Monday, May 14, 2018

Ink, Iron and Glass by Gwendolyn Clare

Goodreads Synopsis:

Can she write a world gone wrong?

A certain pen, a certain book, and a certain person can craft entirely new worlds through a branch of science called scriptology. Elsa comes from one such world that was written into creation, where her mother―a noted scriptologist―constantly alters and expands their reality.

But when her home is attacked and her mother kidnapped, Elsa is forced to cross into the real world and use her own scriptology gifts to find her. In an alternative Victorian Italy, Elsa finds a secret society of young scientists with a gift for mechanics, alchemy, or scriptology―and meets Leo, a gorgeous mechanist with a smart mouth and tragic past. She recruits the help of these fellow geniuses just as an assassin arrives on their doorstep.

In this thrilling debut, worlds collide as Elsa unveils a deep political conspiracy seeking to unlock the most dangerous weapon ever created―and only she can stop it.

My Thoughts:

This story starts out a little slow and may confuse some readers, so I suggest paying attention to what you’re reading. Don’t do what I do, and skip over any details to get to the quotes. I don’t know why I do that, because the details is what really draws you into the story but sometimes I just get bored and need to skip ahead, so I don’t put the book down at all.

The setting was quite unique and I really enjoyed that. I also enjoyed that scriptology was included in this story. Alchemy has been done and mechanics have been done more times than I can count, but scriptology was something new and I was intrigued. However, the scriptology aspect could have been explore a bit more, to draw readers into more of the magic. 

The relationships between the characters were spot on. Not too complex and not too many characters to follow. I thought the romantic interest could have developed a little sooner but all in all, the romantic scenes definitely satisfied me. 

One thing I will be hopeful for in book 2: I want to see more of Faraz. I feel like he has a lot going on in the background and I want to see him put his alchemy to work! As well as a romantic interest for him. He seems to be the most diverse character and I would like to hear more about his culture, wishes and desires. 

In closing, I was really reminded of The Mortal Instruments while reading the series. You have your main character Elsa who has multiple gifts and a master of all of them and is a lot like Clary from TMI. You have Leo, whom is arrogant and secretive like Jace. Porzia is just like Izzy, with all of that sass. Faraz seems to be the sole unique character here. There are even small children in the house; Porzia’s siblings just like Izzy’s, leaving plenty of expansion for future books. The traveling through portals was very similar as well. I’m not complaining about this, just stating my senses. I adored TMI and love the similarities that are in Ink, Ivory and Glass as well. I think Clare tweaked her story more than enough to make hers unique and strong in many other ways. I can’t wait for book 2!

Gwendolyn Clare's debut novel -- INK, IRON, AND GLASS -- is the first in a steampunk duology about a young mad scientist with the ability to write new worlds into existence, out now from Imprint. Her short stories have appeared in ClarkesworldAsimov's, and Beneath Ceaseless Skies, among others, and her poetry has been nominated for the Rhysling Award. She holds a BA in Ecology, a BS in Geophysics, a PhD in Mycology, and swears she's done collecting acronyms. She lives in North Carolina with too many cats, too many ducks, and never enough books.

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