Bronze Gods Mass Market Paperback – Apr 30 2013
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About the Author
A.A. Aguirre, a pseudonym for husband-wife writing team Ann & Andres Aguirre, is the author of the Apparatus Infernum novels, Ann specializes in compelling characters; Andres excels at meticulous worldbuilding. By day, she's a bestselling novelist, the USA Today bestselling author of the Sirantha Jax novels, the Dred Chronicles, and the Corine Solomon novels, and he is a pharmaceuticals tycoon. Together, they form Megatron. Or not. Actually, they write books.
Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)
Centuries ago in a land called Hy Breasil, native Ferishers and strayed humans saw marriage as a way to stop the war between their two races. Sons and daughters of the two great Courts married the conquerors in an attempt to save themselves from annihilation. Today, very little Fey blood remains and the gifts it offers are often both unwelcome and dangerous.
In the great city of Dorstaad, two Criminal Investigation Division inspectors, Celeste Ritsuko and Janus Mikani, do excellent work despite the hostility they occasionally face. They are each other's exact opposites: she, measured, well organized and precise, excellent at drawing conclusions from evidence she pedantically collects; and he, a charmer who mostly runs on intuition and solves cases using gifts his Fey blood provides.
Ritsuko and Mikani begin as co-workers and friends and they remain friends. It is a wonderful thing they have, a purely platonic relationship built on trust and mutual understanding. There is attraction of course, but neither of them is willing to risk what they already have for something that may or may not work... probably not, considering Mikani's track record. Neither of them admits, even to themselves, that they might be moving towards something more, a different kind of relationship, no longer safe, but risky and exciting at the same time. Theirs is a subtle, tentative dance, a slow-burning romance at its finest and one that will leave you desperate to know if and when they'll take the plunge.
(You WILL be jumping up and down in your seat, chanting "Do it! Do it! Go for it! Kiss her, you moron! Kiss her!")
Their characterization is superb. I find that I often use the words `astonishingly good' to describe Aguirre's work, but I can't help it when they always apply. Bronze Gods and its characters didn't sprout over night, they're the result of a decade-long work, which is obvious on every page. I've read my fair share of crime novels and seen enough crime shows that I'm not easily impressed. I think we are all desensitized as readers and viewers, and yet these crime scenes gave me the chills. Each included a different mysterious, inexplicable device, the purpose of which was entirely unclear to Ritsuko and Mikani.
I am, as I'm sure you all know, a bit demanding when it comes to steampunk. I want well-defined worlds, age-appropriate language and at least a few creative gadgets. Ann and Andres Aguirre gave me all that and more. I need book 2 more than I need air... or bread.... or...well, maybe not blueberry muffins. But close.
I rest my case.
Up until about 55%, I was seriously questioning the book. I was confused by the plot, the world, and the quickly changing POVs. I was lamenting that this series might be an adventure I did not go on with the Aguirre writing team.
At 60%, something amazing happened. Suddenly the plot stabilized, things came together, it was easier to understand which POV I was in and what was going on with the investigation. The plot started making sense and I was able to relate to the two of the three main characters. Where I struggled to get through the first half, I enjoyed the last 40% of the book.
I’m interested in the world and in the two detectives. I like their burgeoning relationship as more than partners. I like Mikani’s powers and what it costs him to use them. I like that he enjoys a good fight and standing up for people he cares about. I like Ritsuko’s drive for details and her struggle against working in a male dominated world.
I’m not as interested in Aurelia, but enough of the story was devoted to her that I’ll feel a little put out if there’s not a follow up on her in the next book, even though I have zero interest in her character.
At the end, I knew I would read the next book in the series, but I’m left feeling uneasy about Bronze Gods. I feel like I should reread the book to fully wrap my head around what all was happening in the first part, but I have absolutely no desire to do so.
All around, I thought this one was a missed the mark, but it left me interested enough to give the next book a chance to redeem the series.
I enjoyed watching Mikani and Ritsuko pound the pavement to solve the high profile case, and that, as they pursue the leads together and individually, there were enough clues that I was able to figure out the 'who done it' along with them. While the investigation of the crime perpetrated using magical technology was interesting, it is Mikani and Ritsuko themselves who really make this book shine. They are a fabulous pair, and they work together so well that despite the fact that they are polar opposites - she's human, thorough and diplomatic and he's part Ferisher, intuitive and not much for social niceties - it is almost like they have a mental connection.
So, I thoroughly enjoyed this first joint effort from the Aguirres (Ann and Andres) - steampunk, mystery, and magic with with a very intriguing starring pair (and just a hint of romance to come) - I am already looking forward to their next book.
The highlight though for me was the lead pairing of Janus Mikani and Celeste Ritsuko. Inspectors for the Criminal Investigation Division, they've been partners on the job for three years and though they come at the world from very different places - he's a rumpled mess who can't hang onto a relationship to save his life and she's the elegant and always put-together woman who has had to fight her way into a man's world - they work together like a well oiled machine. I got Mulder and Scully vibes which, in my book, can only ever be a good thing. Romance isn't the mainstay of this story but the increasingly flirtatious banter between Mikani and Ritsuko is a definite plus and has me eager to see how or if things will develop in the follow-up book due next year.
This is a very well written story, that had the potential to be amazing, but for me it dragged and was very slow all the way to the end. I think it suffers from the first book in a series syndrome with to much information making the story convoluted in a confusing way.
I so wanted the heroine to be a strong kick butt, take no prisoners kind of gal and the synopsis makes it seem like she will be, however, shortly into the book she comes across as soft and femininely needy several times. The "romance" aspect of the story was plain and simply uncomfortable.
The word `partner' was used so many times I wanted to scream, seriously we know they are partners not only was it used in a chummy Benson and Stabler way, but good lord it was said so often in a way to make them set boundaries between themselves. arrggg
One other thing that for me personally was very distracting were the names Mikani and Ritsuko during most of the book the characters first names are not used so using the last names even though they are lovely out of the ordinary names there was no feminine and masculine flavor to the names. Which for me made it so I had to concentrate on who was who when the dialog went back and forth. Again, a flow issue for me.
I know this book got many 5 star ratings and folks are gushing how wonderful it is, but I thought it was almost boring in parts and had to make myself pick it up several times after putting it down. It was written well, just missed the mark for me.
I'm not sure who I would recommend this to....before I'd recommend to anyone I would need to read the next book in the series, to see if it was the 1st book in a series information dump and slow confusing pace or the style of writing.
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