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Blog Tour Review - Service Model by Adrian Tchaikovsky

Blog Tour Review - Service Model by Adrian Tchaikovsky To fix the world they first must break it further. Humanity is a dying breed, utterly reliant on artificial labor and service. When a domesticated robot gets a nasty little idea downloaded into their core programming, they murder their owner. The robot then discovers they can also do something else they never did before: run away. After fleeing the household, they enter a wider world they never knew existed, where the age-old hierarchy of humans at the top is disintegrating, and a robot ecosystem devoted to human wellbeing is finding a new purpose. There is so much to love in Service Model, but one of the things I most love about it is the peculiar blend of charming innocence and insightful cynicism. Uncharles the domestic robot is such a simple soul (though he would state that he has no soul and this is an inaccurate description). He approaches the end of the world with optimism and hope, or whatever equivalent to these emotions h

Blog Tour Review - A Restless Truth by Freya Marske

 Blog Tour Review - A Restless Truth by Freya Marske

Maud Blyth has always longed for adventure. She'd hoped for plenty of it when she agreed to help her beloved older brother unravel a magical conspiracy. She even volunteered to serve as an old lady's companion on an ocean liner. But Maud didn't expect the old lady to turn up dead on the very first day of the voyage.

Now she has to deal with a dead body, a disrespectful parrot, and the lovely, dangerously outrageous Violet Debenham. Violet is everything Maud has been trained to distrust, yet can't help but desire: a magician, an actress and a magnet for scandal.

Surrounded by open sea and a ship full of suspects, Maud and Violet must learn to drop the masks they've learned to wear. Only then might they work together to locate a magical object worth killing for - and unmask a murderer. All without becoming dead in the water themselves.

Yesterday I reviewed the first book in this trilogy, A Marvellous Light, and today I'm on the UK blog tour for book two, A Restless Truth. We're back in the wonderful alternative Edwardian world, full of magical people hiding away within the rigid hierarchical structure of the time, though this time the whole novel is set aboard a transatlantic liner. 

A Restless Truth is set after the events of A Marvellous Light, and it continues the story from the first book, with the hunt for the contract pieces. However, it has a mostly separate group of characters, with a couple from the first book promoted to more major parts, no Edwin or Robin (apart from references and very brief appearances), and can easily be read alone or before book one. However, it's best enjoyed by reading them in order so you know exactly what's going on, or as close to it as you can get in such an enthralling mystery.

I described A Marvellous Light as "the horniest book I've read all year." That has now been challenged by the second book. It's still incredibly sexy! It's different this time around though. While the romance plotline in book one is mostly about earnest yearning and desperate longing for a sexual partner, A Restless Truth gets down to the sex a lot quicker! This time it's lesbian sex, for the most part, rather than the gay men of book one. Maud, Robin's sister, returns from book one, and is now the main character. She's simply wonderful, a "naked blade of good" determined to make her brother proud by completing her mission, but almost immediately having to deal with a dead body and a lot of missing items. She finds Violet, a "sophisticated scandal-trap of a girl" to help her find the contract piece, and a whole lot more besides! This voyage is a voyage of self-discovery for the curious yet innocent Maud and watching her learn more about herself and her body is an intense experience. 

It's the contrasts that make this romance so wonderful. Maud is innocent and inexperienced, whereas Violet knows exactly what she likes and what she's doing. Maud is unfailingly honest, whereas Violet has built up her life around lies. Watching them dance around each other, Maud's determination to be corrupted, and then the ups and downs of their relationship, makes this steamy romance enthralling and beautiful. The language is gorgeous too, with a lyrical elegant quality to it. The sequences with Lord Harwood add a layer of hilarity to it too, and there's more humour here than in the first novel.

There's still plenty of mystery and magic too. With the closed environment of a White Star ship, and a dead body introduced in the opening pages, there's a murder mystery to figure out and a hunt on for missing treasure. We learn more about the magical world and different spell techniques, including variations in spellcasting between America and England, adding more depth to the world building, and we learn a lot more about the mysterious Forsythia Club, something only lightly touched on in A Marvellous Light. Throw in ghosts and seances, a menagerie of exotic animals, a whole suitcase full of pornography and some very sinister villains, and you've got an absolutely thrilling mystery to unravel.

Incredibly sexy and magically mysterious, I absolutely adored A Restless Truth!


A Restless Truth by Freya Marske is published by Tor Books and is out now.

I was given a copy of the book in return for an honest review and participation in this Black Crow PR Blog Tour. 

Be sure to check out the rest of the tour stops to learn more!


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