Monday, June 13, 2016

Treasure Darkly (Treasure Chronicles #1) by Jordan Elizabeth

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Title: Treasure Darkly (Treasure Chronicles #1)
Author: Jordan Elizabeth
Publisher: Curiosity Quills Press
Publication Date: February 15, 2015
Genre: YA Steampunk Romance

I received a copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest review

Seventeen-year-old Clark Treasure assumes the drink he stole off the captain is absinthe… until the chemicals in the liquid give him the ability to awaken the dead.

A great invention for creating perfect soldiers, yes, but Clark wants to live as a miner, not a slave to the army—or the deceased. On the run, Clark turns to his estranged, mining tycoon father for help. The Treasures welcome Clark with open arms, so he jumps at the chance to help them protect their ranch against Senator Horan, a man who hates anyone more powerful than he.

Sixteen-year-old Amethyst Treasure loathes the idea of spending the summer away from her bustling city life to rot on her father’s ranch, but when a handsome young man shows up claiming to be her secret half-brother, her curiosity is piqued. He’s clever, street smart, and has no qualms jumping into the brawl between the Treasures and Horans. Caught in the middle, Horan kidnaps Amethyst, and all she gets is this lousy bullet through her heart.

When Clark brings her back to life, however, the real action starts, and Amethyst joins him in his fight against the Horan clan—whatever the cost. Defeating the Horans may seem easy at first, but going up against men with the same fighting vengeance as Clark, and a Senator with power he’s obtained by brainwashing the masses?

Well, Amethyst’s boring summer at home has turned into an adventure on the run, chock full of intrigue, danger, love, and a mysterious boy named Clark.

 I was not a new reader for author Jordan Elizabeth. I had read one of her previous works, Escape from Witchwood Hollow, and really enjoyed it, so when she told me about her new series I was excited to see what she had cooked up this time.

Treasure Darkly is the first book in the Treasure Chronicles series, and it centers around two main characters: 17-year-old Clark Treasure and 16-year-old Amethyst Treasure. Clark is a tough, street smart young man who had been on his own since his mother's tragic death. Too make his life even more complicated, he ends up with the power to manipulate death, which draws the attention of the army who will stop at nothing to capture him. With only his father's name to go on, he goes off in search of the family he never knew. Surprisingly, the Treasure family (mostly) welcomes him with open arms. His father Garth does not seem at all put out by his illegitimate son dropping into his life unexpectedly, and Garth's wife Georgette does not seem shocked or angry by the revelation either, taking Clark under her wing like he was one of her own. Garth and Georgette have three other children, two sons and a daughter. The daughter is Amethyst, a reluctant visitor to her father's house; she much preferred to be back in the city with her friends and the endless parties. That is until she meets her new brother, Clark. 

There is a weird attraction between these two half-siblings almost immediately. It is a bit unsettling, but this is hardly the first book to go in that direction, and it is obvious pretty early on that there is more to the story than meets the eye. That being said, I really tried to like Amethyst. It helps to understand that she is used to a life of privilege and being the center of attention. Humble she isn't. While I can say she does make an attempt throughout the book to go beyond her comfort zone and stop being such a snot, mostly for Clark's sake, by the end she is still a spoiled, whiny brat. I just couldn't seem to wrap my head around what Clark saw in her, except for a pretty face. I guess the fact that she was such a free spirit, and incredibly feisty, had something to do with it. I feel like the novelty of that would wear off quickly. I hope in subsequent books we get to see her evolve more and toughen up.

The story is mostly told from just two points of view: Clark and Amethyst. Occasionally the author switched it up and gave one of the minor characters the spotlight. This can get confusing at times; you expect to be hearing the thoughts of one of the main characters, only to discover it's someone else completely. I actually like this method, however, because it gives you a better insight into the minds of those we as readers wouldn't normally get to see if the author only sticks to one or two points of view. 

There was certainly some action in Treasure Darkly, with Amethyst getting kidnapped, shot, and several more close calls. I think, though, that this first book mostly served to set up a lot of plot points. By the end we know the truth about Clark's father, get fairly well acquainted with the characters, sets up major conflict with the Horan family, and of course reminds of us the looming threat of the army. I am honestly not sure how I feel about the ending. Obviously I can't say why I have my reservations because I don't want to spoil it, and it wasn't completely unexpected; I just didn't care for it that much.

I don't usually comment about covers, but I love the cover of Treasure Darkly. The girl is gorgeous and her Steampunk wardrobe is amazing. I mean, I would 100% like to cosplay as her! Not sure if this is supposed to be Amethyst; I can't exactly picture the girl from the book being dressed this way, but I have hope that maybe her adventures will shape her into the badass we see pictured. 

All in all, I think the Treasure Chronicles series is going to be full of exciting adventures, romance, and mystery. Treasure Darkly was a nice intro to this world and I look forward to seeing what lies ahead for Clark, Amethyst, and the rest of the characters.

If you would like to learn more about author Jordan Elizabeth, please check out her website, Twitter, and Facebook.

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