Currently by Sarah Mensinga
Publication date: December 27th 2018
Publisher: Chattersketch Press
Genre: Fantasy / Steampunk / Sci-fi
Every year, Nerene’s village shelters in Varasay City while the surrounding lands flood. Yet Varasay only protects those who obey its laws, and after Nerene’s boyfriend Sande starts a riot, he’s in danger of being cast out. Nerene manages to contact Lord Osperacy, a traveling thief with enough power and money to save Sande, but he’ll only help Nerene if she agrees to work for him.
Eager to save her boyfriend, Nerene takes the job. Yet working for Lord Osperacy means leaving Sande behind in Varasay City. It also means tolerating Lord Osperacy’s children who have a supernatural ability to make others do as they wish, an ability the family uses to manipulate and steal.
Just as Nerene begins to despair that she’ll never see Sande again, she meets Cressit, a wealthy, charming musician. Cressit offers to help Nerene reunite with Sande, but she’s not sure he can be trusted. He has a strange interest in the Osperacy family, and he seems to know more about Nerene than he should.
Even worse, the more time Nerene spends with Cressit, the less she thinks about Sande…
*** Note: I received this book from the author, in exchange for an honest review. Many thanks to Sarah for this beautiful book. ***
Currently was mix of steampunk, fantasy and mythical creature. It revolved around Nerene, her survival in the world filled with slavery, trickery and injustice, her love for her boyfriend and dangerous journey she boarded to keep him safe. It was about social injustice, survival, power, politics, trust, betrayal, friendship, and love; and Siren lore.
That synopsis was perfect. It covers enough without giving away what you are into and its best that way. The book was slow burner and steady paced. It took its time in world-building, characterization and their development. Writing was great. Easy to follow, gripping and filled with emotions. The world-building was best in the book. I loved all the places, unique name and social structure. The description was vivid and impressive. I wish there was a map of Varasay city and the rout they followed.
The book was told from Nerene’s captivating voice and was divided in three parts-
First part was about Nerene and her boyfriend, Snade. Village they lived in, their struggling poor life, how they survived the tide when their village was flooded and their shelter up on the mountain in Varasay city; the priests who called themselves God, their many unfair rules and injustice towards deeplanders (people like Nerene dwelling in villages that are flooded every year); Snade’s protest towards the slavery they were forced into and how that changed their life.
It was emotional to read Nerene’s story and her situation. I felt for her and I could see why she was always cautious, tried to follow rules, and wanted safe and certain life for her and Snade. While Snade was her antipode- rash, reckless, lawbreaker who wanted to run away with Nerene from Varasay, and for that he would do anything. I liked him in this first part. He was brave and bold, spontaneous and smart. It was sad to see what happened to both of them after his stunt in factory. Story took interesting turn from this point.
Second Part was all about Nenrene’s journey through various cities and ports with Osperacy family. I was curious to know more about Osperacys. Melily, Lord Osperacy’s daughter was spoilt teenager, moody, selfish, and her tantrums were difficult to handle. It was Nerene’s job to keep her in control which was amusing. It got her into lot of trouble and also led her to Cressit. Cressit was superstar musician and singer who was filthy rich, selfish but not as much, and tricked Nerene to get what he wanted. There more to both of these character. As I read more about Melily I understood she mostly acted bad to Nerene out of jealousy. She yearned for love and companion. Nobody paid her attention or talked to her about her feelings. While Cressit was actually nicer. As I was reading through Nerene’s eye, I had my doubts towards all characters but Cressit always felt good, no matter what his intentions were or how much the emotions around him was fake or real. What I liked most in this part was Osperacy’s secrets and many illegal things he and his family was involved in, and their supernatural abilities.
Third part and climax was not that separated. Many things were included in this part. Escape plan, Villains following their trail, survival, action. It was tense, exciting, nuanced, and filled with emotions. Characters developed a lot by this point and we see lot of change in them. Most amazing was, Melily’s development. I loved the strong bond formed between her and Nerene, and some more interesting things related to her abilities. It was life altering for characters and I loved the way story took turn from this point till the end.
The insight was great. I found Nerene’s unwavering nature commendable. It was at some point unbelievable, if I was in her place I wouldn’t hesitate from harming the villain but she was such a righteous, law abiding person who followed her conscience all the time. That’s what it said about the story and characters- doing right thing, following conscience takes courage. They wouldn’t be in this situation if Snade has not started riot or Cressite came out clean and many more, there is always an alternative to the rash and reckless path that didn’t involve harming and hurting other or even worst killing; It tells about the power and its greed and manipulation.
I didn’t like Nenrene’s step just before end. Her reason was understandable but it didn’t feel satisfyingandthat End was shocking. I actually expected a closure, but now it left me curious, thinking of all possibilities. An epilogue would have ended it but I guess there might be a continuation and I may get some back and future story in next book, if author decides to write it.
Overall, it was interesting and wonderful novel with impressive world. If you like to read book involving Sirens, you would want to read this. I definitely recommend this book to fantasy and steampunk lovers.
What do you think about the book and review? Have you read this book already? Have you read a book featuring Sirens or flooded world? Which is your favorite steampunk book?
Follow me on–