Title: The Machine (Blood and Destiny #1)
Author: E.C Jarvis
Publication Date: Jan 22, 2016

I received a review copy from the author. This does not affect my opinion in any way.

Goodreads Summary:

Larissa Markus’ life is turned upside down when a romantic date ends in an explosion and a burning building. Her lover – the Professor – is kidnapped, and she is left for dead.
Though she escapes she faces the blame for the destruction, leaving her no choice but to try and save the Professor and clear her name. However, the naive sales clerk is ill-prepared for such an adventure.
During the voyage by airship she learns how to fight from an uninvited passenger, becomes captured by pirates, uncovers a far reaching plot involving high-ranking men, and faces off against magical illusions.
Meanwhile, the Professor suffers unusual torture at the hands of his captor, the insidious Doctor Orother, who desires the design for the Professor’s unique machine.

It’s been a while since I’ve read a steampunk adventure and this book made me realise how much I enjoy this genre!

The main character Larissa is a shop-girl who is loosely ‘involved’ with a Professor who has create a machine that is revolutionary to the point where an evil doctor has taken an unhealthy interest in it and the Professor. Larissa also unknowingly has the key to operating said machine and when the Professor’s lab is destroyed and the Professor himself is kidnapped, she goes on a mission to save him with dire consequences.

I loved this book! It was packed with likeable and interesting characters, hair-raising moments and close calls, action intrigue, mystery and trauma. I loved the steampunk elements such as the dirigibles, clockwork machines and Victorian clothing which adds to the authentic nature of the this genre.

The romance bits were also to my liking, not fluffy but realistic and raw. I did have a couple eye-rolling moments but they were minor irritations. The author does a really great job of keeping the plot interesting and fast-paced with just enough details and world-building without it being ponderous.

Overall, The Machine was a really great addition to the steampunk genre with a strong female main character with enough tension and action to satisfy this reader. I’m happy I have the other books to continue on this adventure and I hope to pick them up soon.

About The Author

EC Jarvis

E.C. Jarvis is a British author working mainly in speculative and fantasy fiction genres.

Since 2015, she has independently published five books spanning two different genres and series. The Machine, The Pirate, and The War in The Blood and Destiny series – a steampunk adventure. Desire and Duty, and Lust and Lies in The Consort’s Chronicles series – an erotic fantasy.

If you like action packed, fast-paced page turners, then try one of her books. There’s never a dull moment in those pages.

She was born in Surrey, England in 1982. She now resides in Hampshire, England with her daughter and husband.

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