Steampunk character interview: Lorel Clayton

Title: Tangle of Thornes
Author: Lorel Clayton
Genre: fantasy/mystery/steampunk

Amazon purchase link:
Author website:
Synopsis: When Eva’s brother is murdered in a city of rude elves and matriarchal dwarves where humans have no rights, she is forced to investigate the crime herself. What she discovers brings her up against a powerful slave-trading cartel, dark gods, and—worst of all—her twin sister. Both her family and the elven authorities want her hushed. She has no money and no magic of her own with which to combat them, but she does have an illegally-freed slave, a senile nanny, and an ex-almost-boyfriend on her side. Even when she nearly loses her job and almost loses her head in a sword fight on the same night, she isn’t deterred. It’s when the nanny goes missing that she really starts to worry. Femme fatale turns hard-boiled investigator in this first Eva Thorne novel. Set in a fantasy world where magic and machines can’t stand against the God of Death, humans are on the run from the god’s invasion. Highcrowne is the only refuge, but that means living in the Outskirts of an ancient city ruled by Avian mages, indifferent dwarves, and elves who’d prefer to see humans as their slaves. It’s worst for Eva’s people, Solhans, because they were the ones who summoned the Dead God into the world. No one wants her kind in Highcrowne and there are plenty who would be happy to see her brother dead. There are too many motives and not enough time to unravel them, because other people are dying … and Eva is fast running out of vacation time.

Character Name: Eva Thorne
Age: 21
Nickname: I wouldn’t try to give me one if I were you
Occupation: femme fatale/turned worst waitress in the world/turned detective
Location: Highcrowne, capital of the Three Kingdoms, ruled by elves, dwarves and Avians, and where humans are either refugees or slaves
Ethnic background: human, actually Solhan, but most people can’t tell the difference, and if they do know I’m Solhan they hate me more, so I don’t brag about it much
Goal in life: to not turn into an evil necromancer and save my soul
Family: Thorne dynasty of Solheim, former leaders of the Council of Nine turned refugees, and the ones who ended the world by summoning the Dead God
Current conflict: the one and only good thing in my life, my big brother, Viktor, has been murdered
Motto: evil is a choice, so is wearing pants

Addictions: men
Best friend: Gypsum, a dwarf I went to school with whose sister got the royal title
Pet Peeve: I hate just about everything except for handsome guys standing around who I haven’t learned to hate yet
What do you do for fun? Reading, people watching and drinking kaffe (this would be the answer for an author interview as well, but swap reading for writing and kaffe for coffee)
Guilty Pleasure: actually sitting for a moment by the fountain and liking my home, my neighbors and the whole wretched world
Most embarrassing moment: getting caught indulging in my guilty pleasure
Taken or single? Any love interests? I don’t believe in being ‘taken’, as I don’t like to feel owned by anybody. Currently, I’m between men. You might call them ‘love’ interests, but what is love really? Lust with conversation?

Favorite Food: cheese wheels
Favorite Hobby: reading mysteries
Favorite childhood memory: playing with Duane and Viktor on the snowy streets of Highcrowne
Dream job: something where I get to hit people when I’m angry but not be a bad person doing it
Pessimist, Optimist, or Realist: Pessimistically, I’d have to say, realistically, I’m an optimist
Most annoying person in your life: Duane. Or maybe Nanny. Uncle Ulric? Ilsa, hands down.
Pets: Not a good idea. Nanny would put them in the stew. It’s a Solhan thing.
Biggest Fear: Becoming like Uncle Ulric, or my sister, Ilsa
Greatest Strength: stubbornness
Greatest Weakness: stubbornness
Who do you most admire? My brother, Viktor
Where do you see yourself in ten years? Alive? Maybe?
How do you feel about secrets? Everyone has them, but some of them you’ve got to unravel else the bad guys win
Advice for the reader as they follow you through your journey? Expect surprises. I surprise myself all the time.

The Drafter: Bare Bones Book Review

Title: The Drafter (The Peri Reed Chronicles Book 1)

Author: Kim Harrison

Genre: Thriller/ Suspense, Sci/Fi

Synopsis: Detroit 2030. Double-crossed by the person she loved and betrayed by the covert government organization that trained her to use her body as a weapon, Peri Reed is a renegade on the run. Don’t forgive and never forget has always been Peri’s creed. But her day job makes it difficult: she is a drafter, possessed of a rare, invaluable skill for altering time, yet destined to forget both the history she changed and the history she rewrote. When Peri discovers her name is on a list of corrupt operatives, she realizes that her own life has been manipulated by the agency. Her memory of the previous three years erased, she joins forces with a mysterious rogue soldier in a deadly race to piece together the truth about her fateful final task. Her motto has always been only to kill those who kill her first. But with nothing but intuition to guide her, will she have to break her own rule to survive?

Why I liked it: I absolutely love the idea. Taking place in a future society, Peri has the ability to draft or rewrite history. The only problem is that it’s not always something that she can control, and she doesn’t remember either timelines. She relies on an anchor to help her fill in the gaps, and sometimes those anchors lie. When it looks like her organization is going to betray her, she realizes that she’s not sure which side she’s supposed to be on. I love the idea of blurred lines of good and evil. The plot is different. Original. Almost all the characters are keeping secrets, and the reader has to decide who they can trust. Kim Harrison loves her plot twists, though, so as the series continues, I’m sure I’m going to love characters that I learned to hate and vice versa.

Why I didn’t like it: I don’t want to say that it’s a bad thing, but the book is really technical right off the bat. I had to really push through the first chapter before I could figure out what was going on. Once I got going though, things really fell into place. It took me a little time to get used to the fact that she doesn’t always remember what happens even though we, as the reader, just saw it happen. Also, there is a LOT of back and forth. She’s with the good guys. She’s with the bad guys. It makes for more suspense, but I would have liked some more quality time between Peri and Silas.

Who will like it: The first wave of people who probably picked it up were the fans of her Rachel Morgan Hollows books. There are similarities. Characters have different abilities, and it’s hard to figure out who is good and who is evil. Like Rachel, Peri is another strong female character who doesn’t let the obstacles in her life slow her down. I’d say that if you’re looking for a sci-fi series to sink your teeth into, this could be it! The futuristic setting is still modern enough to be recognizable, so even non-hardcore science fiction lovers will enjoy it.

General Warning: Like her Rachel Morgan Hollows books, it looks like the main character’s love life is going to fluctuate. If you’re looking for a simple romance, this book is not for you.

What other people are saying: Average review: Four stars (347 reviews).