THE HYPNOTIC CITY
The Gold and Gaslight Chronicles, #2
by Andrea Berthot
Curiosity Quills Press
COMING. . .
AUGUST 1, 2016!!!
Philomena Blackwell survived a city plagued with monsters, the gilded cage of high society, and the rule of a heartless man... and she aims to leave it all behind.
It's 1905, and London has finally been freed from Henry Jekyll's terrible legacy - its people cured, its thirteen-year quarantine lifted. The world is waiting, and for a girl who dreams of being its most dazzling star, what could be more enticing than the bright lights of New York City?
She is drawn across the ocean like a moth to a flame, her heart set on proving that while she may be small on the outside, her soaring talent eclipses even Manhattan’s towering skyline. When she lands a big break, it seems as if the city is ready to fall under her spell - just as she seems to be falling for a handsome young stage manager. But is it her stage presence mesmerizing the audience, or something more sinister behind the scenes?
Philomena has always relied on her fierce will and fiery heart, but a new and more terrible danger lurks in the shadows of Broadway's bright lights, and even a mind as determined as hers may not be immune to its seductive, insidious pull...
Both fans of The Heartless City and new readers alike will enjoy this stand-alone / spin-off tale of Philomena’s adventures on stage - and in love - in NYC.
This is the 2nd book in The Gold and Gaslight Chronicles, and although there is some background information in book one which might bring more insight into a couple of things mentioned in book two, The Hypnotic City can be read as a stand alone.
Free from the lock-down in London, Philomena dives into her new found freedom by heading off to New York. She wants nothing to do with her past even if she's an Earl's daughter and is bound determined to make it on her own by showing the world how talented she is on a stage. Knowing hard work and determination are key, she lands a job on a small stage and gets by. When the chance of a lifetime comes her way, she jumps at it. . .although she knows that it's too good to be true.
Wearing her emotions plain as a sign on the forehead, Philomena is a character full of heart and guts, which storms into challenges head on even though she's fully aware consequences will follow. It's this willingness to take risks and deal with things as they come which makes her easy to like even when things get rougher than she imagined they could. Her full-force attitude is wonderfully cushioned by a variety of side characters, who with their own quirks and characteristics, bring the story to life.
The plot pushes along, luring in and not letting go. The author does a great job of getting into Philomena's head just enough to make her action understandable without losing pace on the action and tension of the adventure around her. The scenes draw in with the vividness of historical New York and despite the fantastical elements, hold enough reality to keep things grounded.
I, personally, enjoyed this book more than the first one. The story still held all the tension and excitement of book one, but the fantastical elements were a bit more believable/logical, which made for a smoother read. I'm definitely looking forward to book three to see where the adventure of this group of friends goes next.