Author: A.A. Aguirre
Genre: Fantasy, Steampunk
Series: Apparatus Infernum #2
Mass Market Paperback, 325 Pages
Publication: April 29, 2014 by Ace
Source: I received a review copy from the author in exchange for a honest review.
Criminal Investigation Division inspectors Janus Mikani and Celeste Ritsuko were lucky to make it out of their last mission alive. Since then, strange troubles have plagued the city of steam and shadows, apparently as a result of magic released during the CID inspectors’ desperate interruption of an ancient ritual. The fabric of the world has been unsettled, and the Council has assigned Mikani and Ritsuko to investigate.
They soon discover that matters are worse than they imagined. Machines have developed minds of their own, cragger pirates are raiding the seas with relentless aggression, and mad elementals are running amok. As the chaos builds to a crescendo, Mikani and Ritsuko must fight a war on two fronts—and this time, they may not be able to turn the deadly tide….
Silver Mirrors, the second book in the Apparatus Infernum series takes place one month after the events of Bronze Gods. CID inspectors Ritsuko and Mikani are still recovering from the aftermath of the first book when they stopped a Ferisher prince from opening the gates for the dead souls of Ferishers beyond the veil. Ritsuko and Mikani barely have time to recover when they are summoned by the Architect to investigate strange occurrences developing all over Dorstaad; Trains and mirrors are screaming and carriages are acting like they’re possessed. It’s once again up to Ritsuko and Mikani to solve the problem plaguing Hy Breasil.
In Silver Mirrors, Ritsuko and Mikani leave the city of Dorstaad for the Winter Isle taking them on an adventure on the high seas and the dark mysterious land beyond the mountains. There was nonstop action once the inspectors board the pirate ship, captained by none other than Mikani’s ex-girlfriend Saskia and her motley crew. The group is attacked on all fronts from beginning to end; from fire elementals, cragger pirates, rock golem, a witch, and even an almighty dragon residing in the mountains. The second book is definitely jammed pack, but it was a nice change of pace from the first book where it was a straightforward murder mystery. I also really enjoyed the expanded world of Hy Breasil and the new characters. In Bronze Gods readers saw more of the mechanical aspect of the world building, the different devices used, and in Silver Mirrors we saw the magical sides, full of different creatures/elementals. Furthermore, readers get more back-story of the time before the Architect enforced a barrier around Hy Breasil; a time when the elementals and Ferisher courts ruled the world. I also loved the new addition of characters, mostly in the form of Saskia’s crew who were a lively unique bunch.
Beside all the crazy action going on in book two, we get a side plot involving Ritsuko and Mikani’s complicated-changing relationship. Things have differently taken a turn at the end of the first book, Ritsuko and Mikani’s feeling for one another go beyond mere partners; they both have deep feelings for one another but aren’t sure if the other reciprocate it. While everyone around them sees that they should be together, they are oblivious to one another. It was quite vexing, I mean seriously?! It’s so obvious!! I appreciate the slow burning tension between the two main leads as it was one of the things I loved in the first book, but it was really like the two were completely blind to the other person’s feelings. And I must add it was refreshing to see Saskia support Ritsuko and Mikani’s relationship…most (not saying there’s none but rarely) exes in fiction/or real life wouldn’t be so supportive or genuinely happy.
I loved everything about Silver Mirrors, and can’t wait to see what the authors have in store for the characters/series. This is an amazing series, with incredible world building and characters that make this series stand out among others of its kind. If you’re looking for a character driven and unique fantasy steampunk novel, look no further… Apparatus Infernum is it! I highly recommend this series to everyone, definitely a series you don’t want to miss!