Book Review: Cold Stone & Ivy
A steampunk sort of mystery, Cold Stone & Ivy is a Jack the Ripper thriller, which sounded great to me before cracking open the book.
Unfortunately, it was one of those books that I struggled with.
Ivy Savage is an engaged mystery writer, who, as the daughter of a cop, gets her inspiration from real life. Unfortunately, she also receives a real life heart in the post from a killer. Jack, to be exact. Sent north by her doctor fiancé and cop father to her fiancé’s family estate, Ivy meets her fiancé’s brother, better known to the world as the “Mad Lord of Lasingstoke.” From there, she’s pulled deeper into a world of mystery and danger, where she must save more than herself, but also those with burdens of their own.
What follows is an ill attempt at weaving in elements of a steampunk world into the real-life mystery of Jack the Ripper, as well as throwing in a ghostly element and the additional characters of Ivy Savage’s stories, and a complicated cast involving a queen with an iron heart and a prince with a mechanical arm. (What?!)
For me there were far too many plot threads, and while most of them came together in the end, the middle was a slog for me to get through. I immensely disliked the steampunk elements (not true of other steampunks I’ve read), which bogged down the story for me and felt distracting to the entire plot. There were too many areas of intrigue and not enough time spent on each of them to legitimately bring them together in the end satisfactorily for me.
In the end, I pushed myself through the book simply to finish. The book had promise, but failed for me, although others (based on reviews) feel much differently.
Genre: mystery (steampunk)
Rating: 2/5 (really, 1.5. It was a flop for me)