Why hire mercenaries to kill an innocent family just to obtain one little key? That question haunts Jacquie Renairre for six years as she hunts down the people responsible for murdering her parents.
Not even accepting an assignment to investigate a conspiracy that aims to start a war can keep her from searching for the key. Armed with her father’s guns and socialite Clay Baneport, she continues her quest for answers abroad.
With the world edging closer to disaster, Jacquie is running out of time to figure out how the war, the key, and ancient legend are intertwined. The fate of the world hinges on her ability to unravel both mysteries before it’s too late.
If there is any genre that I tend to not get along with it is definitely steampunk, so whilst I accepted this book for review I did it very tentatively knowing that there was a massive chance I was NOT going to enjoy it. Thankfully I did actually enjoy this book though I didn't really love it. I think that what set's The Exile's Violin apart from the other steampunk books is that it is both geared towards slightly older readers and also steampunk-fantasy, as opposed to steampunk-historical so it has all of the normal features of steampunk with the airships and the classes but it also has a new world, a fantastic setting which makes this book a joy to read. I loved exploring all of the world with Jacquie and Clay and there was just enough action and intrigue to keep me interested.
This book was the perfect length for me, I feel like I would have felt like things were being missed out on if parts of the book had been taken out but if it had been much longer I would have started to get bored and the adventures would have seemed very repetitive. Plot-wise there were a few holes that I couldn't help noticing, one big question being how Jacquie's family came to have the key and the guns, a theory about getting it from a friend just doesn't cut it for me since the items are of such big importance to the plot.
One of the biggest faults with this book is definitely the main character. I understand that Hunter was trying to write Jacquie as a tough woman, as opposed to a meek society girl and I get that but I also wonder whether she could have shown some vulnerability as opposed to flipping out with violence every time somebody upset her. She was also very irrational, blanking her only friend for days when it wasn't even a big deal. I did really feel sorry for Clay because a lot of the verbal abuse that he got thrown at him was not deserved. That being said, Jacquie and Clay's interactions definitely made the book for me, especially Clay's jealousy over Gunslinger. The romance in this book is barely there, but it was fantastically written and well-developed nonetheless.
Overall, I did enjoy The Exile's Violin much more than I thought I would. It was a thrilling adventure with action and pacing that kept me reading but I was quite let down with Jacquie as a character and a few of the plot-holes that weren't massive but were still noticeable. Would I read a sequel? Definitely, but I'm not sure whether it would be RIGHT at the top of my pile. I'd have to be in the mood to pick it up.
Plus, I'm starting to feel like a big girl venturing into books with protagonists that are older than 18!
Overall Rating: B-
Book released 10th December 2012 by Hydra PublicationsBook received from the author in exchange for an honest review