Author: Sharon Cameron
Series: Stand Alone
Published: September 1st 2012 by Scholastic Press
Source: Publisher via Netgalley
Description: When Katharine Tulman's inheritance is called into question by the rumor that her eccentric uncle is squandering away the family fortune, she is sent to his estate to have him committed to an asylum. But instead of a lunatic, Katharine discovers a genius inventor with his own set of rules, who employs a village of nine hundred people rescued from the workhouses of London. Katharine is now torn between protecting her own inheritance and preserving the peculiar community she grows to care for deeply. And her choices are made even more complicated by a handsome apprentice, a secretive student, and fears for her own sanity. As the mysteries of the estate begin to unravel, it is clear that not only is her uncle's world at stake, but also the state of England as Katharine knows it. With twists and turns at every corner, this heart-racing adventure will captivate readers with its intrigue, thrills, and romance.
I Give This ...
I'm not sure what called to me more, the fact that this is set in regency England or that the book seemed to have a steampunk feel to it. Either way, I was eager to give it a shot.
Katharine proved to me a great lead character. I think she has an hard place in life. She's at the mercy of her Aunt and believes she has no other way out but to take the abuse handed to her. When she's forced to her uncle's estate to see to his affairs, she begins to see that there are worse things than being tossed out of her aunt's house. She begins to question what's more important, her own perceived shot at happiness. Or is the happiness and well being of an entire town worth the possibility of a lifetime of just one's own suffering.
What Katharine discovers among her uncle's estate is sometimes confusing. A house that has endless corridors and rooms, a workshop that consists of gadgets that I couldn't even being to understand mixed in with a group of people that will stop at nothing to make sure their benefactor stays right were he is. But, not everybody is manipulating Katharine in the ways that she thinks. Someone on the estate sees power among the inventions tucked away on the farm and think Katharine is the perfect tool to get what they wants.
I really enjoyed the plot and cast of characters. There were times the story dragged a little and the details got a little fuzzy. But, the story was past paced and interesting. I wondered until the very end of Katherine would have the guts to stand up for her uncle and all that he built. I truly loved her uncle and felt that she did as well. I didn't think in the end that she could take away all the he had done.
I was happy that the story had a generally happy ending. It didn't end exactly the way that I had hoped. It does have an open ending leaving room for a sequel. I would like to see were the character go, so I hope there is one!