The Alchemists of Loom (Loom Saga, #1)
by Elise Kova
Her vengeance. His vision.
Ari lost everything she once loved when the Five Guilds’ resistance fell to the Dragon King. Now, she uses her unparalleled gift for clockwork machinery in tandem with notoriously unscrupulous morals to contribute to a thriving underground organ market. There isn’t a place on Loom that is secure from the engineer turned thief, and her magical talents are sold to the highest bidder as long as the job defies their Dragon oppressors.
Cvareh would do anything to see his sister usurp the Dragon King and sit on the throne. His family’s house has endured the shame of being the lowest rung in the Dragons’ society for far too long. The Alchemist Guild, down on Loom, may just hold the key to putting his kin in power, if Cvareh can get to them before the Dragon King’s assassins.
When Ari stumbles upon a wounded Cvareh, she sees an opportunity to slaughter an enemy and make a profit off his corpse. But the Dragon sees an opportunity to navigate Loom with the best person to get him where he wants to go.
He offers her the one thing Ari can’t refuse: A wish of her greatest desire, if she brings him to the Alchemists of Loom.
5 + of 5 Stars
I have so many feelings about this book that I’m not even sure where to start. In order to keep me from just rambling on for ages, I’m going to break this down into specific points.
- I am a huge fan of the steampunk genre but often find myself disappointed in the books that I find under this label. This book defied all of my low expectations of previous steampunk literature and blew my mind. It was completely and totally immersive into this strange and bizarre culture without feeling fake or overdone. I’ve also learned some nifty new steampunk variations of cursing.
- I cherish books that have such excellent world building that I finish the book feeling as if I’ve gone on an adventure to a magical place. This story did this for me over and over again. I completely lost myself in this book numerous times. I fell in love with the world of Loom and the strange universe that it’s all held in and can’t wait to go back.
- Alternating character viewpoints can be an excellent benefit to a story or a disorienting mess if not done well. This book could have easily become a mess of confusing story lines but somehow it held a perfect balance between these shifts for me. I loved getting a peek into the story from different vantage points each character held. This was especially true of the chapters from Leona who gave me a look into Nova that added a depth and richness to the story progression.
- Ari is an amazing and strong female character who I grew to appreciate more and more as the story goes on. Strangely, I like her more because of her flaws than her many mastered skills. I’m still intrigued by her past and hope to learn more about her in the continuing series.
- Florence is a character who was easy to fall in love with. She seems to be the predictable side kick but ends up being so much more. I found her intelligence and loyalty endearing. I’m looking forward to seeing how she evolves through the series.
- Cvareh is a character I never know exactly how to feel about while slowly falling in love with. He’s brave, smart, driven, and completely confusing in his actions.
- Leona is the perfect villain for this story. She is just as smart and driven as any of the other characters. I was repeatedly shocked by her choices and behavior. Then, that scene, the one I can’t mention because spoilers. Perfection.
- Most of the time with stories like this I get annoyed by romance because it often seems to detract from what’s really going on. This story held that romance in check perfectly. The possible encroaching love story was balanced in a way that kept the story progressing and supported what was going on rather than taking away from it.
Overall, I do believe this is going to be one of my favorite books of 2017. I’m very eager to read the next book which is due to be released later this year. I’m dreading the book hangover but it’s well worth it for a gem like this. If you like either steampunk or fantasy, this is a book to check out for sure.
A very big thank you to Price World Publishing and Keymaster Press for providing me with an ARC of this book through Netgalley in exchange for my honest review.