(Website, Twitter, Goodreads)Published by Pelican Ventures Book Group on January 19th 2018
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction
Charlotte Blackburn—a beautiful, intelligent, and gifted tinkerer—lives in a cloistered world of wealth and privilege beneath the Electric Tesla Dome that shields survivors of The Great Calamity. But when her father is abducted, and a strange sickness starts transforming men into vicious monsters, she discovers that technology is no protection at all.
Ashton Wells has a dire mission: Secure Colonel Blackburn and deliver his research to The Order of the Sword and Scroll. But the plan goes awry, and he is left with nothing but the colonel’s daughter who has a target on her back and is willing stop at nothing to rescue her father—including handing over to the enemy the only means to stop the monstrous plague.
Branded as traitors, Ashton and Charlotte brave the treacherous floating sky ports of Outer City to hunt down the elusive inventor, Nikola Tesla—the only person able to activate the strange device that harbors the secret to their salvation. With the government closing in, a rebellion brewing in the streets, and terrifying Tremblers attacking the innocent, the two must work together to stop their fragile world from crumbling once more into destruction.
I happened across The Tremblers by Raquel Byrnes as I was scanning through NetGalley and was drawn in by the cover. When I read the summary, I immediately requested it and it turns out, it was an interesting story and I can’t wait to find out what happens next in this series.
Charlotte Blackburn is the main character and she has grown up in a world of privilege where she has been shielded from the dangers that were a result of The Great Calamity. When she is forced on the run with a man she doesn’t know to try and find her father, she has to figure out what is more important, saving her father or getting the information behind what is changing people into monsters, into the hands of those who can do something about it. Charlotte was a well-developed character and I liked her from the moment she was introduced.
Ashton Wells is the man Charlotte escapes with and he has a mission, but it isn’t supposed to include a beautiful young woman. As an agent of The Order of the Sword and Scroll, he is supposed to find Colonel Blackburn and get his research to The Order. As he and Charlotte do their best to avoid those that are after them, they face many dangers and must work together to survive.
I liked both Charlotte and Ashton. Charlotte has been raised by a man who allowed her to be more than just a pretty face in a time when that wasn’t really the norm. Because of that, Charlotte has some knowledge around creating mechanical tools which comes in handy when she’s on the run and trying to survive. Ashton has some strong beliefs but eventually he is pushed to face the truth about them and the feelings he has developed for Charlotte. As they work together to figure out what exactly is causing the sickness and how their actions are impacting the rebellion that is brewing, things unexpectedly take a turn for these two.
Byrnes did a great job building out the world these characters inhabit. Steampunk is one of those genres that I don’t see a lot of, but I love it when it is done well, and I thought Byrne had a great balance of the mechanics embedded into the actual story. It wasn’t distracting or unbelievable and that aspect helped keep the story moving forward.
There are a few things going on in this book and while Charlotte and Ashton are the main characters, we also get chapters from the perspective of the “bad guy” which gives the reader a peek into what is going on that is causing the danger as well as what Charlotte’s father found out. I thought this added an aspect to the story that we would have missed had we only gotten the story from Charlotte and Ashton. Sometimes I struggle with stories that have varying perspectives because I don’t want to stop reading about what is going on with the main characters, but these inserted chapters didn’t take away from the story at all for me.
Overall, I really enjoyed this book and I absolutely will pick up the next book in the series when I can get my hands on it. If you are looking for a story that has a lot of action, a great story, and well-developed characters, consider checking out The Tremblers. I thought this was a solid book one of this series and will look for more from Byrnes.
Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the copy in exchange for an honest review.