I've read and really enjoyed everything that Andrea has written that is set in the Nightshade world. I've never read any steampunk, so this qualified for my "New to You" challenge.
Steampunk is very different from any other books I have read. Everything is somehow altered and embellished with metal and there are "tinkerers" who are constantly working on their latest inventions.
The story takes place shortly after England won the Revolutionary war and the rebels were sentenced to 20 years of servitude. Even the children are expected to repay this debt to the British Empire, so many have gone into hiding until they are eighteen and can join their parents in battle. Charlotte and her brother Ash have been hiding in the Catacombs with several other children who's parents are part of the resistance.
While Charlotte is out scavenging one day, she finds a boy running from one of the Empire's gathering machines. She takes him back to the Catacombs, but there is something odd about him. He is very cold, pale white, and he can't remember anything about his past. He doesn't know his name, where he came from, or even why he was running when Charlotte found him.
Ash and Meg are the eldest in the Catacombs and have taken on the leadership roles. They decide their best course of action is to take the boy, who they refer to as Grave, to see Meg's mother in the city. Hopefully they will be able to find out the truth about the boy, so they can determine if he is a threat to the Catacombs.
I don't want to give away too much of the story, but the characters spend a considerable amount of time in the Floating City as we uncover the truth about several characters and the state of the war. There is some relationship drama, which aids in keeping the pages turning. I really hope the characters can sort out their feelings in the next book, so we can get past some of the awkward and tense encounters that plagued this novel.
This book did not leave me with the same...I can't wait to get my hands on the next installment...feeling I had at the end of each Nightshade book, but it was an entertaining story. I am invested enough in the characters and the story to read the second book, The Conjurer's Riddle, which is expected to be released in November of 2015. I don't think I will seek out additional steampunk books in the future, but I will continue with this series for now.