My interest for the steampunk background and the spy plot moved up a notch while my patience for the romance thinned and my lustful hopes crashed; which leaves me after a few ups and down at a 3,5 stars rating.
Frost and Mason are still partners, intelligence and instinct teaming up to save the world from the villain’s clutches. The author unwinds the threads she introduced in the first book, and once my eyebrows were firmly back in place, I enjoyed the action and the whole man versus machine topic a lot.
The imagery is all leather and skin, copper and flesh, glass and blood, opposition and fusion. It reflects Mason’s torment and the story thrived on his darkness, his doubts and struggles while he is fighting harder yet so afraid of betraying Frost, falling harder yet so afraid of never getting what he wants.
In the end, the weak spot for me is Frost. Which takes the cake since he is the top of the bill!
He’s still the game master, still manoeuvring his pawn, still playing “a game within the game”, but despite a few glimpses behind the masks (yes, plural), we don’t have much to get our teeth into, and his evasiveness is dangerously close to flatness sometimes. So are his interactions with Mason; the whole need-want-frustration arc became too repetitive, only interrupted by a climax I’m still feeling bitter about.
I hope that the third instalment will give us a dishevelled Agamemnon!