Today I’m bringing you my review of Cindy Spencer Pape’s steampunk novel Moonlight and Mechanicals, part of her Gaslight Chronicles series. I’m actually not sure which book in the series it is since the Amazon page doesn’t say and the story contains numerous references to the characters’ previous adventures, so I’m just going to treat this as a stand alone story.
The protagonist is Winifred “Wink” Hadrian, the twenty-four year old adopted daughter of the Hadrian family. The Hadrians, a motley crew of orphans and stepchildren, are part of the Order of the Knights of the Round, descendants of King Arthur’s legendary group. The Order fights threats to England, whether those threats are supernatural or technological. Wink makes numerous mentions of having fought vampires in the past but only one shows up in the story and is quickly dispatched.
Getting back on track — Wink has always been in love with Liam McCullough, Scotland Yard inspector and reluctant werewolf. Because of his bestial nature and the abuse he suffered at the hands of his father (and far worse beast), he is firmly convinced he would make a horrible husband and father, and so does his best to see Wink married off to eliminate the temptation to bed her. Meanwhile, the heroes investigate a series of bizarre and seemingly random disappearances and whether or not they have anything to do with a group of angry young men supposedly seeking revolution in England.
Moonlight and Mechanicals is a good story featuring compelling and likable characters and excellent formatting and editing. While most of the book deals with Wink and Liam trying to come to terms with their feelings for one another, when they finally do the story really picks up steam (pun intended). A word of warning, however: This one’s not for kids. It contains the most detailed sex scenes I’ve ever read, so parents be warned. If, however, you’re not bashful about this sort of thing, this book is well worth a read.