In 1897, a fiery British aristocrat and an inept US spy search for a stolen invisibility serum that could spark a global war.
Miss Constance Haltwhistle is the last in a line of blue-blooded rogue inventors. Selling exotic firearms under her alias, the ‘Brass Queen,’ has kept her baronial estate’s coffers full. But when US spy, Trusdale, saves her from assassins, she’s pulled into a search for a scientist with an invisibility serum. As royal foes create an invisible army to start a global war, Constance and Trusdale must learn to trust each other. If they don’t, the world they know will literally disappear before their eyes.
Review of The Brass Queen
Two words: Steampunk fundom.
There is more to The Brass Queen than that, but basically, it is all about the fun. That is, there is a mystery, there is romance, there is adventure. But there are these larger than life characters that do outrageous things while while uttering outlandish dialog. So, fun!
Constance, the heroine with a goggle collection, invents and makes weapons (of mass destruction). I know, it seems an odd profession for a woman of the Victorian age. What is even odder is that she does it incognito. She sells her weapons under the name of the Brass Queen. She a) is not very discriminating about who she sells to and b) needs to hire a good manager to avoid shipping snafus. One particular snafu has the client wanting her dead.
Trusdale, American spy, becomes the reluctant partner of Constance as they search for the kidnapped scientists. There is supposed to be a romance between these two. I found the adventure and the humor kind of overshadowed any romanticism. However, Constance and Trusdale make an interesting, bumbling, team that overcome several ridiculous obstacles with a combination of a little skill and a great deal of luck. It was easy to imagine this story playing out in movie format with witty dialog, cool gadgets and lots of explosions.
An over-the-top bad guy with a mustache to twirl is the perfect complement to the hero and heroine. Lucien is devious, ambitious, over-confident and throws grand garden parties. Relentless in his pursuit of Constance, Lucien’s final confrontation is fast approaching. This is evident from the moment you meet him.
While I enjoyed the story, the characters of The Brass Queen were not the kind I could connect with. If the intent is to turn this into a series, more character development is needed. However, as a stand-alone story, The Brass Queen, filled with humor and adventure, is steampunk fundom!
Through Netgalley, the publisher provided a copy of this book in exchange for my honest review.
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