Welcome to my stop on the Raven Chronicles of Steele Blog Tour hosted by Xpresso Book Tours! Click here to follow along with the full tour schedule.
Series: Chronicles of Steele #1
Author: Pauline Creeden
Publication date: October 28th 2014
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy, Steampunk
Source: Copy for review
Purchase: Amazon | B&N
This is the complete Steampunk Fantasy novel - all four parts of the serial in one volume! Also includes bonus features not found in the episodes.
Human life has value.
The poor living in the gutter are as valuable as the rich living in a manor.
The scoundrel is no less valuable than the saint.
Because of this, every life a reaper takes must be redeemed.
Raven has lived by this first tenet since she was trained by her father to become a reaper. But since his death, she's been spending years redeeming the lives she's taken. By her count, she's even and it's time for that life to end. If she settles down and becomes a wife, she might just feel human again. But on the way to the life she thinks she wants, the baron of New Haven asks her to complete a task which she cannot ignore... Just when Raven decides to give up on her life as an assassin, she's pulled right back in.
I'm a fan of serial storytelling where parts of the story come in episodes spread out over time. The Chronicles of Steele #1 contains four episodes, and I'll be reviewing all of them here.
I really enjoyed reading the episodes and even better, I read them back-to-back. It would have been difficult to wait for each one, but I wouldn't have minded. My anticipation would have just built up, and all of this together means the wait would be worth it. After finishing The Chronicles of Steele, I know this is definitely true.
I love Raven. She's a reaper who wants to settle down and become a wife but an incident early on ends up sending her on yet another mission. Once she's on this mission, that's all she focuses on though she had been on her way to give up being a reaper and live a "normal" human life.
Reapers aren't magic, but they are highly trained to anticipate outcomes ahead of time and to fight and to be mentally prepared. They are so well trained they seem like they use magic. Raven was taught to save a life for every life she has to take, which keeps a reaper balanced and reminds him (with the exception of Raven, most reapers are male) all lives have meaning.
The plot is captivating and laid out well, and the steampunk elements are seamlessly blended in giving the world Creeden has built vibrant life. Captain Jack caught my eye early on. I remember thinking I hoped to meet up with him again sooner rather than later. Though he's the enemy, it isn't quite that cut and dry as you'll find out.
Jack and Raven are playing a game of cat-and-mouse. She's always one step ahead of him, and I couldn't help but be amused every time he realized that. He sees her strength and recognizes her vulnerability. There's more to him than just what you see on the outside.
I think The Chronicles of Steele might just be my absolute favorite book by Pauline Creeden now - it's that fantastic!
In simple language, Pauline Creeden creates worlds that are both familiar and strange, often pulling the veil between dimensions. She becomes the main character in each of her stories, and because she has ADD, she will get bored if she pretends to be one person for too long. Pauline is a horse trainer from Virginia, but writing is her therapy.
Armored Hearts, her joint effort with author Melissa Turner Lee, has been awarded the Crowned Heart for Excellence by InDtale Magazine. It is also the 2013 Book Junkie's Choice Winner in Historical Fiction. Her debut novel, Sanctuary, won 1st Place Christian YA Title 2013 Dante Rosetti Award and 2014 Reader's Choice Gold Award for Best YA Horror Novel.
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