Welcome to my tour stop for the Aether Psychics Series by Cecilia Dominic! The tour runs December 14-18 with reviews of both Eros Element and Light Fantastique. This is a New Adult Steampunk with a sweet romance. Check out the tour page for more information and the full schedule.
Series Name: Aether Psychics
Genre: PAW: Steampunk, H: 19th Century
Theme: Steampunk, Beta Hero, Suspense Elements, International, Psychics
Publication Date: August 25th 2015
If love is the ivy, secrets are the poison.
Aether Psychics, Book 1
After enduring heartbreak at the hands of a dishonest woman, Edward Bailey lives according to scientific principles of structure and predictability. Just the thought of stepping outside his strict routine raises his anxiety.
Adding to his discomfort is Iris McTavish, who appears at his school’s faculty meeting in place of her world-famous archeologist father. Worse, the two of them are to pose as Grand Tourists while they search for an element that will help harness the power of aether.
Iris jumps at the opportunity to prove her worth as a scholar—and avoid an unwanted marriage proposal—while hiding the truth of her father’s whereabouts. If her secret gets out, the house of McTavish will fall into ruin.
Quite unexpectedly, Edward and Iris discover a growing attraction as their journey takes them to Paris and Rome, where betrayal, blackmail and outright theft threaten to destroy what could be a revolutionary discovery—and break their hearts.
Iris McTavish is a woman in a pickle: she’s intelligent and independent in an era where neither is considered a desirable trait in a woman. She’s also in the embarrassing and stressful position of being nearly destitute after receiving the news that her famous father, archaeologist Professor McTavish, has died abroad and hence no more income will arrive to keep the household running.
So what should a girl do? Well, as no one else knows of the professor’s demise, and there is a well paid job awaiting his return, Iris makes the bold move of accepting the position, masquerading as his assistant. This also allows her to flee abroad to escape the unwanted advances of the odious Lord Jeremy Scott, who is intent of marrying her as a means of getting at her father’s as-yet unpublished work.
And then there is Edward. Professor of Aetherics, Edward Bailey is a martyr to his routines. Nothing upsets his stomach more than a meal at the wrong time, or thought of anything that might drag him away from his precise daily schedule of experimentation. Naturally, when he receives the summons to take part in this insane foreign adventure, he abhors the very notion. Unfortunately for him, the only way he can keep his University department afloat is to join the expedition.
This first novel in the Aether Psychics series is a rollicking good read, with twists and turns, blackmail and espionage, murder and romance, with a set of fully developed characters with surprises up almost everyone’s sleeves. There is advanced steam and clockwork technology, psychic abilities, and the mysterious element of Aether, which has the potential to become a source of clean energy – if only they can isolate and stabilise it.
Ms Dominic employs perfect language choices throughout, both in terms of sentence construction and vocabulary, to evoke the Victorianesque setting of this exceptional steampunk tale. My only small hiccup with the novel was in the viewpoint shifts which, although fairly clear from the writing, would have benefitted from some sort of physical separation within the text – a blank line or an asterisk would be sufficient.
The ending seemed a little rushed, but the results were eminently satisfying, and I very much look forward to seeing how the remaining mysteries pan out in the second book.
Digital ISBN13: 978-1-61923-329-4
Print ISBN13: 978-1-61923-218-1
Categories: PAW: Steampunk, H: 19th Century
Publication Date: December 15th 2015
At the Théâtre Bohème, danger decides who takes the final curtain call.
Aether Psychics, Book 2
Hailed as the most talented actress of her generation, Marie St. Jean has something more to her ability than mere talent. She loses a bit of her soul to each role. When the ghostly spirit of the theatre promises her an easy fix, she’s tempted by the chance to finally live a normal life.
Unfortunately, the man she’s drawn to is the last one to settle for normal. But with the Prussians surrounding Paris, there’s no escaping that temptation, either.
Violinist Johann Bledsoe thought he’d left his disgrace in England, but a murder outside the Théâtre Bohème makes him wonder if he’s been exposed. Another reason not to stick around once the siege ends, even if Marie fascinates him.
More murders, steam-powered ravens, and past and present secrets bring them closer to discovering just what lurks within the theatre, and who threatens from without. The only way to save themselves is to reveal their darkest shames—and use the Eros Element in a way that has already driven one man to the brink of madness.