Tuesday, November 17, 2015
Aimee Hyndman's Hour of Mischief was a fun, fast-paced romp through an original steampunk setting, and despite a few pesky editing problems, I thoroughly enjoyed it.
In a clockwork world where time itself relies on a pantheon of clockwork gods, 17-year-old Janet pulls heists with her little found-family of thieves. A job gone bad lands them in prison, where the irreverent trickster God of Mischief, Itazura, offers Janet a chance to save her friends by working with him to avert the apocalypse.
Janet was a great MC: tough, funny, haunted, utterly loyal to her team, and completely in over her head. Itazura served as a good foil--charming, witty, alien, and never quite trustworthy. The supporting cast was mostly well-developed, too. As a person with anxiety, I especially liked the character of Sylvia, Janet's teammate and dear friend, who was smart, observant, had a great head for strategy, and suffered anxiety attacks. I wished Sylvia had gotten more focus.
The world-building unfolded naturally, and drew me in until I was completely absorbed. By the end, I dearly wanted to know more about Janet's world, its characters and creatures, and its eventual fate.
There were a few drawbacks: Despite the good storytelling, Hour of Mischief could have used further editing to clear up its occasional grammar, spelling, and punctuation errors. Also, I had expected a stand-alone novel, and was caught by surprise when the storyline was not wrapped up. But despite the rough edges, I liked Janet and her world well enough that I will be picking up the sequel, whenever it arrives.
*I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.