Hour of Mischief by Aimee Hyndman
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Release date: Sept. 7th 2015
Genres: Fantasy, Steampunk
*Thanks to the publisher for the review copy given in exchange for an honest review*
I don't usually read steampunk. I don't know why, but it's just not my thing. While Hour of Mischief was mainly fantasy, it did have touches of steampunk, which I strangely enjoyed. I have to admit that the badass cover and the blurb hinting at a strong heroine is what really drew me into the book.
Born in a whorehouse in the slums of Fortuna and burdened with a prosthetic arm, seventeen-year-old JANET REDSTONE doesn’t think she owes the Clockwork Gods anything—which is why she makes a living stealing from their temples. But when she lands her team in prison, making a pact with the God of Mischief, ITAZURA, is the only way to right her wrongs and free her friends.Janet doesn’t trust Itazura as far as she can punch him, but with her soul in his hands, she has no choice but to do what he says. The clockwork gods and the bad-tempered elder gods of the ancient past are locked in a game of cat and mouse and the human realms are caught in the middle. If Janet can’t somehow convince the gods to step in a save the world, humanity is in an abyss of trouble.
Using her unconventional wits, an impressive tolerance to alcohol, and a strong right hook, Janet has to convince the gods that humanity is worth saving. Unfortunately, it’s a lot more difficult to stop an apocalypse when you’re slowly being driven crazy by the Lord of Mischief, especially when he starts growing on you.
The main characters. Janet and Itazura (the god of mischief) were PERFECT. I can't say they were extremely complex or as three-dimensional as I would have liked, but their personalities were so entertaining. Janet was every bit as kick-butt as the cover implies (and while we're at it, let's just agree on the fact that that is the most badass cover since Throne of Glass.) But although she's rough and tomboyish, she also has some weaknesses.
Itazura's personality is annoying. Like, holy-moly-go-stuff-your-head-where-the-sun-don't-shine annoying, but I loved that Janet took no nonsense from him. She punched the God of Mischief in the face. Thrice. (Probably the most momentous act of violence against a deity since Rachel Elizabeth Dare threw a blue plastic hair brush at the King of the Titans.)
The setting. The book is set in an alternate steampunk world where the people worship the Clockwork Gods. They have four hands on their clocks. Prosthetic, steel-enforced limbs are common there. I loved the wonderful descriptions of the various places and the attention paid to the details of the world.
The romance. I was totally not expecting the romance, and feel like an idiot for not seeing it's obviousness. Itazura and Janet have SO much of chemistry. I want to smack myself upside the head not realising what a perfect couple they would make. But then, it's kind of a good thing. Janet doesn't swoon at the first sight of Itazura, and the "there's something about him" cliche was NOT used at all. Pretty refreshing for a YA novel, actually.
The action. So. Much. Action. And intrigue and suspense and mystery. It wasn't all just Janet punching the face of everyone she dislikes. There wasn't a LOAD of action like in Red Rising or The Hunger Games, but there was just enough to keep me glued to the pages.
The supporting characters. They could have been more developed. They felt a bit one-dimensional to me, and although I love their personalities, I could have done with a bit more complexity.
The ending. I have nothing against cliffhangers. But I don't think the one in this book is necessary. It felt like the book had been cut in half, and now I have to wait another year or so for the second half. Unnecessary cliffhangers aren't my thing.
Hour of Mischief was a great read with a strong heroine and an intriguing plotline. The characters were well-rounded, even if they were not complex, and the book has a great setting and romance. Steampunk fans might want to try this out.