This is an intriguing steampunk mystery novel which immerses the readers in the world of Chuzzlewit and embeds them in the lives of its residents.
It begins as a story of adventure and danger, and develops into a personal quest for the characters to solve the mystery behind the monster that holds their very existence in its hands. It explores the ways in which different people respond to adversity and conflict, and questions how those in a position of power use and abuse it.
The story is very well written and very entertaining. The world building is more complex and thought-provoking than it first appears to be, and the nature of the Monster known as the Kreak is fascinating.
The town of Chuzzlewit is populated with a varied cast of engaging and interesting characters, and the central characters are relatable in their motivations, responses and interactions with one another. Victoria, as the lead character, is an independent thinker, a problem solver, and stands up for what is right over what is easy. Her dilemmas are complex and the difficult choices she has to make remind the reader that it is the right of each individual to choose their path and shape their own reality from the choices offered to them in life, but also that those choices cannot be made in isolation from one’s responsibility to others or the society in which they live.