Tarnished: The St. Croix Chronicles

( 6 )

Overview

My name is Cherry St. Croix. Society would claim that I am a well-heeled miss with an unfortunate familial reputation. They've no idea of the truth of it. In my secret world, I hunt down vagrants, thieves . . . and now, a murderer. For a monster stalks London's streets, leaving a trail of mystery and murder below the fog.

Eager for coin to fuel my infatuations, I must decide where my attentions will turn: to my daylight world, where my scientific mind sets me apart from ...

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Tarnished: The St. Croix Chronicles

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Overview

My name is Cherry St. Croix. Society would claim that I am a well-heeled miss with an unfortunate familial reputation. They've no idea of the truth of it. In my secret world, I hunt down vagrants, thieves . . . and now, a murderer. For a monster stalks London's streets, leaving a trail of mystery and murder below the fog.

Eager for coin to fuel my infatuations, I must decide where my attentions will turn: to my daylight world, where my scientific mind sets me apart from respectable Society, or to the compelling domain of London below. Each has a man who has claimed my time as his—for good or for ill. Though as the corpses pile, and the treacherous waters of Society gossip churn, I am learning that each also has its dangers. One choice will see me cast from polite company . . . the other might just see me dead.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Switching gears from the postapocalyptic setting of her Dark Mission series (All Things Wicked, etc.), Cooper’s first St. Croix Chronicles steampunk urban fantasy brings readers to affluent Victorian London neighborhoods elevated on steel beams to escape the pollution of the industrialized underbelly. Cherry St. Croix works as a “collector,” disguising herself and descending via steam-powered sky ferries to the dangerous docks and pleasure gardens, where she captures thieves, miscreants, and the occasional murderer in exchange for bounties to fuel her opium addiction. Aloft, she struggles to play the role she was born into: the eccentric but socially acceptable daughter of an insane scientist. When Cherry tries to catch a serial killer, she puts herself in even more danger than usual. Readers expecting romance in an Avon title will be disappointed; Cooper’s urban fantasy lays the groundwork for future romantic interludes but focuses more on Cherry’s attempts to control her addiction and stay alive. Agent: Laura Bradford, Bradford Literary Agency. (July)
RT Book Reviews (top pick)
“his is absolutely one of the best books I’ve read so far this year.”
Parajunkee.com
“BEFORE THE WITCHES was edge-of-the-seat good and I couldn’t stop reading until I was finished.”
(top pick) - RT Book Reviews
"his is absolutely one of the best books I’ve read so far this year."
Kady Cross
“Sexy steampunk intrigue set in a world rich with dark imagery and lush detail. I did not want to put it down!”
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780062127648
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 6/26/2012
  • Format: Mass Market Paperback
  • Pages: 384
  • Sales rank: 1,399,422
  • Product dimensions: 4.20 (w) x 6.70 (h) x 1.20 (d)

Meet the Author

Born from the genetic mash-up of lesser royalty, storytellers, wanderers and dreamers, Karina Cooper was destined to be a creative genius. As a child, she moved all over the country like some kind of waifish blonde gypsy and learned how to adapt to the new cultures her family settled in. When she (finally) grew up, she skipped the whole genius part and fell in love with writing Paranormal Romance because, really, who doesn't love hot men and a happy ending?

When she isn't writing about things that go bump in the night, Karina designs Steampunk and neo-Victorian couture for gentleman hobbyists and ladies of questionable reputation. She lives in the beautiful Pacific Northwest with a husband, three cats, one rabbit and a passel of adopted gamer geeks.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4
( 6 )
Rating Distribution

5 Star

(2)

4 Star

(3)

3 Star

(1)

2 Star

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Sort by: Showing all of 6 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 22, 2013

    more from this reviewer

    The first book in the St. Croix Chronicles, the book is an excel

    The first book in the St. Croix Chronicles, the book is an excellent example of steampunk fiction. From the first page you are met with a London very different from the historical one. Pollution has put the city to the point of raising the more affluent buildings above the rest of the buildings, but also above the everlasting, discolored fog. Travel between London Above and London Below is done through airship versions of ferries. Goggles, rebreathers and armored corsets are featured heavily. More than that, you can really feel the Victorian Era in the writing.
    For me this felt a lot like a Sherlock Holmes story. Consider Doyle writing in a more industrialized setting and putting the light on Irene Adler as the main character. Now instead of simply hinting at drug use, make it a central part of the character. Much like it is with Chess Putnam in Stacia Kane’s Downside novels. This presents you with a flawed woman of strength and means making her own way in a world where she is considered to be less than a man. And while she is a strong female lead, you get a real feel for her coming to terms with how she sees herself as opposed to the way that society (or Society as it were) sees her.
    There is plenty of action, an unflinching view of some of the seedier aspects of Victorian society and well developed characters. What’s not to draw you into that kind of story? I also found it incredibly interesting how the romance aspect was handled considering the setting. This may be due to my lack of experience with Regencies or other period romance novels, but it still held my interest as a reader.
    Full over I would give this book a five gear rating out of five. There was little that I could find that left me wanting for more. Well worth the purchase, and looking forward to diving into the second (recently released) once I am able.

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  • Posted October 16, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Tarnished- Recipe

    While I love Steampunk, UF, and a good suspense story, this book failed to fill the need. Despite reading the book till the very end (cause of course I had to know the why),it failed to entertain and drag me completely into the story. I often found myself distracted while reading it. There were too many details in the Steampunk world building and the scientific world. The character descriptions often made me NOT care about them though I wanted to. I think this book would have benefited greatly with more romance sprinkled in. It had the potential to be a great recipe but the ingredients just did not jell for me.

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  • Posted September 17, 2012

    Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Pack Alpha - Michelle L. Olso

    Our Review, by LITERAL ADDICTION's Pack Alpha - Michelle L. Olson:

    I really enjoyed the first installment of Karina’s new ST CROIX CHRONICLES. My exact, though somewhat uncouth, words upon completion of the book were: “Holy dark & twisted Steampunky Franknsteinesque urban fantasy. I like it!!” :)

    Steampunk is a delicate blend of Victorian and Industry – think corsets and bustles meet gears, steam engines, and airship pirates. In Tarnished, London is split into two distinct worlds following a sort of pollution apocalypse. There’s the lower London, where smog is literally cloying and thievery and darkness abound, and the upper London where the well-to-doers reside, pretending that life ‘below’ never happened. Our heroine, Cherry, lives in both worlds but fits wholly in neither.

    As the daughter of a scientist whom people thought mad, she’s quite evolved for a Victorian age woman, and yet never fully accepted by society. She loves science and debate, and feels utterly at home with a good reference book or periodical – all of the things that a high born female should not engage in. Her every action is scrutinized by the rest of the upper London elite, and therefore, Cherry finds it necessary to live a dual life. When she’s not posing for the rest of the upper London society, she dresses up as a boy and works as a bounty hunter and assassin in lower London while trying to find creative ways to keep herself functioning after an awful childhood left her with an opium addiction that she’s unable to shake.

    The heart of Tarnished revolves around Cherry’s quest to find and apprehend the madman whom killed some of her lower London ladies of the night acquaintances, while trying to keep up her dual personalities and have somewhat of a normal love life.

    She is torn between a highborn lad from the Compton family who comes to court her, and her pseudo boss and ‘Sir of the Night’ if you will, the dark and mysterious Micajah Hawke – ruler of the Midnight Menagerie. Like Cherry herself, the two sides of her love life battle between dark and light, upper and lower, proper and scandalous.

    As I touched on in my initial comments regarding the book, the murder mystery that Cherry investigates has a lovely Frankensteinesque quality about it and I found myself utterly intrigued.

    Tarnished is a compelling tale of myth and reality and covers all the grey ground between light and dark. It was a book I’m not likely to forget any time soon, and I’m excited to see where Karina takes us next with the series.

    LITERAL ADDICTION gives Tarnished 4 Skulls.

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  • Posted July 1, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Great Start with Intriguing Characters

    A steam-punk theme with murder and mayhem, what more could you ask for? The beginning of the book had a great start, Cherry St. Croix and the members (employees) of her household were interesting and the idea that she had two separate lives happening at once and only one person was privy to that was intriguing. Where it lost me was the story of who the bad guy was. I was highly disappointed by it and really wish it would have worked out better, it felt like giving up on the storyline. I’m more disappointed now that I’ve had time to mull it over.

    The people that we are introduced to in this story are so varied and compelling that I thought for sure the turn of events would be more exciting or imaginative. Most of the book felt like it was a Young Adult story to me, but then there were a couple things thrown in (the sex and drugs) that upped it to an adult read. The steamy part definitely caught me off guard and just felt off with the rest of the writing and the rest of the story. There was just too much disconnect in this one for me to give the rest of the series a go.

    ARC reviewed by Jessica for Book Sake.

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  • Posted June 26, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Gritty, Thrilling, and Imaginative Steampunk

    I stayed up until past three in the morning, even knowing I had to get up at seven, in order to finish this book, because I couldn’t stand the thought of putting it down. With intricate plotlines and multifaceted characters combined with lots of action, magic, sex, mystery, drama and danger, this is a series to get excited about.

    The only thing really holding me back from a higher final rating is the fact that there were so many plot lines left unfinished at the end. Perhaps I’m spoiled because I tend to only pick up Urban Fantasy after there are three or four books already published, and so I’ve never really had to wait for hanging threads to be picked back up, but I found myself disappointed when I reached the last page.

    A very solid 4/5 Stars, and I will be reading the sequel when it comes out.

    {This title was provided free of charge from the publisher in exchange for an honest review. Full review available on The Romanceaholic}

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 2, 2013

    No text was provided for this review.

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