This second installment in the series wasn’t quite as impactive when it came to the thrill stuff, but it was more powerful when it came to the character development. It is definitely a transition book in the serial as it gives strong indication of where the relationship between Mason and Frost is headed as well as what direction the action will take to defeat Panderus and the Martians.
The first book was by way of introduction and a powerful opening scene. This one is quieter as Frost and Mason act as double agents headed back to locate their master, eliminate him and foil his plans all the while they adjust to their fragile budding relationship and Mason has to fight both the evil voice of the master in his head and learn to adjust to his new life. Mason’s adjustments aren’t over and become much more complicated when Frost’s betrothed enters the picture yet again. Duty calls for the gentleman and his valet and that must take first place above all.
I didn’t note this when I reviewed the first book, but I wanted to mention it here that the romance in these starts subtle with glances, verbal innuendoes, glances and touches. It advances some in this book to heated touching, but still not to full-blown verbal confessions or acts of passion. I find this pace of build-up in the relationship and sexual tension quite enjoyable.
I also failed to really describe the steampunkiness (new word) as more than a mention when I reviewed the first piece. Gadgets, inventions, etc are definitely a big part of the story from the intriguing self-heating kettle and bathroom plumbing that Frost invented to the weaponry and transportation modes that are utilized.
The alien aspect is prevalent as there is description of the Martian hierarchy, their equipment, their world-domination plots and their utilization and domination of humans to house their persons and act as their agents on earth.
These are shorter installments that give a quick, exciting read and leave you salivating for the next portion of the story. They feed upon each other so they most definitely need to be read in order. M/M Sci-Fi and Steampunk Romance lovers both would enjoy this series, but as I said the romance takes a back seat at the moment.
My thanks to Net Galley and Carina Press for providing the copy of the book for review purposes.