Corroded by Karina Cooper (No.3 of the St Croix Chronicles)
Just finished reading Corroded by Karina Cooper – and, what just happened! Okay, first things first – this review may contain spoilers so I advise not to read if you’re at the start of the series. I’m being serious – do not continue…
At the end of the last book Cherry has lost, quite literally, everything – now, didn’t I tell you not to read on if you didn’t want spoilers!! She now lives in London below – and for those of you who are still reading without the benefit of knowledge from the first two books (which, btw why?) – London below is now covered in smog – only the poorest people live there and consequently London Below is rife with crime and debauchery. London above – is where the upper classes live – raised on some high fanangled hydraulics it sits above the smog and filth. Home to the upper echelons – who lets face it – are not adverse to the idea of paying the odd visit to their inferiors. Quite literally the lower classes are really the lower classes. A world of technology filled with steampunk gadgets and gondolas and other forms of flying transport that convey people from one deck to the next.
At the start of the story Cherry is in a world of hurt, regret and guilt. Her husband, murdered on the night of their marriage, all her goods possessed by his family, her home is now the menagerie where Mr Hawke stalks. She lives there under duress – both from herself and the Veil. Cherry is a collector – which is basically similar to a bounty hunter – however her game is massively off at the start of the book. She’s also something of an opium addict (which helps to quell the nightmares that she experiences from her early childhood experiences) and her addiction has unfortunately, fuelled by anger and remorse, become worse.
I won’t deny that the start of this book is quite difficult. Cherry has sunk low and to a certain extent is on borrowed time in terms of the menagerie. You could be forgiven for wondering why she calls herself a collector at this point as her abilities to capture seem to have become almost redundant in her chase for the bliss of opium. Yes, it’s a difficult read – made even more so by the fact that not just the Ripper but a far more lethal killer stalks London’s streets and not only does he seem to follow, nay, stalk Cherry, but he seems to believe that they are both involved in some sort of duel.
It’s a very dangerous game that Cherry is now involved with – everyone she knows is in danger just by befriending her and she has to harden her heart against those who she loves.
So, okay, yes, there’s quite a bit of grim going on here but you have to hang on in there. Things turn around and to a certain extent Cherry makes amends.
Now, – what the hell just happened with Hawke – I can’t say more which I realise is a big teaser. Hawke is basically the man candy of this novel – and I’m just going to chuck it out there and say that things get a bit steamy – and, then, they get totally wtf!
OMG – the sweettooth! Didn’t see that coming at all. And, what the holy hell with the rest of the ending!!!
Well, let’s just say. Yes, this feels like a totally indulgent read but, it’s a VERY good indulgent read and Ms Cooper has a knack of making you want, nay have, to pick up the next book. Next step – one click!
To recap, steampunk, Victorian London, High class society, slums, serial killers, magic and, well, ahem, other things!
What I love about this is the fact that it feels like a great book to read in between your epic chunksters – and I mean that in the most positive way possible.