Author: Andrea Cremer
Series: The Inventor’s Secret #2
Rating: 2 / 5 stars
I had high hopes for this book, thinking that Cremer could dive more into the steampunk world she created in The Inventor’s Secret and worry less about the romantic squabbles that we had to deal with in the first novel. Instead, The Conjurer’s Riddle (I’m still not entirely sure I even get the title of the novel) seems to focus on all the aspects that I didn’t particularly enjoy from the first novel and almost completely ignore the elements I found fascinating.
For one, there is little excitement in the world we explore in The Inventor’s Secret. It is set mainly in a French occupied New Orleans where everyone wears masks. Though they travel through the different districts of this alternate universe world, none of the details of the setting are interesting. And while we spend a lot of time traveling, the focus falls on the characters, both primary and secondary. And since none of the characters are developed all that well, the novel is mostly flat and devoid of any real excitement.
Cremer teases readers with the continual hint at a love triangle between Charlotte and the Winter brothers, but I couldn’t really care less about her relationship with either brother, so this does little to hold my attention. The Conjurer’s Riddle is thus mostly a slow crawl through an almost nonexistent plot. It only picks up interest towards the end, where the element of adventure comes in and the plot picks up a bit in intensity. But since this only occurs in about the last 20 – 50 pages of the novel, this novel feels more of a filler story than anything else. Hopefully the next installment will make it worth the read, but I’m not feeling it so far. Definitely more than a little disappointed in this one.