When I first heard about this book I was SO excited to read it. I was even more excited when I saw that Harper was the publisher (or at least a Harper imprint) so I asked my contact for a copy right away. Unfortunately something went wrong and by the time I asked again they were all out, but I managed to win a contest on Bethany's blog so I got an early copy that way. I seem to be in a little bit of a reading lull but it's not the books, it's me. This one has a plague in it, and I love plagues. Bethany crafts this great tale of horror and steampunk with her eerie writing. In my mind the whole world was well thought out, and it had one of those settings where I couldn't tell if it was years and years ago or if it was some time in the future, and to me that's a good thing. This book does have a love triangle, but it's not one of those that is totally obvious at the end of book one, which is another thing that I really enjoyed about it. It's based on Poe's story of the same title, and although I've never read any of his works I still find him interesting. The one thing that irks me about books like this is that the disease or parasite or such kills 100% of those infected (except for maybe that one person who's the hero, and then they're chased to the ends of the earth to be used to find a cure that will probably kill them) but again Bethany did it right. There are those few people that don't die from what I think seems like a variation of The Black Plague (which I love), and even better, those who survive always have to live with the symptoms. The world is lavish and terrifying at the same time, and with the introduction of the virus (this one reminding me of Ebola [HOW COOL IS THAT!?]) and all of the heart pounding action and those few snips of romance I was really pleased. The end of the book leaves a cliffhanger that, although there, is not as bad as some, still left me wanting the next book. If you like steampunk or Gothic horror (and a plague or two) then I suggest you pick this book up and give it a shot. Bravo Bethany on your debut novel and keep up the good work.
5/5 dust spirits