Monday, May 19, 2014

Review::The Chronos Clock by Wendy L. Callahan

The Chronos Clock (Aetheric Artifacts, #1)The Chronos Clock by Wendy L. Callahan

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

The Chronos Clock by Wendy L. Callahan

Being still quite new to the steam-punk genre I find myself constantly moving that pointer around for the definition and this installment has been of little help. It would seem that possibly having gear driven mechanical devices such as clocks is somewhat of a help. It also must be in a Victorian setting with Victorian dress and society. It doesn't hurt to have dirigibles but they might not be necessary. It's preferable that steam power mechanicals are highlighted but again maybe not so necessary, although this exclusion would be the most puzzling. That much aside The Chronos Clock is quite entertaining and I'll allow the nod to Steam-punk with just the thought that a bit more steam might help me with the definition.

In this series we have two magic groups one called the Celestial and one called the Aetheral; the latter being also know as Infernal and Daemonic. Demetra the main character is an Aetheral, part human part Aetheral, and she has a somewhat handy talent to attract energy imbued devices; devices empowered with some Aetheric or Celestial energy. This is what she is doing at the beginning with an Aetheric device, Celestial devices are a bit more difficult for her to handle. She not only can detect them but she can usually cause them to come to her unless they are somehow bound where they are.

The story opens with her locating one of her treasures and being confronted by a Celestial who would like to take the item. He attempts a deadly attack and she quickly dispatches him with her razor sharp fan, made for her by her life long friend Simon Warom. The nasty Celestial turns to ash or some such flakiness that leaves little if any trace.

We then become acquainted with Demetra's Stepmother, Rowena, her stepsister, Verity and her father Nigel Ashdown and lastly her ex-fiance Francis Winterton. Francis brings trouble in the form of blackmailers who have made it clear he must persuade his ex to use her ability to find the Chronos Clock. Thus begins the adventure of the mysterious kidnapper searching for a legend and bringing the ex's together to reluctantly work with each other. And this begins the plot of the brokenhearted Demetra who finds herself unable to open her heart to anyone for fear of having it broken again and the question of whether this quest will bring closure or make things worse. The quest of the Chronos Clock acts as a device to introduce the reader to this struggle.

The story is well written with well defined characters; and a world of magic with neat rules that need to be paid attention to. Rules that often define how Demetra must act and interact with specific people throughout the novel. And I suspect, throughout the series.

I can recommend this to Steam-punk fans who don't insist on a lot of steam in their punk but are more enamored to the dress, the goggles, the leather and the gear driven side of the mechanical equation. Also great SFF for fantasy fans who like a little magic in the mix.

J.L. Dobias

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