Noir by Jacqueline GarlickThe second book in this trilogy proves it has some writing chops. The action just keeps on rolling and all the characters keep it light with great humor. The novel manages to feel serious without being depressing. It is absolutely brimming with love and laughter even in the depths of madness. While I don't usually go for the lovey-dovey goo, I really had fun with Urlick and Eyelet's love development. They certainly have some passion. Garlick shows how a story can have passion without vulgarity which always wins huge points for me.
The first aspect that really elevated this novel for me was the additional character points of view. We now see the world beyond just Eyelet and Urlick. The first novel had many great characters and now we get the voices to get an full-sided insight into the world Garlick has created. There is an authenticity to reading through a whole chapter in the character's point of view, not just the dialogue being in the character's voice. This is seriously a huge plus to this novel. The C.L. chapters really add to the comedic relief of the story.
The second aspect I really enjoyed was the steampunk twist of our modern technologies. Sure you can have automatons and steam powered gadgets, but this one takes the cloud to a whole new level (haha--I seriously recommend you pick up a copy to find out why that is funny). Since reading the Baskerville series by Emma Jane Holloway, I have been very intrigued by the new steampunk genre. It has been fascinating seeing how each author treats this category. Most have been a little boring to me with just the bland shift of steam power in place of electricity. Garlick takes a more metaphysical and humorous approach to how the inventions in a steampunk world would be different. This is not Victorian England alternate history. It is some futuristic, post-apocalyptic place with all our current knowledge warped by those experiences. I am much more appreciative of this look at steampunk because it is all possible without tainting history.