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Genre: Paranormal, steampunk, romance
Setting: London 1880s
This is the 5th in the Darkest London series, and my favorite. In the 4th book Holly Evernight, an Elemental with an affinity for metals, was kidnapped by a demon and forced to make a clockwork heart to keep him alive. Because gold had failed in his previous testing, she made the heart of platinum. Then the demon decided Holly needed to test it on a living subject, so he captured Will Thorn, a vampire and an important secondary character in the series. Will was totally aware of what was going on, and feeling every bit of pain, up to the point when his living heart was removed for Holly to replace. Even though she was under threat, Will hated her and her emotional detachment from what she was doing to him.
In Evernight, it is almost a year after her rescue, and Holly still hasn't gone back to work. In fact, she hasn't left her home. One night there is a break-in and Holly finds Will, almost totally turned to platinum, trying to kill her. He is in horrible pain as the metal takes over his body, and crazed as it invades his brain. He hates her. I know I mentioned that, but really, he hates her. She is cold and aloof, seemingly detached from the messiness of emotion. At her touch, Holly is able to relieve Will's pain and reverse the change, but only temporarily. In exchange for his not killing her, Holly agrees to research ways to reverse the change permanently. Over the course of the book, the relationship between Will and Holly develops from antipathy and fear, to desire and love. Will manages to get Holly to leave the house as they try to find out who is trying to kill her. They grow as individuals as well as in a partnership.The author did such a good job of making Holly and Will multidimensional, with strengths and weaknesses. The plot was well-rounded, though a bit scattershot at times with a fair number of secondary characters. There was a continuation of a secondary plot that began in, I think, the first or second book. At any rate, the author manages to make all the action move the plot forward and come together. There is a bit of a cliff-hanger, but it isn't the type that will worry away at you until #6 comes out (which I hope is soon anyway).
The narration by Moira Quirk is great. While the timbre of male and female voices didn't vary much, her use of accents and pacing to differentiate characters was excellent. Holly is from Ireland, and the accent was true - an appropriately upper class Irish accent. Will is described as being from the north of England, and Ms Quirk gives him a wonderful Yorkshire accent. One of the secondary characters is from the American South and the accent is perfect for him. This narrator is just wonderful. You could listen to the entire series back to back without finding a difference in character voices from one book to the next.
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