Published February 16th 2015
“Seventeen-year-old Clark Treasure assumes the drink he stole off the captain is absinthe…until the chemicals in the liquid give him the ability to awaken the dead. A great invention for creating perfect soldiers, yes, but Clark wants to live as a miner, not a slave to the army—or the deceased. On the run, Clark turns to his estranged tycoon father for help. The Treasures welcome Clark with open arms, so he jumps at the chance to help them protect their ranch against Senator Horan, a man who hates anyone more powerful than he.
And he is not alone. His new-found sister, Amethyst, thinks that’s rather dashing, until Horan kidnaps her, and all she gets is a bullet through her heart. When Clark brings her back to life, she realizes he’s more than just street-smart – and he’s not really a Treasure. Amethyst’s boring summer at home has turned into an adventure on the run, chock full of intrigue, danger, love, and a mysterious boy named Clark.”
Can we just talk about this cover for a second? Because I love it so much. I love how the cover reveals that this book is clearly a steampunk novel. I love the girl on the cover and the colors. It’s just an awesome cover. I’m a little sad that I had this an ebook format because I would love to have on my shelf. Okay, now that that’s out of my system.
The prologue starts with Clark stealing and drinking a vial of some sort from a strange man’s coat. I had a lot of inner dialogue while reading this book and it all started at this moment in the prologue. Who drinks whatever’s in a weird vial that they just stole? Clark had no idea what it was! It could have been poison! It was at that moment, I learned that Clark was stupid. But other than that, the prologue was pretty good. It had me wanting more and even though Clark was an idiot, I wanted to know what happened to him.
Chapter 1 starts two years after the prologue ends. I normally have a hard time with massive jumps in time like this but in this book, it really worked well. Clark’s been in the run from the government because he drank the vial and now he can awaken the dead.
The female protagonist is Amethyst, who happen’s to be Clark’s half-sister. At first I was super excited about this. The idea of a brother and sister teaming up and kicking butt seemed perfect to me. I feel like author’s are always putting unnecessary romance in Young Adult books these days. A brother/sister team would eliminate all the unnecessary romance and stick with just butt kicking action, right? Wrong! That’s right, Jordan Elizabeth Mierek went there. Even though both Clark and Amethyst know right from the moment they meet that they are siblings, Amethyst is encouraging Clark to like her and flaunting herself around. It’s nasty. And even besides that, Amethyst is really over the top snobby and bratty. Why the author would write a protagonist, a female one on top of it, that’s so unlikable, I’ll never know. Nothing about Amethyst is promoting well written female characters in YA. If anything, she’s a character that’s holding the genre back from being taken seriously.
The “romance” or “love” between Clark and Amethyst is forced and unnecessary. This book should have been purely about Clark and his new-found powers. Not a brother and sister having some sort of wacky romance. Because in a month, that’s all I’m going to remember about this book. How horrible the “romance” was. And reasons Clark found Amethyst attractive were so stupid! How is “naivety” is good thing in a girl? In anyone? I just… Ugh.
I could go on and on about how much I hate Amethyst. She is so stupid and shallow, it’s unbelievable. When the story switches from Clark’s perspective to Amethyst’s, the whole plot is put on hold for all her stupid ramblings. A line from her perspective that really stood out to me was, “She wondered if he’d eaten watercress before. She could introduce him to a new plate of tastes and textures. How exciting!”.
Overall, this book doesn’t promote well written, strong female characters in YA. I spent almost the entire book shaking my head. One thing that I will say that this book as going for it, it really got a rise out of me. I hated it and I’ve rarely been so angry at a book and fictional character. But Jordan Elizabeth Mierek wrote book that really got me emotionally invested. Even if it was in a negative way.