Friday, November 30, 2012

The Night Watchman Express

The Night Watchman Express (The Crown Phoenix, 1) by Alison DeLuca, August 25, 2011. 324 pages. Published by Fantasy Island Book Publishing. Source: author.
Orphaned Miriam has always been terrified by the sound of THE NIGHT WATCHMAN EXPRESS as it hurtles by her house. The sound of the train gives her nightmares of an underground factory, and a laboratory where brutal experiments take place.
During the day she has very different problems. Her new guardians, the Marchpanes, have arrived with their son, Simon, to live in Miriam's house. The Marchpanes are plotting to take over her dead father's business.
As they are both strong willed and stubborn, Miriam and Simon develop an instant dislike for each other. They have to work together, however, in order to solve the mystery of what the Marchpanes are doing with Miriam's inheritance.
As they come closer to learning the truth, Miriam is kidnapped and put on THE NIGHT WATCHMAN EXPRESS, and Simon must try to rescue her. In doing so, he will have to confront his own parents and the evil forces behind them.
But as he tries to help Miriam, he is captured. Simon is put in a strange, luxurious prison, where his jailers are as hauntingly beautiful as they are dangerous.
As THE NIGHT WATCHMAN EXPRESS arrives at its destination, Miriam comes to the shocking realization that her nightmares about the subterranean factory and the dark laboratory were not just dreams.
What she always feared more than anything is going to come true.
First Sentence:
Miriam, who was hiding under the settee in the large living drawing room, looked up from the story she was reading.  

 Hopefully, this review will make some kind of sense, but I warn y'all that I've been down with cedar fever then trying to kick the post Benadryl haze.

I admit, that while I like steampunk books I haven't read all that many in the genre. Sometimes they're just a little too odd or not really something that catches my attention, that being said, I really enjoyed The Night Watchman Express even though it was extremely light on steampunk.

The Night Watchman Express was my first foray into Alison DeLuca's writing and world building. What I enjoyed most about her writing in this book would be that she does such a great job one her characters. I love it when an author is able to show the evolution of the characters, especially when they start out as spoiled, entitled pains that are hard to like let alone feel anything other than irritation for. So, while I may not have had the warm and fuzzies for Simon and Miriam in the beginning of the book, I really enjoyed watching how much they, Miriam and Simon, and their friend Neil changed throughout the course of the book and the way Ms. DeLuca wrote about it.  

So, while it took awhile for me to warm up to the characters in this one, I really enjoyed the actual story and how that there was more to the evil Marchpanes and their plans for Miriam and the company that her late father had founded. Some of the things the Marchpanes did and what they planned were truly kind of shocking, but not as much as the real villains of the book. I could not help but wonder as I read it how Ms DeLuca came up with that couple because they were truly horrid, but their nastiness made things all the more interesting because the odds seemed absolutely stacked against the kids.

What really made this a great read for me would have to be the character evolution. I'll tell it to you straight, I was not too keen on Miriam or Simon in the beginning of the book. I found the two of them to be, well, dreadful when it came to their personalities and behavior, but as the book progressed you saw the two of them changing and maturing into likable characters.

Even though The Night Watchman Express is a really good read, I was a little disappointed because it did not come across as steampunk, like it was labeled on the cover. While I was dismayed over the lack of steampunkiness (I don't care if its' not a real word) in the first book in the series, I really enjoyed Alison DeLuca's writing and and the way she crafted the story and am looking forward to seeing where the next book will take the story.

Final Verdict: The Night Watchman Express one series and author that I'll definitely have to keep my eyes on. 

The Night Watchman Express earns 4 out of 5 pineapples. 

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