This second book in the Aether Chronicles takes to the air with, fortunately, a far more even balance between steampunk and romance than the previous installment (Innocent Darkness, 2012).
Sixteen-year-old Noli has escaped from the fairyland Otherworld and returned to Los Angeles, where she lives with her mother in an alternate-history 1901. Her sweetheart, V, a prince of the Otherworld, breaks off their romance on orders from his awful mother, the queen, who then sends V and his brother on a quest to find a unique new toy for her. Meanwhile, mechanically inclined Noli signs on as engineer to her brother Jeff’s pirate airship. Her path will cross with that of V and Kevighn, a huntsman from the Otherworld. However, Noli was joined with a little sprite in the previous book, and the silly thing takes her over at inopportune times, making Noli appear frivolous at best and crazy at worst. Lazear has not yet achieved a mature writing style and at times displays extremely awkward phrasing. However, her imagination soars as high as her airship, and it will have readers hooked.
Yes, it could use some tightening up, but it’s still plenty of fun. (Steampunk. 12 & up)