Book Review: THE UNDYING LEGION by Clay and Susan Griffith
A thrilling new Victorian-era urban fantasy for fans of Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles, the Showtime series Penny Dreadful, and the Sherlock Holmes movies featuring Robert Downey, Jr.
Title: THE UNDYING LEGION
Series: Crown & Key
Authors: Clay and Susan Griffith
Sale Date: June 30, 2015
Genre: Steampunk, Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Del Rey
Source: ARC from Publishers
Rating: 4.5 Stars.
Add to: Goodreads
With a flood of dark magic about to engulf Victorian London, can a handful of heroes vanquish a legion of the undead?
When monster-hunter Malcolm MacFarlane comes across the gruesome aftermath of a ritual murder in a London church, he enlists the help of magician-scribe Simon Archer and alchemist extraordinaire Kate Anstruther. Studying the macabre scene, they struggle to understand obscure clues in the ancient Egyptian hieroglyphics carved into the victim’s heart—as well as bizarre mystical allusions to the romantic poetry of William Blake. One thing is clear: Some very potent black magic is at work.
But this human sacrifice is only the first in a series of ritualized slayings. Desperate to save lives while there is still time, Simon, Kate, and Malcolm—along with gadget geek Penny Carter and Charlotte, an adolescent werewolf—track down a necromancer who is reanimating the deceased. As the team battles an unrelenting army of undead, a powerful Egyptian mummy, and serpentine demons, the necromancer proves an elusive quarry. And when the true purpose of the ritual is revealed, the gifted allies must confront a destructive force that is positively apocalyptic.
As the second book in the Crown & Key series, THE UNDYING LEGION surpassed my expectations and delivered another action-packed read filled with supernatural strangeness, exciting steampunk gadgets and terrific characterization.
Once again, author team Clay and Susan Griffith, hooked me and reeled me into their fascinating world of Victorian-Steampunk London. A world where you can wrestle with Shapeshifters, shoot at the walking undead (with a kick-ass gun modified by a woman, I must say) decipher ancient Egyptian hieroglyphs, witness and solve a case of linked ritual murders - all the while threats from an old foe and black magic surround our league of monster hunters.
In book two, we get more one-on-one time with the fabulous Kate and Archer, Alchemist and Wizard, as they battle the bad guys. Kate is still working on a cure for her sister Imogene as well as improving the compound to treat young Charlotte's lycanthropy. Archer is searching for clues to reveal the significance of the mysterious key left to them by their fathers.
These two perfectly foil one another and there is plenty of supernatural kick-butt time as well as romantic tension brewing between these two. I’ve been holding my breath for the first kiss between Archer and Kate and I almost dropped my book when it came about. Talk about settings not to forget your first kiss in - only these authors could have come up with something toe-curling and shiver-inducing at the same time ... A kiss to remember for sure!
In the last book, readers saw a departure of Malcolm which I was sad about. Well, he’s back in full battle mode and this time around he has an unlikely ally in Charlotte. I’m not going to say much, but it was all very sweet and Charlotte is becoming quite the young heroine and so endearing. I’ll take her on my side any day.
Penny is back (see kick-ass gun above) and takes no prisoners as she continues to come up with the coolest gadgets to take down the supernaturals. One of my favorite scenes involves her and Kate racing off in a “bulky, two-wheeled vehicle” A vehicle that Penny designed and built, with Kate sitting in its sidecar anticipating their adventure!
The mystery of the Golden Key continues as the walking undead and black magic threaten the Kingdom. Authors Clay and Susan Griffith have created such a fun and clever series here to follow with just the right amount of Supernatural action and Steampunk goodness for fans of the genre to enjoy. Add to that mystery, great characters and a touch of romance and you have a winner read in your hands! I’m desperate for more, please!
My Rating: 4.5 Stars. I really liked it!
PLEASE NOTE: A courtesy review copy of this book was provided by Del Rey in exchange for my fair review. Thank you, Del Rey for the review opportunity.