Previous Installment: The Dark Unwinding
NOTE: Summary contains spoilers for the first book in this series.
The thrilling sequel to Sharon Cameron’s blockbuster gothic steampunk romance, THE DARK UNWINDING, will captivate readers anew with mystery and intrigue aplenty.
When Katharine Tulman wakes in the middle of the night and accidentally foils a kidnapping attempt on her uncle, she realizes Stranwyne Keep is no longer safe for Uncle Tully and his genius inventions. She flees to Paris, where she hopes to remain undetected and also find the mysterious and handsome Lane, who is suspected to be dead.
But the search for Lane is not easy, and Katharine soon finds herself embroiled in a labyrinth of political intrigue. And with unexpected enemies and allies at every turn, Katharine will have to figure out whom she can trust–if anyone–to protect her uncle from danger once and for all.
Filled with deadly twists, whispering romance, and heart-stopping suspense, this sequel to THE DARK UNWINDING whisks readers off on another thrilling adventure.
A Dark Unwinding was a surprise favorite for me, since it seemed vaguely steampunk-ish prior to me reading it, and I’m not the hugest fan of steampunk. However, I found myself enamored with Katharine and the other characters populating Stranwyne Keep, and eagerly awaited the second book in the duology. And then time went by and I never got it read. However, I used July to play catch up with some series, and decided to finally bring this one to its conclusion. And while I’m glad I read A Spark Unseen – because I did enjoy it – I didn’t like it as much as the first, and also didn’t like the sort of vague, ambiguous ending. Nonetheless, the things I liked about the first book continued into the second, and I’d definitely recommend you checking both of these books out.
There were two things I adored about A Spark Unseen. The first was Katharine, who again proved just how resourceful and strong and determined she could be. I loved that she was focused first and foremost on keeping her Uncle Tully safe, but didn’t let his needs and safety distract her from trying to locate Lane. I loved how she did things she didn’t want to do (like befriending Mrs. Hardcastle and her nosy neighbors), and wasn’t afraid to do things she wasn’t technically “supposed” to do. She really showed how strong and smart and amazing she could be in this installment, and was the cause of much of my joy while reading. The second thing was Katharine’s maid, Mary, who is just delightful. She provided great comedic relief – even when she didn’t mean to – and, just like Katharine, proved how loyal and trustworthy she could be. I’m glad we got to see so much of her and that her station didn’t detract from her importance.
I also want to give credit to the author for creating an atmosphere of suspense right from the first page of the book. Even when things appeared to be working out for Katharine, the tenseness of the writing kept me engaged and on the edge of my seat, knowing that something was going to happen to upset things. Admittedly Katharine does make some mistakes – which seemed realistic to me, considering what she’d been thrust into – but those mistakes helped to keep the plot moving and provided the background for more of the twists and turns to come about in the narrative. All in all this book had a nice sense of mystery and intrigue, and I loved that danger literally lurked everywhere.
A Spark Unseen was a nice sequel to The Dark Unwinding, and while I personally didn’t love it quite as much as the first book, there’s still plenty to like. Katharine is amazing, Mary is charming, and I loved the silly and somewhat goofy antics of some of the supporting cast. While I would have liked for things to be a bit more nicely wrapped up, I do appreciate that perhaps the author was leaving herself a bit of room to potentially revisit this world and these characters. I, for one, would definitely be onboard for that!
An ARC was provided by the publisher in exchange for an honest review.