Thanks to author Timothy Black for offering this book for review.
Telluric currents are disappearing, putting an entire city at risk. Storm Prophets and Werewolves work to try and perserve their people however they can. Elijah, Maggie, and Sarah must work together to discover why these currents are disappearing into a black hole, saving Elijah’s home city of Wardenclyffe.
Judgment of Blood is the second installment in the Gearteeth Trilogy. This postapocalyptic steampunk YA novel offers plenty of variety in both the sciences and fantasy realms.
Judgment of Blood Synopsis
Following on the heels of the first novel Gearteeth, Judgement of Blood begins with Elijah, his mate Maggie, and her yet-to-be-turned sister Sarah traveling together. They discover that the currents are disappearing and learn that they must travel up the Western U.S. coast toward Portland to discover what’s happening with the currents.
Soon into their travels, they meet Henry, Elijah’s old friend who helps the trio fix their surge pack and reminds readers about the differences between the Tellurians of Wardenclyffe and the turned/werewolves packs of the land like Maggie and Sarah.
While Maggie and Elijah have been turned to werewolves, they are still able to retain their human form, though that ability is not long lasting. However, in their travels, their past problems, including the Cabal come to the surface. The trio learn that the enemy clan the Cabal of the Howling City have devised a way to keep themselves safe from the werewolves disease. With this immense power, they are able to help themselves while also enslaving the turned who they feel are subhuman. As the trio continues on, they discover more allies, foes, and injustices than ever before.
Steampunk, Werewolves, & Injustice
While Judgement of Blood is the second installment in the trilogy, Black does indicate that the book can be read without reading Gearteeth. I took on this suggestion as I was curious to see how well the story adapted itself to a new reader. While there was some initial confusion about Wardenclyffe, the Tellurians, and the Cabal, Black does a good job of rehashing the important aspects of the core story in a way that is helpful to new readers but should not feel too redundant to Gearteeth fans.
The variety of werewolves and abilities within this world are impressive.There is enough classic reference to werewolves, vampires, steampunk, and science to allow readers to feel familiar while the newer elements of their abilities (and limitations) keep the pages turning. Judgment of Blood creates wonderful layers of conflict for our protagonist as he faces both the more supernatural challenges and the more realistic challenges of his world.
The character development in this story is decent, but at times Elijah felt stiff. Sarah was a great comedic relief to Elijah’s harden exterior, but at times it was hard to feel connected to Elijah. While Elijah was tolerable, I didn’t always feel as connected to his struggles as I typically would, particularly his relationship issues. Whether this is a character flaw or something else, it was a minor setback to the overall story.
Judgment of Blood is a great continuation of a story rich in variety and intrigue. An action packed story with the right blend of traditional fantasy elements and steampunk, this series is one to pick up. Newcomers to either genre can easily pick up this series and become enthralled in what make both genres so encompassing for hardcore fans.
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