Book: Tainted

Tainted by Morgan Busse
Reviewed by Lori Twichell
Genre: Steampunk
Publisher: Enclave
Date: April 15, 2016

Kat Bloodmayne is an unusual young woman. With intelligence far above the average person, let alone female, she is one of the first women to be accepted into the study program at the Tower. Many speculate that this may be because her father is the famous Dr. Bloodmayne, who is one of the men in charge of the Tower’s science program. His name is well known throughout the region. However, Kat feels differently. She barely knows her father. Her acceptance may well have been only because of her name, she remains determined to prove herself more than just capable. She wants to exceed all expectations. She already does, but not in academics. You see Kat is able to manipulate and twist the natural laws of science. But she isn’t completely able to control it. This makes Kat Bloodmayne a very dangerous person.

Stephen Grey is a rising young star himself. A shining member of the police force, he’s well known for his attention to detail and it’s an accepted fact that he will come up through the ranks quickly. In fact, he’s expected to take over control of an entire region. But there’s something odd going on in his area and everyone who ranks above him are encouraging him to stop investigating. Stephen isn’t inclined to listen. And even though he is an exceptional investigator, he also blindly misses the signs that all is not right with the woman he loves. When he finally discovers what’s happening with her, it’s devastating to him and sends him on a path no one could have seen coming.

Eventually, Stephen and Kat’s worlds come together in an explosive way that tumbles both of them headlong into danger, intrigue, and not inconsequently, the world of experimental science.

Morgan Busse is a favorite author of mine. Her Follower of Light series was a great fantasy that was well written, tightly plotted, and it was the series that made me a Busse fan. So when she wrote and asked if I was interested in covering her new steampunk release, I jumped at the chance. Though I don’t read lots of steampunk, I do love the genre and was very excited to hear Morgan would be venturing into this world.  Thankfully, she didn’t disappoint!

Tainted was an engaging, surprising adventure with a fast paced plot, likeable characters, and intriguing twists. Though I was able to see some things coming, others surprised me and the various mysteries woven through the plot kept me engaged until the very last moment. I’d like to say that this was one of those books that left me longing for more, but really, it left me freaking out a little bit because I knew I’d have to wait for the next release.

Tainted is an excellent beginning to what promises to be an exciting and hopefully satisfying new series. If you have never read steampunk before, this is a fabulous place to start.

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