I can safely say that I have never read from a world quite like this one. I became a fan of Devon Monk with her Allie Beckstrom books, and I had no idea what I was getting into here. This series bears absolutely no resemblance to that one, except that they are both unique, engaging, and generally awesome.
You can tell from the first chapter that this book is filled with the unexpected, from its Frankenstein-like heroine, to her two headed farmhand, to her menagerie of strange and deadly animals. And it doesn’t stop there. The world building is fascinating. Basically, a group of powerful Houses run the world, each in possession of one of the galvanized –an immortal man or woman who stands as both a slave and a hero. Tilly has been hiding that fact that she, too, is galvanized, because it would end her life as she knows it. But as the story begins, that secret is coming out and she can only work to mitigate the damage.
Her brother is missing. Her grandmother is vulnerable. And if she doesn’t agree to sign with what appears to be the least offensive House, any one could claim her as their own. Which could mean torture, experimentation, or who knows what. But in a world where everyone lies, she has no idea who to trust. Add to that, Tilly is in close quarters with Abraham, one of the galvanized who seems to have her best interests at heart. He wakes up something long dormant in her, and for the first time, she feels an attraction to a man.
Abraham is fascinating. He’s lived so long and sacrificed so much. There’s this quiet dignity and strength about him. I really enjoyed his interplay with Tilly… and the effect they had on one another. Tilly is a cool heroine too. She’s not afraid to get her hands dirty. She is willing to do whatever needs to be done. She is loyal, and she is resourceful. And she reminded me a little of Katniss a la The Hunger Games, in that she has lived her life off the grid, but she may be exactly what the world needs to shake up a corrupt power structure.
Meanwhile, there’s a powerful villain doing Very Bad Things that are on a collision course with Tilly and those she loves. It just builds and builds and then… it ends! I want more! I wish I could describe all of this better. But suffice it to say, I really enjoyed this, and I look forward to see what’s coming next. Bring on book 2!
Click to purchase: Amazon
by Devon Monk
Release Date: September 2, 2014