Clockwork Alchemist

The Thief's Apprentice, Book 1
Narrated by: Shiromi Arserio
Length: 6 hrs and 42 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (19 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

London, 1890. The city is ruled by the nobility and the Watch, or so it seems. When an underground organization pursues the alchemical formula to create a soul, bodies begin to pile up, and important figures begin to go missing. Masked men turn the gears of fate, pushing London into a new era where artificial life is only the beginning.

Arhyen is the self-declared finest thief in London. The mission was simple. Steal a journal from Fairfax Breckinridge, one of the greatest alchemists of the time. He hadn't expected to find Fairfax himself, with a dagger in his back, nor had he expected his automaton daughter, Liliana.

Suddenly entrenched in a mystery too great for him to fully comprehend, he must rely on the help of a wayward detective, and an automaton who claims she has a soul, to piece together the clues laid before them.

Will Arhyen uncover the true source of Liliana's soul in time, or will London plunge into a dark age of nefarious technology, where only the scientific will survive?

©2016 Sara C. Roethle (P)2018 Sara C. Roethle

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    3 out of 5 stars
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    3 out of 5 stars

Okay, but a little slow and careful

I liked the premise and the promise of a steampunk storyline, but the writing was less than I had hoped with a slow storyline that didn't really ever pick up. The steampunk elements revolved almost exclusively around the android theme, with a couple of references to "steam" as gates opened remotely. There was a lot of room for development in the heroine that wasn't really utilized, with respect to her emotional growth and experiences. The hero is fairly stock and not particularly interesting. The sidekick was the best character, actually, because he wasn't bound down by romantic expectations or fears. Could've used some more definite romance, too, for that matter. Everything was a little unnecessarily tame.

The narration was somewhat lifeless and flat. She did a passable job reading the story but didn't bring anything extra to it. Narration is supposed to be a performance, not a recitation. Not sure if I'll listen to the rest of the series.