I’ve been meaning to read this book for ages, and seeing that there are now three books in the series (which I think I read is complete as a trilogy?), I thought it was about time I got round to it. I’m not necessarily a reader of steampunk for steampunk’s sake, but the set-up intrigued me, and especially the double life lived by the protagonist.
I have to say that I missed some things which other reviewers spotted, like the date this is set, but I enjoyed it all the same. It does feel a bit gimmicky and faux-Victorian, and I’d like to see more of the whys and wherefores of the level of technology maintained, but overall it works quite well.
I’m not majorly entranced by the story, but I’m curious enough to read on. Elizabeth is a fun character – capable, determined, intelligent – and the fact that the title defines her as someone’s daughter feels all the weirder because that person never appears and doesn’t really define her as a person at all. She’s independent and, in fact, so much of the novel is driven by her determination to be her own person and keep her own freedom.
The supporting characters are okay; it’s great that Elizabeth has a female friend who, though different from her, ends up drawn into her adventures and helping her. There’s also a good range of characters helping and hindering her, for many reasons, and sometimes the hindering is well-meaning. That makes it feel all the more real; things don’t go smoothly for Elizabeth, and sometimes that is due to well-intentioned people.