Publisher: Astraea Press
Genre: Steam Punk Romance
Heat Rating: 1
As a Touch-Know, Genevieve has never been required to steal more than a few paltry coins. But when a powerful stranger requires their help, her family of street-wise thieves sends her to get the most important thing they've ever decided to liberate. It was supposed to be a simple overnight job. Instead, Genevieve is required to appear attached to her mark, the curator of the British Museum. For Genevieve it becomes more than an act, and her problems are far more significant than the possibility of her lies being discovered.
When her family betrays her, she must make an important choice – turn to the man who has destroyed everything she holds dear, or strike out on her own.
Into the Ether is a steampunk novel written in the first person. The main character, Genevive ‘Gennie’ is a teenage street thief, not a particularly good one, but it is her other gift that interests the leader of the gang she works for. Her ability to detect things about an object based on touch. Objects literally speak to her, and the older an object is, the more sentient. Justin, the leader of her gang, is commissioned by some dubious and dangerous men, with obtaining an object in a jewellery box at the British Museum. She has no idea what the object is or what it looks like, but is told that she will know it, when she sees it. Her intention is firstly to find the object and then to plan how to steal it. Getting into the museum is easy, but when the jewellery box tells her to ask the curator about the object she’s seeking, she has to adjust her plans. The curator, Colonel Worthington is an older man, who clearly is more than he seems. He gives Gennie a job, but both he and one of the museum assistants, Thomason, an automaton, know more about Gennie, than Gennie does herself. Colonel Worthington, the curater used to work for the British Government, and has been entrusted with the box, which everyone is trying to get hold of. . Either Gennie is incredibly transparent or he has a good nose for sniffing out lies, and is aware that she too, is after the box.
In the following days, Colonel Worthington becomes a friend to Gennie and she comes to trust him and rely on him. She also becomes more guilt ridden and conflicted about stealing the object. Several of the children from her street gang have disappeared and the police seem to be press-ganging them into slavery.. Her friend Terry, warns her, that she needs to stay ‘low’ and that the shadowy men are getting impatient with how long it is taking her to complete her job. Then Terry is first beaten and then abducted as a threat. She realises that she is being watched closely enough for ‘them’ to realise that she no longer wants to steal the object.
With Terry’s safety hanging over her head, Gennie has to make the bad guys realise that she is far more than a tool; she is also a force to be reckoned with.
In many ways the experience is a coming of age for Gennie, she loses her rose colored glasses, and starts to see people she formally trusted, as they really are. I found the novel to be both gripping and suspenseful.
5 Tea Cups!