Author: A. A. Aguirre
Series: Apparatus Infernum, Book 2
Publication: Ace (April 29, 2014)
Description: As powerful magic comes creeping back, dangerous days are dawning…
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…
My Thoughts: Mikani and Ritsuko have just come off a case where they foiled a villain who was trying to destroy their city. Despite the accolades they receive, they are certain that he wasn't acting alone and are pursuing their investigation without official sanction.
Things are going a little crazy in the city too with the elementals that power the trains and the long distance mirror going crazy. They believe that it is an after effect of the spell the villain was trying to perform. Their superiors want them to find out the cause and stop the problem. Thus, they are sent out of the city in search of a solution.
Mikani calls on an older lover Saskia for help. She, in turn, wants him to return a favor owed and help her kill the leader of the craggers who are hampering shipping between the cities. Little do they know that the two problems are connected.
Between fighting off attacks of the craggers and dealing with angry elementals, Mikani and Ritsuko have their hands full. It doesn't help that Ritsuko has developed an ability to discern truth from lies when she hears people speak. This new power along with Mikani's ability to feel what people around him feel further complicates their new relationship.
The world building in this series is amazing. The magic is well integrated in the story as is the history of the world. I also really like the interactions between the characters. Mikani and Ritsuko's changing feelings for each other and their hesitancy to do anything about them provided an interesting dynamic played out around the larger issues.
I really hope that this wasn't the last adventure for Mikani and Ritsuko since the ending left them currently safe but with large problems still to be solved.
He closed the book with an echoing boom and was on his feet before she had quite finished speaking. "I swear you make up reasons to bring me here, Ritsuko. Let's go talk to some fences and gold dealers, then, shall we?"I bought this one. You can buy your copy here.
"Good plan. And you know it's just because I like watching your lips move when you read the big words."
"I know. You can't take your eyes off me."
She gave him her best mysterious smile. "Could be."