In an alternate London where magical creatures are preserved in a museum, two people find themselves caught in a web of intrigue, deception, and danger.
Vespa Nyx wants nothing more than to spend the rest of her life cataloging Unnatural creatures in her father’s museum, but the requirement to become a lady and find a husband is looming large. Syrus Reed’s Tinker family has always served and revered the Unnaturals from afar, but when his family is captured to be refinery slaves, he finds that his fate may be bound up with Vespa’s—and with the Unnaturals.
As the danger grows, Vespa and Syrus find themselves in a tightening web of deception and intrigue. At stake may be the fate of New London—and the world.
In this exciting steampunk adventure, Trent (the Hallowmere series) introduces readers to New London, where science reigns supreme. Its inhabitants swear by Saints Darwin and Newton, witchcraft is a dire crime, and mythological creatures like sphinxes and manticores (dubbed Unnaturals) are good only for scientific study. Sixteen-year-old Vespa Nyx wants to be an Unnaturalist in her father's museum, but he'd rather marry her off. Syrus Reed is a 13-year-old Tinker, whose family has just been stolen to serve as slaves in the city refinery. His only hope to save them and, by extension, the city itself lies in finding a witch. One like Vespa, whose powers have just manifested. Trent shifts between Vespa's first-person narration and third-person chapters about Syrus as they work together, uncovering New London's darkest secrets, ready to destroy the city in order to preserve it. Science, magic, myth, and alternate history all work together to create an intriguing alternate world with more depth than many books in the genre. This is a world worth visiting. Ages 12 up.