The Wonder Engine by T. Kingfisher

The Wonder Engine
Clocktaur War, book 2
by T. Kingfisher

Now in Anuket City, Slate, Caliban, Brenner, and Learned Edmund must find allies and uncover the mystery of the Clockwork Boys before their pasts catch up with them first.

While I think Clockwork Boys read like a necessary prequel, The Wonder Engine holds the real meat of the adventure. I loved them both, but they really do go together as a single story split in two much more than they stand on their own. You could read them spaced out, but I’m glad I had them both at the same time. Partly because they tell two halves of one story, but mostly because I loved the story they were telling.

Continuing where the last book left off, our ragtag crew is in the city and on the hunt for some risky information. I liked seeing the library and the Shadow Market, as well as getting to know more about gnoles. We get some backstory for our main characters and introductions of a few new side characters. There’s growth and more tension of many varieties. Crime and research and battles, oh my.

I loved getting to know these characters better and seeing their dynamic change as they did. I’m generally not big on romance, but even I was rooting for characters to get together. I loved that the romance wasn’t perfect and cutesy, especially at the very end. Although none of the twists or big reveals felt shocking, they weren’t so cliché and obvious that I ever lost investment in what was happening. It’s hopeful and heartbreaking and definitely my kind of offbeat adventure.

If you love fantasy and banter, I definitely recommend this series.