Author: Andrea Berthot
Title: "The heartless city"
Book 1 in series The gold and gaslight chronicles
Main characters: Elliot Morrissey and Iris Faye
I received a free copy of this fantastic book from the publisher in exchange for an honest review :) although to be honest, originally I was interested in the ARC of the second book :) but then the lovely Clare over at the Curiosity Quills Press asked me if I would like to review the first one as well :) I was not aware that it's even a possibility, so you can imagine that my answer was a loud "HELL YEAH" ;) well, virtually loud, since it was expressed in an e-mail :) and don't worry, this book doesn't end in a cliffhanger or anything, the story is resolved, so you can read it as a standalone if you want... but I do need to warn you that you meet the heroine of that second book here and... well... I will get to her in a moment :)
Before I will tell you more about the characters, let me give you a brief introduction about the world... :) the action takes place at the very beginning of the twentieth century... and it involves a very interesting twist on the whole Jekyll / Hyde story that you may know... ;) I don't really want to get into too many details here, because first of all, I don't want to spoil you stuff and second of all, and more important one ;) it's explained really amazingly in the book :) but basically what you need to know is that a certain doctor came up with a drug that changes people into... well... let me just say killers and let you discover all the details for yourselves ;) and unfortunately after some time that drug got out of control... to save the rest of the country, London is sealed off and quarantined... but 13 years later the situation isn't really better... sounds super interesting, right? I thought so too ;) so now that we have this little explanation out of the way, let me tell you more about the characters :)
Elliot is the only son of the mayor's physician... and after an experiment gone wrong, he is a newly made empath, feeling emotions of everyone around him... struggling to adjust to his new reality... then he meets Iris, a waitress... but believe me... she is soooo much more... ;) but don't worry, I will let you discover for yourselves just how amazing she truly is :) and yes, there are lots of other things I could tell you about them, but I really believe it's better if you go into the book without too much details :) besides them, I need to tell you a bit more about three other people :) first, there's Cam, the only son of the mayor :) charming and talkative, but again, there's much more to him than meets the eye :) that is an on-going theme in this book :) complex characters who will surprise you along the way :) then there's Andrew, another one of Elliot's friends... such a sweet guy... I adored him for reasons I absolutely cannot put in this review because of huge spoilers :) and my favourite scene-stealer, Philomena :) she was this absolutely hilarious, larger than life character that was jumping out of the pages every time I read about her :) so I am just thrilled to know she's the main heroine of that second book in this sereies :) after getting to know her a bit more here, I am that much more curious about reading it :)
I loved the relationships in this book... and I am not only talking about the romantic ones, but friendships as well... :) not to mention that all of them weren't the main focus of the story :) throughout the book we discover more and more about the situation in the city and the truth about certain events... I know I'm being vague, but I truly can't tell you more without spoilers ;) what you need to kow is that the writing style is absolutely phenomenal :) I was hooked from the very first chapter :) it's so vivid and entertaining :) and for a debut novel that's even more impressing ;) the only flaw I can think of, is that it was too short ;) as in, I would love to read even more about this wonderful characters :) so if you are looking for a story that will keep you glued to the pages with surprising twists and turns, diverse characters and an amazing writing style, don't wait and pick this gem up :)