Book Review: Unquiet Dead (Chiaroscuro Chronicles #1) by Chris Pavesic
About the Book
Chris Pavesic, author of The Revelation Chronicles, invites you to experience the first novel in the intriguing realm of Chiaroscuro. In a world of steam-powered technology and magic-wielding fae, mystery, intrigue, romance, and adventure fill a series sure to delight fantasy fans everywhere.
When the Temples north of Chiaroscuro are burned and followers of the Sun Goddess are murdered, Catherine, a bard of the Ealdoth Temple, sets out to find those responsible and to bring them to justice. With only the help of a traveling group of minstrels and a retired fae investigator, Catherine must solve the mystery before more people are killed.
So saddle up your clockwork mount, buckle on your electro-dagger, and join Catherine as she finds herself pitted against members of her own Temple, rogues members of the Seelie Court, and a seemingly unstoppable army of undead.
Unquiet Dead unfolds into a complex story of intrigue and political maneuvering. The world-building is rich and highly original, though still reliably steampunk with a city where the affluent live in airships high above Chiaroscuro's industrial smog, and mechanical creatures roam about. There's also a fair bit of magic intertwined with the industrial setting, and I always enjoy seeing the contrasting forces pitted together in the same world. The way the magical fae have learned to contend with the effects of industry is an interesting concept and makes a lot of sense.
The secret behind the evil plot at the heart of this book was a twist I wasn't expecting. It was a little gruesome, but in a very effective way. I really hope there is more coming from this world because I feel like this book gave us an introduction to the main characters, but that there's still a lot of room for growth and expansion. I look forward to seeing more of the smart and brave heroine, Catherine. I am interested to see what influences (such as Devyn, a "retired" investigator from the fae court) will guide her as she continues to expose the corruption at the heart of this story. And, being a romantic at heart, I have hopes of seeing the relationship between Catherine and Benedict grow. Their chemistry is a lovely sub-thread in the story, a little bit of softness and brightness in an otherwise dark tale.
About the Author
Chris Pavesic lives in the Midwestern United States and loves Kona coffee, fairy tales, and all types of speculative fiction. Between writing projects, Chris can most often be found reading, gaming, gardening, working on an endless list of DIY household projects, or hanging out with friends. She occasionally blogs at http://www.chrispavesic.com