Written by Kristen Callihan
Read by Moira Quirk
Series: Darkest London #1
Published by Hachette Audio
Publication Date: July 31st 2012
Genres: Paranormal Romance, Steampunk
Length: 11 hrs and 16 mins
Source: Audible, Purchased
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Challenges: 2017 Goodreads Reading Challenge, 2017 Review Challenge
Once the flames are ignited...
Miranda Ellis is a woman tormented. Plagued since birth by a strange and powerful gift, she has spent her entire life struggling to control her exceptional abilities. Yet one innocent but irreversible mistake has left her family's fortune decimated and forced her to wed London's most nefarious nobleman.
They will burn for eternity...
Lord Benjamin Archer is no ordinary man. Doomed to hide his disfigured face behind masks, Archer knows it's selfish to take Miranda as his bride. Yet he can't help being drawn to the flame-haired beauty whose touch sparks a passion he hasn't felt in a lifetime. When Archer is accused of a series of gruesome murders, he gives in to the beastly nature he has fought so hard to hide from the world. But the curse that haunts him cannot be denied. Now, to save his soul, Miranda will enter a world of dark magic and darker intrigue. For only she can see the man hiding behind the mask.
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Hello, awesomeness! I am still amazed at how much I love reading steampunk paranormal romance! This is not the genre that I normally read. In fact, the last steampunk paranormal books that I read was The Infernal Devices series by Cassandra Clare and although I enjoyed them, they didn’t make me WANT to read more books from the genre.
Kristen Callihan’s Darkest London series is another story! The world that she created is immersive and very interesting! Although this book didn’t receive 5 hearts from me, I am still impressed.
Firelight follows our heroine, Miranda who has a powerful gift of fire – like the Human Torch. Enter our hero, the mysterious Lord Benjamin Archer who hides his disfigurement behind a mask – like The Phantom of the Opera.
What struck me most about this book is that it feels like it is inspired by Beauty and the Beast, in that Miranda agrees to marry the disfigured Lord Archer to save her father from debt. Once in Lord Archer’s lair, Miranda is then sucked into a world of darkness and murder, and of course, magic. There is also a certain rose that is mentioned here and a curse that needs to be broken. See the parallels?
Not that I am complaining! I appreciated how Kristen Callihan took this frequently used trope and made it unique. Additionally, the characters were well fleshed out that I could not help but root for them.
My only complaint would be View Spoiler »Archer’s disfigurement. This is because, having watched Game of Thrones, I could not help but compare his affliction to Jorah Mormont’s and I kept wishing that his affliction was like dragon skin and not ice covering half of his body. Now this one, I could not help but get the image of the White Walkers from Game of Thrones out of my head. « Hide Spoiler Again, this is just me.
The ending also felt too rushed for me. I felt that Miranda’s defeat of the villain was too quick. Unlike the fight sequence in One Foot in the Grave where Cat barely survived the fight. This one felt like it was a given that she would defeat the villain and I didn’t feel the satisfaction of the defeat. This book could have been more had this been more thrilling.
Moira Quirk is an amazing narrator. She is able to use different and distinct voices that gave life to the characters, and I also did not have any problems following the story, which is always a MUST! Her pacing and tone were perfect for the overall feel of the book. I will definitely listen to more audiobooks read by her!
I am recommending this book to everyone who loves their steampunk paranormal romance with more steam! Definitely, a must read.
Do you love steampunk paranormal romance? Can you recommend any books?
Have you read this book? What do you think about the “curse”?