Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Rise of the Arcane Fire by Kristin Bailey

Rise of the Arcane Fire (The Secret Order, #2)
Release date: February 4, 2013
Publisher: Simon Pulse
Genre: YA Steampunk Romance
Series: The Secret Order #2

After her parents died in a fire and her grandfather disappeared, Meg Whitlock thought her life had come to a standstill. But when she learned that the pocket watch her grandfather left her was really an intricate key, Meg, with the help of a stable hand named Will, uncovered the Amusementists: members of an elite secret society dedicated to discovery and shrouded in mystery.

Now the Amusementists are convening in London, and Meg is determined to join their ranks. But being the first girl in the Order has its difficulties, and with Will away in Scotland Meg fears she can’t trust anyone but herself. Her worries are only supported by the sabotage happening at the academy, with each altered invention being more harmful than the last.

With threats lurking around every corner, and while trying to prove her worth as the first female Amusementist, Meg must uncover the identity of the academy’s saboteur before the botched devices become deadly. And after she finds evidence of a sinister and forbidden invention, Meg must stop it - or risk the entire future of the Amusementists.

My Rating: 5 Roses

Even better than the first book! Rise of the Arcane Fire was absolutely amazing, full of thrills, mystery, secrets, surprises, betrayal and, of course, romance. I had high expectations for this book and, it not only met them, but exceeded them all. Just brilliant!

Meg becomes a much stronger character in this book. In book 1, we see her begin to find her strength, but, in this book, she claims it all. She went against the gender barrier in the Society, even though she had to endure taunts and harassment. And, she proved to them all that she was just as clever and capable as any amusementist. And, in her spare time, she took down a saboteur. Can I just say that she's a beast? I really liked her in book 1 and I liked her even more in this book.

Will was, unfortunately, absent for most of the book. Rather than training to become an amusementist, he decided to go to Scotland to join the Foundry. But, don't worry, he still plays a prominent role in the book and we get our fix of super hot Scottish inventor. He was wonderful in book 1 and he's even more wonderful in this book. He came into his element more, since he found his place in the Foundry, where he could do the work he loved. And, like Meg, he proved his strength, cleverness, and worth as a character. Not to mention how sweet he could be, even with the green eyed monster paying a visit because of David (more on him later). He was sweet and wonderful and I adored him.

The romance, despite the separation, was still a big part of the book. It was absolutely lovely. Meg and Will are just so sweet together. And, considering how clever and capable they both are, they definitely met their match in each other. They were wonderful together and I can't wait to see how things go for them in the next book.

He was an interesting character. At first, he was pompous, annoying, and basically Meg's arch-nemesis in the academy. I have to admit, I wanted to punch him a few times.
But, later on, he changed. For one, he proved that his worth as an amusementist wasn't just because of his family name. He was truly clever and a worthy character.
Then, he changed more.
He started to get sweet on Meg. And, it was all the more significant, considering their connection from their childhood and the "almost was" relationship (which was a huge surprise and, no, I won't explain any further. I'll just let you stew on that as I laugh evilly).
Not to worry, this doesn't become a love triangle. Meg is still very much in love with Will, though Will'l insecurity peeked up, since he worried that he couldn't compete with a lord. But, David was very sweet and adorable and, by the end, I totally had a crush on him. We'll see what happens with his character in the next book.

The plot was fast paced and I was hooked the entire way through. There were enough thrills to keep me on the edge of my seat. The mystery of who was sabotaging the academy was brilliantly done. I never suspected who it turned out to be. The reveal of who was behind it, and why, was quite a shock. We get a few more teasers into the truth behind the death of Meg's parents. The hints were surprising and they definitely changed the game, especially the one near the end. Now, I'm even more curious to find out the truth and I'm dying to get my hands on the next book. I really enjoyed the story and I adored the ending. I can't wait to read more from this series, because it's turning out to be amazing.

Rise of the Arcane Fire was a brilliant YA steampunk romance. I adored every bit of it! There were thrills, secrets, surprises, mystery, and romance. It was all perfect. Fans of the first book, you won't be disappointed. And, for those who haven't started the series, if you want an amazing YA read, this series is one you don't want to miss.

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*I received a free copy from the publisher in exchange for an honest review

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