Review: The Clockwork Dagger

Title: The Clockwork Dagger 
Author: Beth Cato
Publisher: Harper Voyager
Published: September 16, 2014
Paperback, 358 pages
ISBN: 978-0-06-231384-3
Genre: Fiction/Science Fiction/Steampunk
Source: Publisher


Full of magic, mystery, and romance, an enchanting steampunk fantasy debut in the bestselling vein of Trudi Canavan and Gail Carriger.

Orphaned as a child, Octavia Leander was doomed to grow up on the streets until Miss Percival saved her and taught her to become a medician. Gifted with incredible powers, the young healer is about to embark on her first mission, visiting suffering cities in the far reaches of the war-scarred realm. But the airship on which she is traveling is plagued by a series of strange and disturbing occurrences, including murder, and Octavia herself is threatened.

Suddenly, she is caught up in a flurry of intrigue: the dashingly attractive steward may be one of the infamous Clockwork Daggers—the Queen’s spies and assassins—and her cabin-mate harbors disturbing secrets. But the danger is only beginning, for Octavia discovers that the deadly conspiracy aboard the airship may reach the crown itself.

My Thoughts:

Secret, secret. Who's got a secret? Apparently everyone in this novel. Set in an alternative world torn apart by war, The Clockwork Dagger is a story with magic and mystery.

Octavia Leander has the gift of healing. To call it a gift is really an understatement because it's so much more than that. Octavia has left on her first mission to serve as a medican (magic healer) to a town ravaged by illness. However things start to go awry when she boards the airship to take her to her destination. Someone is out to get her. And by 'get' I mean kill. Octavia doesn't really know who to trust, and is she trusting the wrong people.

This book initially interested me because it's of the steampunk genre. I really enjoyed Gail Carriger's books, so I had hoped to enjoy this one as well. While Carringer's books are quite different, the plot in Cato's is interesting and kept me engaged in the story. The world-building was okay, though I think Cato could have built it up even more. 

I liked the characters in this book as well. The Clockwork Dagger is a mystery so many of the characters have hidden motives that get revealed along the way. Octavia's faith in the source of her healing abilities gets tested along the way. 

However something fell short for me. While I didn't love this book as I've loved others of this genre, I didn't dislike either. I will continue to read this series as I am interested in what happens to the characters. I hope the second book, The Clockwork Crown, will surpass this book.

My rating: