to me anyway, to be a character who wanted to right all the wrongs. In a sense, it was like he and Seven were alike in that regard. Seven wanted revenge for what happened to his siblings.

There is a HEA in this book, and it was well earned. After all the loss in his life, Seven actually had someone left at the end. I admit it brought my overall rating up a little bit. Had the ending not been as lovely as it was, I would have had a major issue rating this book anything higher than a two, and I hate giving low ratings. As a lot of others have said, I don’t want to ruin the things that happen. But I felt the need to point out some of the things I really did love or like.

Overall, the 7th of London is a very good Steampunk novel. For fans of Steampunk I think this will be a great hit. But for people like me, it could be a hit and miss. My rating is 3.5 stars, rounded up because although this was not for me, I did enjoy the writing and the MC’s relationship.

This book was provided by Harmony Ink Press in exchange for a fair and honest review.