3 out of 5 stars.
I would like to thank Curiosity Quills Press for providing me with an ARC of this book in exchange for an open and honest review.
Let me start by saying this is the second book in the ‘Gold and Gaslight Chronicles’ and that I thoroughly enjoyed the first book in this series – ‘The Heartless City’. Which means I was really looking forward to this book… and so do feel a little let down by it.
Oh, don’t hate my review yet! Please hear me out! I really enjoyed this book; it had some good moments and really worked well as the sort of adventure that would happen in that era – even if in a parallel urban fantasy world. There was just something missing in this second book that had me loving the first so much, and I can’t put my finger on what it was.
So, what am I saying? I’m saying it was an okay story. I enjoyed it, it was well written and all in all… okay. But as I simply loved the first book and felt it amazingly GOOD… this one is just pale in comparison. So, it’s still a good read… but it’s just not a GOOD read. Yeah, like that SO makes sense!
I also found it a little ‘Famous Five’ near the end – not giving any spoilers away here – and it just added to the lack lustre feel I got. However, if I had read this book as a stand-alone and not in comparison to the first, I am sure I would be raving about how good it was at picking the right feel for a mystery and adventure in that era. As a lover of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s supernatural tales, I feel this tale fits very well into that seem feel, mystery and touch of the unknown he captured so well in his stories. So well done to Ms Berthot for that! She matched her writing style to that era and genre very well.
Please realise it’s a good book but, for me, a bit of a letdown compared to the first and I honestly cannot see how or why! It is obviously down to me being far too harsh and critical so totally take the blame. Nothing to do with Ms Berthot or her skills at all!
Would I recommend this book to others?
Yes I would, but only as a follow on to ‘The Heartless City’. And I wouldn’t pass my judgement on before people had read them both either. As I honestly do feel the fault in not fully loving this book lies with me.
Would I buy this book for myself?
I would, but simply because I loved the first one so much and like to collect series and keep them together. If I had read it as a stand-alone, it may not have gotten past “library book” standing though.
In summary: Although could be read as a stand-alone, ‘The Hypnotic City’ really should be read as a follow on from ‘The Heartless City’. It was enjoyable and written well to suit the era and genre it was set in… but I just didn’t gel with it as much as I did the first. But what would I know? If you enjoyed book one, you will enjoy this one too – so check it out today!
Until next time,