Sunday, August 21, 2016

Review: "Mission: improper" by Bec McMaster

Author: Bec McMaster
Main characters: Caleb Byrnes and Ingrid Miller

I got my hands on the ARC of this amazing story from the lovely author herself in exchange for an honest review and I couldn't be more happy about it :) can you say amazing? because I certainly will... several times in this review actually... ;) this book... *sighs happily* this book was absolutely fantastic... :) I'm actually having troubles putting all my thoughts and feelings into words to really show you how in love I am with this series... and those characters... and just everything about it :) so how about I will start with a little bit of explanation to all of you who might not know Bec and her amazing books :)

So if you are brand new to this author, then you should now that this book may be a beginning of a series, but it's a beginning of a spin-off series :) so I highly recommend you to read London steampunk before you dive into this one :) do you absolutely have to do it to enjoy this story? that is a very good question... ;) and I will try to answer that as best as I can :) so first, let me tell you a bit about the world itself :) it's a steampunk / paranormal series, set in an alternate version of Victorian London, where society is ruled by blue bloods... they are stronger than humans and need blood to survive :) but do not call them vampires... those are something else entirely... besides the ruling group of aristocrats, because the craving virus that turns a person into a blue blood is given only to chosen ones, there are of course humans, but besides them, we have two more groups I want to mention :) verwulfen, who are close to shape shifters but not exactly... they are also much stronger with heightened senses and quite a few more surprises... ;) and there are also mechs... humans with mechanical limbs or organs, forced to work in enclaves to repay for those pieces of them, and treated worse than slaves... trust me, that is just the shortest version I can give you, because there are much more details and very interesting things to know about all of those groups, but if I would want to tell you all about it not only we would be here all day, but I would also spoil you some very interesting details you get to know further in the books :) what you need to know is that the series starts when blue bloods are the most powerful force in London and everyone else is treated like... well, let's just say the word slaves comes to mind again... and that first series, even though each story concentrates on another couple, follows a bigger story arch that spans all of the books and comes to a big conclusion in that last, fifth, book :) and let's just say that this story arch is about people, and by people I mean everyone else besides blue bloods, who finally have enough... but I can say no more about it ;) there is also a group of characters that appear in all of those books, and I highly recommend you to read them in order, so as to avoid some shocking spoilers ;) so now that I told you a bit about that first series let me try to explain you the connections to this spin-off series :) I would recommend you to read that first series if you are new to this world before reading this book, because even though there are really good explanations about characters... and it's fantastic, because for those of us who read that first series a long time ago, not to mention the amount of books one might have read since then, one might remember very little details... ;) and since some of those characters appeared before, it was good to have a reminder here and there from where we know them ;) it definitely jogged my memory... I swear, throughout the first half of the book my major reaction was "oooohhhh... now I remember him/her..." ;) but when it comes to world building, sentences explaining it work rather as reminders of things you already should know, than as explanations for a first time reader... I'm not saying that you wouldn't understand it, but it would definitely take you some time, and you might miss some very cool connections and other details because of your lack of knowledge about previous books :) so hopefully I convinved you by now to give those first books a try :) at least read "Kiss of steel" and see for yourselves how amazing it is :) it's gonna be soooo worth your time :) then I'm sure you'll dive into the rest of those books immediately ;)

Ok, now I am going to share some of the details about this newest book, so if you haven't read the first series yet, please avert your eyes and leave immediately because there is no way that I can discuss the book, withouth spoiling some major things from the original stories :) last warning, SPOILERS ahead :) ok, so for all of you who stayed, this book starts three years after the events in the last book :) prince consort is dead, and humans, mech and verwulfen rights have been established to protect them much more than it was before :) but of course not everyone is pleased with this new order of the world... dun dun duuuunnn... sorry, but I felt that this moment needed a dramatic music interruption ;) ok, going back to the topic :) this book does an amazing job of not only showing us the romance between our main couple... more about them in a second ;) but also starting a whole new story arch that blew me away :) seriously people, after loving that first series, I was a bit hesitant going into this book, because I wasn't sure if the idea would be good... if I will be invested in this story and those characters as much as I was with those first books... but my oh my... was I worried for nothing :) because you guys... it was bloody brilliant ;) pun totally intended ;) this new story... all the mysteries... both new and familiar characters... GAH!!! it was amazing :) I cannot wait to know more about... well, about everything ;) because there are glimpses and teasers about quite a few interesting things in this first story... and even though sometimes it's just a scene or two, it's done in such a masterful way that I immediately wanted to know more... ;)

So now let me tell you something about our main couple ;) both Byrnes and Ingrid were secondary characters in that first series, so I knew them a bit before :) but it was such a pleasure to get to know more about them : ) Byrnes is a blue blood... trust me, there is a bigger story and explanation there, but it's too complicated to get into with just a sentence or two here, so I will leave you all that to discover in the book ;) but he is a sort of unique detective :) again, it's the simplest way I can explain him, so let's just go with it :) he's charming and talkative but it's also a way for him to avoid deeper feelings and getting too attached to people... there is of course a reason for that behaviour, but I won't spoil it for you here ;) Ingrid on the other hand is a verwulfen :) she's much more impulsive, although she tries her best to control her temper :) she will do everything to fight for the freedom she was finally granted those three years ago... :) they actually met before the events of this book... there was a bet involved, about a year earlier, that ended in a very... let's just say Ingrid won and left Byrnes in a very... peculiar position ;) that is all the details I can share with you right now ;) so after that year she thinks he's still looking for a way to get his revenge and it's partially true... the other part is that she was haunting his thoughts and got under his skin and he simply could not forget about her... so now that they are working together in a team, more about that in a second :) he finally has the opportunity to act on it ;) and what can I say... *fans herself* ;) the witty banter between them, not to mention the off-the-charts attraction was very entertaining to read :) I loved to see how both of them were slowly coming to terms that there is more than just heat between them... there were a few scenes that were so cute to read... ;) not to mention that the beautiful epilogue totally made me cry... don't worry, in a good way :)

Besides the main couple there are of course quite a few important secondary characters :) and this is my clever way of telling you more about that special team I mentioned before :) because not only Byrnes and Ingrid were invited to join a group that will be handling some very mysterious cases that has been happening around the city in the last few months... in that team there are also Charlie, Ava, Kincaid and Gemma :) they are lead by duke of Malloryn and Isabella, but I will concentrate on the members of the team instead of the leadership ;) Charlie and Ava are actually another blue bloods we met before :) both of them have quite a past of their own, and I couldn't be more happy to see them here, because I'm assuming that they will have a much bigger role in this series :) and I already can't wait :) Gemma is also a blue blood, and a new character... or at least I think she's new, becaue I have no recollection about her from previous books... the same goes for Kincaid, who is a mech... I don't remember him at all, so even if they appeared in a scene or two before, for me they were new :) all of them have a history... and after seeing some glimpses into their pasts, not to mention some fascinating teasers about possible future stories with each and every one of them... all I can say is that I cannot wait for future installments in this series :) if I could, I would read all of them at the same time, because I am curious about each and every one member of that team :) and those little teasers only made it worse :) but I can say that at the end of this book you get a blurb of the second story in this series, and... *sighs happily* I can't wait to read about THAT couple :) I won't spoil you who will be the hero and heroine of that story, but I have a feeling it's going to be a great one :) not to mention that some of our favourite couples from previous books make an appearance here and there, and those scenes will definitely mean more if you read previous books... so that's just another reason to do it :)

People... this book was absolutely amazing :) I hope I convinced you to try it out, or start at the beginning if you are brand new to this author, because if you don't know the awesomeness that is Bec McMaster and her writing style, you are seriously missing out :) I am truly amazed... AMAZED I tell ya ;) how brilliantly she went with this spin-off series :) it's based in the same world we know, and involves a lot of characters we already fell in love with... but at the same time it introduces a bunch of brand new ones that capture your attention from the start and make you want more immediately :) it shines a light on secondary characters from that previous series and proves that they have so much potential :) the writing style is... just... I have no words for how great it is... :) the ability to mix together not only the beautiful romance between Ingrid and Byrnes, but also adding a whole set of teasers and informations for this second big story arch... without making you feel overwhelmed by all those details... making you curious about characters you read about in only two scenes... it's an incredible talent :) I was blown away :) maybe because it's been months since I read one of her books, I just forgot how fantastic she is... so trust me people and do yourselves a favour... give it a try and discover everything I wrote you about and much more in another fantastic book by a phenomenal author :) or if you are new, then go back and start with the story that started it all :) happy reading either way :)



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