***Note: I was given a free copy in exchange for an honest and unbiased review.***Wanderlust by Adam Millard
It’s not Abigale Egars’ fault she’s good at what she does. So she can slip into places easily, remove a few baubles from their previous owners and slip out again. Surely that’s not that big of a deal. It’s too bad the local constabulary doesn’t agree with her. Unfortunately, she’s gotten too good at what she does and has attracted the attention of The Guild. Blackmailed into retrieving a few objects for them, Abigale places her life on the line when she steps out of her comfortable world and into one that spreads across the continent in a race against time. Along the way, she learns a few things she wished she hadn’t and begins to wonder what will kill her first; The Guild or those who want what she’s been told to retrieve more than anything.
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Wanderlust is a terrific book. Abigale is quite the character. With her flaming red hair topped with a bowler hat and her penchant for wearing a corset while doing her job, you can tell she has her own style that’s quite unique. Her mentor, Octavius, loves her like a daughter while providing her with the training and the fun gadgets she uses in her heists. Those gadgets are what make steampunk such a fun genre to read. I loved the insect automatons that sent back what they were seeing to Abigale through a simple monocle, another part of her distinct appearance that sets her apart from other thieves.
In the beginning, her main nemesis is Detective John Wesley Alcorn. He’s a no-nonsense, everyone needs to abide by the law no matter what, kind of man. With his own sad history lurking in the background, he sets his sights on Abigale and chases her down with a relentlessness that becomes an obsession.
Steampunk is still a new genre for me, so I’m not sure what’s considered ‘off limits’ or if anything goes. What doesn’t seem to ever change is the love of intricate gadgets, crazy guns that defy what we create today, and the love of transportation by anything steam powered. Main sources of transportation still remain the hansom cab, trains, and elegant dirigibles that fly all over the world. I love those things and they seem a mainstay in the steampunk genre. You can just imagine what it would be like to fly in those amazing vehicles. I know I have my own idea of what they’d be like and I can tell you, it’s not like flying in an airplane. What did ‘get me’ was the introduction of magic to the storyline. Mind you, it was a very important part of the entire book. Without it, there wouldn’t be a book. Who knows? Maybe it’s just my mind being all snobbish and a purist when it comes to genres, which is silly. In the amazing world of fiction, there are no boundaries. That’s what makes books such wonderful things.
For this review, I was given an ARC copy of the book. Some small mistakes can filter through into these copies before they hit the printed version. With that in mind, I took the typos I saw with a grain of salt. It’s possible many of them won’t see the final version. Even if they do, I don’t believe many of them would pull the reader out of the story. Maybe a slight “oops” running through the reader’s mind as they keep zipping along through the action-packed storyline. Throughout this 100+ page book, you barely get downtime to breath as Abigale faces one problem after another. It’s definitely one of the book’s highlights.
When I reached the end, I was a little stunned. It was not what I was expecting at all. Then again, I constantly seem to run into that in books I enjoy. I will admit I did not like the ending. There was still a lot more in the story that could have been explored, but that could just be me. There are readers out there who might say, “Yup. I could see that happening.” For me, it came out of left field and left me scratching my head. However, the rest of the book is definitely something that will stick with me for a long time, but in a good way. 😉