Review of Dreams of Mariposa by L.T. Getty, a steampunk horror
Every decade, Marie must leave her home and everything she loves to start anew. She can’t risk the locals learning the truth of her immortality, much less her vampiric need to feed off fear. Fortunately for Marie, fear comes easily, and she spends her endless days mourning the loss of her beloved.
When she is summoned to the leaders of the masquerade, she is persuaded to assist them in uncovering a mystery of powers possibly more ancient than their own order.
As a rare daywalker of exquisite beauty, there is no society she cannot infiltrate. Having spent the last few centuries growing into her power, she expects to learn of the old powers then return to her lonely eternity of mourning.
She doesn’t expect to fall in love, and everything changes.
“Where is this fool taking us?” one of Raoul’s men asked.
I realized then that they hadn’t been paying attention.
“Driver!” He reached his arm outside the open window to rap and get his attention, but I could smell the hiss of venom and knew it was intentional.
The horses ran quicker, and I could hear more coming up. They sought to isolate us and do their deed in the woods. Interesting choice, as there was no need to restrain ourselves without potential witnesses.
One of Raoul’s guards kicked open the door. He glided out. His gift included some manipulation of his form, and like a shadow he leapt onto the path, while his fellow went to climb up on the stagecoach.
Raoul glanced at me. “You’ll be safest in here.”
“Do not leave your men, guardian mine.”
His gaze darted from mine as I recognized the smell of flesh turning to ash, and light pierced the chest of the fellow on the roof of the coach. He exploded into dust before he could scream. The stench of sulphur was undeniable, even without our honed senses. The other fellow met a similar end a moment later.
Unfazed by the strange tool on a chain, Raoul unsheathed a rapier from his cane and struck the driver in the leg. The man was young. He met a knife at the rapier for the second strike, but the riders coming up were too late. Raoul knocked aside the gun and slashed the driver’s face before he pierced his heart. I bounced along uncomfortably as the driver was pushed forward and went under the back left wheel.
The horses squealed and ran faster. Raoul reached for the reins, but a rider came up from beside the carriage, then put her pistol in through the open window at me. I grabbed the weapon with such force I nearly knocked her off her horse and into the carriage’s paneling.
~Buy Dreams of Mariposa:
This is very far afield from what I usually read, and I have complicated emotions about describing my experience in a single word. It was fascinating, and I found the story to be built and written very well. But I’m not quite sure I “enjoyed” it, which I feel is extremely subjective. I’ll explain.
Marie is…difficult, and that may be putting it mildly. Her character just rubs me the wrong way, but it very much seems like that was intentional. She isn’t a nice or good person. In fact, she’s kind of terrible. Again, feels intentional, and while the character was consistent, I struggled to feel empathy for her because of the things she did.
There’s a lot of dark subject matter in here. If you aren’t a fan of the mention of torture or of people being essentially used, this isn’t the book for you. This said, if this sounds like the kind of stuff you like—darkness, morally gray characters—you’ll probably devour this. It’s extremely well written. It just isn’t my thing. But I have to give the author credit where credit is due.
About L.T. Getty
L.T. Getty is a science fiction and fantasy writer who hails from the Canadian Prairies. When she’s not writing, you can likely find her driving an ambulance and dreaming about travel.
Find her online:
L.T. Getty will be awarding a $50 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
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