Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Review: The Secret Abyss

Book Cover: The Secret Abyss by Darrell Pitt
Published July 2015 by Text Publishing Company
Source: eGalley ARC from NetGalley

When the world's deadliest assassin, the Chameleon, escapes from prison, Jack begins his most dangerous investigation yet.

With only the scantest of clues, the team travels from London to New York, a bustling metropolis filled with airships, steam cars and exciting new ideas.

Here they uncover a terrible plot that threatens the president's life and brings the nation to the brink of civil war. Can Jack track down the Chameleon in time? And just what is the mysterious whip of fire that has the power to wreak destruction across the world?

My Thoughts

The Secret Abyss is the second book in the Jack Mason Adventures, also referred to as A Steampunk Detective series. If you don't remember, Jack is an orphan who has been apprenticed to Ignatius Doyle, an eccentric London detective. Now, in this second outing, Jack, Ignatius, and fellow apprentice Scarlett travel from London to New York in pursuit of the arch-criminal, the Chameleon. Here they uncover a plot that will bring the nation to the brink of catastrophe. Can Jack track down the Chameleon in time? And just what is the mysterious whip of fire?

Scarlet is becoming my favorite character. She's constantly reminding Jack and Mr. Doyle that girls are capable of doing almost anything. She frequently refers to her literary heroine, Binkie Buckeridge, a resourceful adventurer who takes on deeds of derring-do such as the time she had to stop a train using only a nail file. Her feminist attitude is refreshing and provides a strong social message to the boys and girls who are the targeted audience of the Jack Mason adventures.

I really enjoyed this book. The action is fast-paced as in the previous book, The Firebird Mystery, and I was given some interesting things to think about. One of the bad guys is trying to get the South to secede from the US yet again—having never accepted that the Civil War is over. Shades of today's news with so much discussion about the flying of the Confederate flag. Additionally, the steampunk technology was amusing. It was fun to hear the characters criticize electricity as impractical.

All-in-all, a delightful outing with Jack and company. I look forward to many more adventures with them.


Disclosure: I received a free copy of The Secret Abyss from the publisher via NetGalley in return for an honest review.

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