Rating: 3.5 stars
Series: The Immortal Empire #1
I’m not sure why this is generally labeled as steampunk. It did have some minor steampunk elements like alternate history, but major things like dirigibles or mechanical anything were absent. In many aspects it read more like urban fantasy.
The world building was a little confusing at first because there was a lot of information to absorb at one time. My comprehension hasn’t been the best lately, which may have had something to do with it. From the start vampires, werewolves, half-bloods, and goblins were introduced. Not enough time was spent on any one creature except for the half-bloods to completely understand what they are capable of doing.
Xandy Vardan was a half-blood meaning she was half vampire, half human. Her sister was missing. When she finally found her, she got more than she bargained for. Xandy learned that most of the people in her life had been keeping secrets from her, and those secrets altered what she knew about everything.
During the first half of the book Xandy was more relatable. By the end her world had been flipped upside down, and she embraced it all rather quickly. It felt like she should have been rebelling against what she had learned just from the shock of it. Sadly there weren’t many likable characters in the book. For one reason or another I pretty much hated every person in Xandy’s family. None of them treated her well when she would have given her life for theirs. Vex McLaughlin was the only other character I liked. As a romantic interest he was almost too good to be true. Vex and Xandy’s relationship developed quickly, so I wasn’t deeply invested in them. I like them together, but I wouldn’t care much if they split either.
There were a few things I had issues with. Xandy was special and unique. It’s gets old reading about people that are capable of things no one else is. It was too predictable. The clues dropped about what was going on with Xandy were easy to figure out. By the time she figured it out, it was old news to me. Too much was revealed in one book. Some of the revelations should have been spread out over a book or two. All of the major issues were wrapped up in this, so it’s not imperative to read the next one to know what’s going on. I was disappointed with the end. I don’t want to spoil anything, but I don’t really get why she was held in such high esteem. Plus the ending just added to her specialness, which I could have done without. Regardless of those issues, I’d still like to read the next one.