Mooning For The Moonstone
Barely escaping the clutches of a succulent succubus, Phaeton Black returns to London only to get sucked into another unearthly scheme. Professor Lovecraft has been tinkering with the secrets of life and death, replacing body parts with the latest mechanical marvels. To succeed, he needs to tap the power of the fabled Moonstone—and he needs Phaeton’s help. Of course, Phaeton would prefer to investigate the more interesting body parts of Miss America Jones. Perhaps, bringing his lady friend along for the ride won’t be to too much trouble…
Shanghaied In Shanghai
The bewilderingly beautiful and bountifully gifted daughter of a Cajun witch, Miss Jones is always up for an adventure, especially with Mr. Black as her traveling companion. But when Phaeton is mysteriously shanghaied in Shanghai, America thinks he’s run out on her. Stranded in the Orient—and steaming mad—she’s prepared to look under every stone for the missing detective. The case has put them both in the most compromising positions, but this time, Miss Jones is on top and Mr. Black is at the bottom…of a truly infernal plot.
I’m going to preface my review by noting that I don’t generally review steampunk novels. Jillian Stone’s The Moonstone and Miss Jones, however, promised to be more than just steampunk with a heroine who is the daughter of a Cajun witch and other paranormal plot elements, so I thought I’d give it a shot.
I hope that Future Me notes that when the blurbage for a book runs as long as that which you see quoted above, it’s probably a sign that there is far too much going on in a book than there should be.
This is the second in a series featuring Miss America Jones — the Miss Jones of the title — and her lover/partner in investigations, Phaeton Black. When the story opens, Black has been kidnapped by someone who wants him for his possible power over an object that later goes missing.
Throughout the book, the two are alternately in bed — and the sex scenes are at least well-written — or traveling to and fro from one reality to another searching for this object they call the Moonstone with a very large and unwieldy cast of characters for a book that hovers just around 260 pages depending on which version you have.
While it’s possible you may love this book if you love steampunk, the rest of it falls decidedly flat. There are too many characters to really get to know or care about any of them besides Phaeton and America, and even these two seem more like friend with benefits than any sort of great romance. They banter; they have sex; they run around and try to solve things.We’re told they’re in love, but it isn’t shown much at all, leaving the ending rather anti-climactic.
As for the rest of the characters, most of them are left hanging, we can assume for a sequel or more, but the entire book feels like a loosely woven cloth with a lot of hanging threads.
A copy of this book was provided by the publisher and NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.