Last Friday, I had a desire to find a book the had a strong female character, was sexy, and a little bit weird. So I decided to try one of A.W. Exley’s books. I read her Artifact Hunters series last year, and absolutely loved it, so I wanted to see if another one of her series could deliver again. It did, at least so far with the first book Obsidian Eyes.
Set just before the Victorian Age, Allie Donovan is a seventeen-year-old who is full of secrets as she attends an aristocratic school, a place she really has no business being since she’s a commoner. But her grandfather’s position as the school’s librarian gives her a way into the exclusive St. Mathew’s Academy.
Once there, Allie makes some friends and enemies as well, and also meets a young man that infuriates her as well as captivates her at the same time. But she is cautious of him, because he’s supposed to be the enemy. Allie tries to find a way to walk between her world of a commoner and guild member, and the elite gentry of England and Scotland, but it’s full of potential disasters, including her biggest secret, the man who put Allie in the exclusive school to begin with and why.
This story is full of wit, friendship, estrangement, intense action, subterfuge, political conspiracies, and steampunk brilliance. It also has a hint of the exotic as it explores some of Allie’s ties to an Egyptian harem.
I really enjoyed this book a lot. It was a little slow reading at first. Exley develops a very rich and complex background for her Heroine Allie. So I think it was a little bit of a struggle to put all the pieces together because some of the background information Exley sprinkles into the story seems a contradiction. But as the story progresses, Exley brilliantly weaves the pieces together for a very colorful and interesting past for Allie. After I hit the halfway point, I couldn’t even put the book down, and ended up finishing the book in the early hours of the morning.
So if you are looking for a book full of weird and wonderful steampunk inventions, an intense forbidden romance, and a story you simply can’t put down, try out Obsidian Eye’s.