Mongrelby K. Z. Snow
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Hunzinger's Mechanical Circus, a rollicking seaside carnival where imagination meets machinery, shines as the only bright spot in the dreary city of Purinton. A shadow is cast there one day when a tall, cloaked figure approaches the stand of Will Marchman, a young patent-medicine salesman. Fanule Perfidor, commonly known as the Dog King, isn't welcome at the Circus. No resident of Taintwell is; they're all Branded Mongrels, officially shunned. But Will is beguiled by the stunning, mysterious Perfidor. Their mutual wariness soon gives way to desire, and a bond forms. Soon the naive but plucky pitchman becomes embroiled in a dangerous quest. Fanule suspects Alphonse Hunzinger and Purinton's civic leaders are responsible for the disappearance or incarceration of countless Branded Mongrels. But why? As Will's passion and regard for his tormented lover grow, he's determined to help Fanule get answers and prevent any further persecution... or worse. They just have to stay together--and stay alive long enough--to see their plan through.
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I love this series and the covers! Fanule is a branded mongrel, and the elected official of Taintwell. He is finding more and more mongrels are being arrested or disappearing, also his madness is getting worse. Will is a hawker at the Mechanical Circus selling elixir, until he finds its mongrel blood used to make it. He meets Fanule by happenstance and they immediately become fond of each other but developing feelings could be dangerous to both of them, since Fan has a bounty on his head. Simon is a bounty Hunter, but has a conscience. He had been seeing Will only for physical pleasure, then meets Clancy Marrowbone the vampire at Will's one night. He likes Clancy’s company and joins Clancy and Fan to help find out what is going on with the missing mongrels This is a fabulous story set in an intriguing steampunk setting, with lots of steam, mechanisms, an old fashioned backdrop, with different unique types of part human creatures and vampires. The story is intriguing, fast paced, sensual and mysterious. There are twists and turns around every corner. I read the second book first and had to read this one. I love all the characters but especially Fanule. He is dark, sexy mysterious, dangerous, but also caring and devoted. My kind of man. My only issue is the relationships are skirted around too much, id have liked more detail especially on how Clancy and Simon ended up together. I will say the names and cities are a bit cheesy but add to the unique style of this story. I love it! I highly recommend this if you like steampunk, old fashioned settings, vampires, mongrels, and sensuous love stories.
This book surprised me by not only being a very enjoyable read, but also with having some new, strange concepts. I had such a good time reading it that I couldn’t put it down. I liked the mash-up of genres, particularly the Steampunkish vibe. I really liked the idea of Mongrels and their brands indicating the percentage of their mutation. Fanule and Will were great characters, together and apart. I liked the minor characters, and I think the villains served a good purpose. There could have been more grey areas or maybe a few more conflicts, but I liked the way things developed in terms of the plot, which was very interesting, and romance, which was really sweet. My only complaint stems from my being a very greedy reader who always wants more of a good thing. Because I was really into what I got, I wanted the book to be twice as long. Everything worked and I’m very glad I got around to reading it, but I never fell as deeply in love with this book and its world as I would have liked to. I’m pretty sure that’s because the book was only a little over 200 pages in length, so I think more pages and more time would have allowed everything –from the world-building to the romance to the plot– to unfold in a much more organic way. In conclusion, a really good and engaging romance with a lot of unique aspects. I don’t know that everything was used to its full potential, but there’s so few books like this out there that it’s well worth getting a copy of. I’m also very sad to discover/report that there aren’t sequels or other e-books set in the same world. If there were, I would be in the process of gobbling them up right this very minute. Instead I’ll wait for a little bit of time to pass and then I’ll probably read Mongrel again.