The Silver Skull

Elemental Steampunk Chronicle Series #2
Narrated by: Henrietta Meire
Length: 11 hrs and 17 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (112 ratings)

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Publisher's Summary

Lady Olivia is not all she seems. Trained for marriage to an assigned political target, her skills lie in programming household steambots to serve tea, dress her hair...and sound the alarm while she picks locks and listens at doors. Humiliated by a failed assignment, she decides to redeem herself by tailing a suspected double agent.

Lord Rathsburn must flirt with treason. Struggles to cure a horrible disease have met with unexpected complications. The cells he engineered can make a man's bones unbreakable, but the side effects are fatal. He believed the research terminated...until his sister was kidnapped by a German count. Her ransom? A cure.

Piloting a stolen dirigible, he uncovers an unlikely stowaway, Lady Olivia. Arriving together at a crumbling castle, an impossible task is set before them: cure the count's guardsmen. Amidst their fake marriage, a very real growing attraction, dying guardsmen, and escalating hostilities, Lady Olivia and Lord Rathsburn are thrust deep into the world of international medical espionage from which there may be no return.

©2017 Karen Pinco (P)2017 Tantor

What listeners say about The Silver Skull

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  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    4 out of 5 stars

passion, steampunk, and espionage

The epic sage of the Duke of Averbury daugthers’ continues in The Sliver Skull. Olivia, the young socialite daughter of Duke of Averbury is looking for a husband. After the escapades of her sisters in The Golden Spider, Olivia is no longer engaged to Lord Carlton Snyder.

This Olivia is very determined to work in service to the Queen. She is an experienced programmer and wants to use her skills as an agent. After rebuffing all the suitors presented by her parents, she travels to Italy with her mother to find a husband. She has one small task do complete in the service of the Queen.

As an overachiever, her small task turns into an adventure; propelling from dirigible, impersonating a medical assistant, pretending to be married, and falling in love with a traitor. The attraction and then love for Lord Ian Stanton plunges her head long in a world of espionage.

There is the excitement of clockwork gadgets, the impropriety of male and female interactions, jealousy, family obligations and devotion, and the passion of love. Unlike the first book, The Golden Spider, much of the clockwork gadgets relate to enhancing the physical attributes of human bones. You will find it to be a tad more medical than the first book.

Do not let that dissuade you because the passion is still hot, there is a fierce independent woman who makes a man’s blood run hot and a suspenseful situation that has the couple fighting for their life.

Enjoy this entertaining story. I hope there are others. Duke Averbury does have another daughter and a son left. Anne Renwick could continue the story of the characters in books 1 and 2.

1 person found this helpful

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Lady Olivia had us all fooled...

A complete surprise. Wasn't sure if I would like this one or not. Turns out Lady Olivia, the sister who played the air headed debutante is anything but. Espionage, insane scientists, air ships and the ever intriguing Mr. Black. Ignoring the mispronunciation of a few words for the time period: laud-a-num is not pronounced law-don-um, narrator Henrietta Meire does an excellent job with the different voices and accents.

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    4 out of 5 stars

This book is great, but the narrator really isn’t.

Setting: London & Germany 1885 Genre: Steampunk romance Lady Olivia Ravensdale, the youngest daughter of the Duke of Avesbury, is a trained societal liaison in Her Majesty’s service. This involves foreign languages, lock picking, and programming skills. The aim is for her to marry a man suspected of treason, collect information, and report to the Queen. Everything was set for her to marry a target, but it all fell apart at the end of The Golden Spider (the first book in the series). Olivia’s desire is to become a field agent, but she cannot do so until she is a widow (you know, when this first came up, I thought maybe she was an assassin. After all, her ex-fiancé was not an old man. Alas, I was wrong). Any hoo, her mother decides to take her to Italy until the scandal that precipitated her broken engagement passes. Also, there is an old Italian Count who is of interest to the Crown, and it has been decided that he is Olivia’s new target. On the dirigible flight to Italy, Olivia is tasked with planting listening devices in the luggage of Lord Ian Stanton, Earl of Rathsburn. He is a former Queen’s agent, now suspected of stealing a medical device he designed to give to the Germans (with whom England is at war). He is in fact taking the device and formula for creating unbreakable bones, because his sister is being held hostage. When she goes into his room to do this, she doesn’t find his bags in either the lounge or bedroom of his quarters. But she does find them in the escape dirigible. After placing a device in the lining of each case, she hears him coming and conceals herself in a closet. And so she ends up crossing Into Germany with him. Even though they are keeping secrets, they have to work together to get out of the situation alive. Meanwhile, there is not only attraction, but love growing between them. But is it strong enough to stand up to the revelations to come? This story is great. The plot is interesting and aside from a couple of minor holes it kept me entertained. The characters are well developed and generally believable in the context of the story. The character I liked best is Wei (not sure of the spelling because... audio), the 10 year old niece of the German baron’s Chinese henchman. The dialogue seems to be productive, and there’s hardly any stupid-as-plot-device. You know what kept this from being a solid 4 stars for the overall score? The narration. I gave Ms. Miere the benefit of the doubt for her performance in the first book. But this is actually worse. How can that be? She’s been a professional narrator years. She should know how to create characters. She should know how to pronounce words. There is one more book in The Elemental Steampunk Chronicle Series, and I know she narrates it. I’m getting all twisted up on whether I want to use a credit and have to deal with this horrible performer, or just skip it. I’m leaning toward skipping.

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enjoyed the suspense and creatures

I enjoyed the new creatures of this steampunk world. the story was fun, adventurous, filled with danger. great suspense and of course romance

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    4 out of 5 stars
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Love the story. Narrator is lacking

Just like the first book I really enjoyed this one too. Yes I love the story. Unusual and thrilling. However, the narrator is not good at the men’s voices. They’re distracting and harsh. The story almost makes up for it, but it’s almost too hard to listen. Almost.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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Love this steampunk series!

This is the second book in the Elemental Web Chronicles. This series is a trilogy with a variety of short stories available as well. I love this book just as much as the first in the series. These are such great steampunk reads! I listened to this on audiobook, just like I did with the first book in the series.. The audiobook is well done. I do feel like the men sound a bit robotic (same issue with the last book) but the narration and women’s voices are very well done. This book follows Olivia (who is introduced in the first book). Olivia is not at all who she was originally portrayed to be. She aspires to be a spy for the Queen but in order to gain her independence she must wed and become a widow first. Olivia wants to jump start her career as a spy and, when the opportunity presents itself, she stows away on Lord Rathsburn’s dirigible. Not only do Olivia and Rathsburn end up in a number of dangerous situations, but they end up drawn to each other as well. I love how well these stories balance steampunk elements with adventure, action and romance. I also love that the story again has a very scientific bent to it. Olivia specializes in programming and Lord Rathsburn in genetic engineering. The writing flows nicely and the story is incredibly engaging and sucks me right in. This is one of those audiobooks that I will take a longer route home from work so I can listen to it longer... The romance is also intensely engaging, there is such great chemistry between the lead characters! Overall I loved this book just as much as the first one. This series is made for me, it blends together so many things I love. I love that the adventure, action, science, steampunk elements, and romance are perfectly balanced. I would recommend to those who enjoy a great steampunk adventure with romance. I look forward to reading the third book in the series, “The Iron Fin”.

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  • 11-14-18

Good story

exciting and sentual Want Olivia to "grow" a bit more wld love to see her next adventure

1 person found this helpful