Immersed by Katie Hayoz
Release Date: August 18, 2015
Source: Gift from Lexxie
Rating: 4.5 Bookworms
Recommended by: Lexxie, Braine, & Lola
What is love turned you into a monster?
Forget petticoats and demure female behavior. Melusine Dore prefers armored corsets and knives and slays evil creatures for a living. The grim and gruesome don't frighten her; she'll take on a cyclops or a dragon and not even break a sweat. But when her rival, the charismatic Levi Cannon, comes to town, all her buried fears begin to surface. Melusine realizes she is in danger of something much more frightening than facing blood-thirsty beasts - she's in danger of falling in love. Because love alone has the power to reveal a secret terrible enough to completely shatter her world.
Set in the muddy streets of 1850s steampunk Chicago, Immersed by Katie Hayoz is a dark yet romantic fantastical romp. It is a stand-alone novella, but the first in a series of adventures that follow Melusine on her quest to rid the world of monsters...and her struggle to come to terms with every monstrous facet of herself.
Immersed served as my introduction to the steampunk genre. I have nothing to compare it to, obviously, but if this is representative then I'm sorry I waited so long to dip my toe in!
Hayoz created a unique and vivid landscape for this series - a Chicago slowing sinking into the mud. I was fascinated by her descriptions of the streets with their popping gaslamps, wooden boardwalks built to prevent walking through med as well as to serve as a means of entering buildings with their first floors now serving as basements, and, of course, the steam-powered horse-drawn carriages.
Hayoz populated this Chicago with enthralling characters in Melusine and Levi, along with the creepy monsters. Melusine and Levi are monster-hunters and rivals. Unfortunately for them, they've just been hired for a job to work together. These two are like oil and water but it certainly made for entertaining conversation. The snarky banter belied the true feelings brewing between them, however, and watching as these two slowly revealed those feelings was exciting, to say the least. I adore Melusine. She's sassy and confident - a wonderful heroine. Levi stole my heart as well with his charm and wit.
Oh, but those pesky monsters. Hayoz brilliantly wove in cyclops, sirens, mermaids, and the like. Melusine and Levi even have a curse to deal with. Luckily they both know where to get proper bait, to lure their prey, and weaponry, for destroying them.
Immersed was also my introduction to Hayoz's writing and I'm impressed. She deftly combined mythology, steampunk, a mystery and a little romance to create a fascinating tale. The pacing was perfect. And the imagery she invoked with her words had me picturing the entire story in my head, like a movie.
I'm very much looking forward to the next installment in this series and I certainly intend to read more of Hayoz's work.