Wolves of the Northern Rift by Jon Messenger (Magic & Machinery #1)

wolves of the northern riftSynopsis: Magic is an abomination. It spread from the Rift, a great chasm hundreds of miles long that nearly split the southern continent in two. The Rift was a portal, a gateway between their world of science and the mythological world of magic.

On the northern continent of Ocker, King Godwin declared that no magical monstrosity would be allowed within their borders. The Royal Inquisitors were formed to investigate reports of mystical occurrences and, should they be found, to destroy them.

Inquisitor Simon Whitlock knows his responsibilities all too well. Along with the apothecary, Luthor Strong, they’ve spent two years inquiring into such reports of magical abominations, though they’ve discovered far more charlatans than true magical creatures. When assigned to investigate Haversham and its reports of werewolves, Simon remains unconvinced that the rumors are true. What he discovers in the frozen little hamlet is that the werewolves are far more real than he believed; yet they’re hardly the most dangerous monster in the city.

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4 stars

This book is free! It’s a steampunk/fantasy book. It’s different than other steampunks because I don’t recall them having magic in them as well. The pace of this book started out slow for me. It was entertaining but it was a little hard to get into. It was very formal and the characters were very proper to me but I think that’s what it was supposed to be. About halfway through the story started to pick up a little more.  The story was well written but for some reason I couldn’t get in to it. It didn’t have enough action and intrigue in it for me. I will say that the dialogue in this book was great.  The manner of speaking was kinda funny at times because it was like insults masked with proper speaking.

Some of the character quirks were amusing as well.  The way that Simon always had his top hat canted to the side was a clear indication of his minor buck to conformity. He was a bit like Sherlock Holmes in his manner and deductions.

Luther, the apothecary, had a deliberate subtleness to his character. He was working hard in the background, allowing others to think he was less knowledgeable.  The author had me fooled in the beginning with Luther.  Kudos to him for that.

The big bad was written well because I had no idea he was going to be so monstrous in the end.  And the way the author described magic was very original.  His grasp of world building and descriptive writing is firm.  There was nice give and take with the action, the ups and downs gave me a real sense of the difficulty of their plot.  All in all, I enjoyed this read.  It’s outside of my normal genre’s and I’m glad I read it.

Favorite quotes:

“Nothing personal, but I’m not overly concerned about her physical well-being at the moment.  I’m far more concerned with your physical well-being.  Bleeding or not, if she comes around while you’re treating her wounds, nothing will stop her from reverting to her previous murderous intent, which, in case I need to remind you, was trying to eat your face.”

“Then it’s settled. We’ll leave tonight, collect Mr. Orrick, send the telegram, steal a flamethrower, create an aerosolized version of your concoction, and free the werewolves.” Simon sighed.  “We have a busy night ahead of us.”

Curly Carla_small

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