I read the first book in this series last year and while I liked it, I wasn’t wowed. Honestly, I expected to move on from the series since there are so many other books on my to read shelf. But, I kept thinking about the characters and wondering what happened to them. It hit me that I probably liked it more than I credited and I immediately picked up books two and three to find out their fates.
The Red Plague Affair picks up a while after the events of the Iron Wyrm Affair. Clare is on the trail of a mentath-gone-bad and Bannon is working in her position as a Prime for the Queen. When a plague is released into the city they have to work together to stop it before it kills everyone.
This was a thoroughly enjoyable read. The story was strong and kept me interested throughout. We learned more about the main characters and went deeper into their relationships. Specifically the friendship between Bannon and Clare and the semi-romantic relationship between Bannon and Mikal. The author has done a great job with showing a male/female friendship. It could have gone badly considering Clare’s mentath personality but it’s very well done. I also love the mystery of Mikal’s character and want to know more of his back-story. What are his powers, where is his relationship with Bannon going to take her, etc. The scenes with the Queen were also an integral part of the story. Emma Bannon is a powerhouse. I don’t think we fully know what she can do and it’s now clear that she doesn’t serve blindly. This means she is a danger to the crown and that can only mean juicy things for the reader.
My only, minor, quibble is that I would really like more Steampunk elements included. What’s here is well done but since I read so little Steampunk, I want those I read to be FULL of machines and alternate worlds.
4/5 stars. Ready for book 3!