REVIEW BY: Christie
TITLE: Clockwork Tangerine
AUTHOR: Rhys Ford
NARRATOR: Greg Tremblay
PUBLISHER: Dreamspinner Press
LENGTH: 2h 10m
RELEASE DATE: May 12, 2016
The British Empire reigns supreme, and its young Queen Victoria has expanded her realm to St. Francisco, a bustling city of English lords and Chinese ghettos. St. Francisco is a jewel in the Empire’s crown and as deeply embroiled in the conflict between the Arcane and Science as its sister city, London—a very dark and dangerous battle.
Marcus Stenhill, Viscount of Westwood, stumbles upon that darkness when he encounters a pack of young bloods beating a man senseless. Westwood’s duty and honor demand he save the man, but he’s taken aback to discover the man is Robin Harris, a handsome young inventor indirectly responsible for the death of Marcus’s father.
Living in the shadows following a failed coup, Robin devotes his life to easing others’ pain, even though his creations are considered mechanical abominations of magicks and science. Branded a deviant and a murderer, Robin expects the viscount to run as far as he can—and is amazed when Marcus reaches for him instead.
Clockwork Tangerine is yet another reason that Rhys Ford is on my immediate buy list. And, of course, Greg Tremblay is… Well, he’s just plain awesome. Simple as that. I am a very happy little camper every time I see an audiobook narrated by Greg, especially if said book was written by Rhys. Love, love, love this novella!
In this, my very first foray into the steampunk genre, we meet Marcus and Robin. Two very dissimilar men who find a way to live, love, and thrive in a time where being gay is intolerable and punishable by unspeakable acts. Marcus’ father was killed by a mechanical spider-like creature, powered by magic, and Robin is the inventor of said machine.
Marcus is sent on an errand by his grandmother, when he happens upon several men kicking and beating a seemingly lifeless form on the ground, in the middle of an alley. Good thing he is a stand-up man and chases off the attackers, because the man on the ground is in really bad shape and in serious need of medical assistance. When a constable comes by to see what is wrong, he turns up his nose and basically advises Marcus that the now unconscious man pretty much deserved the beating, because he is the one who created the spider-like creature that was used as a weapon not only on Marcus’ father, but many others. Even with this knowledge, Marcus asks for Robin’s address and brings him there in order to be cared for.
Well, the maid has had enough of Robin coming home beaten (and in this case, unconscious). So, she packs her things (as well as a few that are not hers) and quits Robin’s employ, leaving Marcus alone to deal with Robin. Good thing she actually called for a doctor before leaving. An even better thing is that the doctor who shows up is someone who has benefited from Robin’s expertise at mixing mechanics and magic, by receiving the gift of new and working legs.
Robin’s injuries are very bad, and his recuperation lengthy. However, Marcus is intrigued by the young inventor and wants to know more. So, he stays on helping the doctor care for their invalid while he convalesces. The more Marcus sees into Robin’s world, the more he begins to care for the man and see him for who he truly is.
When Robin regains consciousness, the two men form a friendship that grows into affection and love. In all honesty, there is only one thing wrong with this story; I WANT MORE!! Marcus and Robin’s relationship is simply lovely and makes you want to know more about not only them but their life together. I want to see what Robin’s brilliant mind can come up with, and I’d love to see Marcus’ reaction to said invention. They really are adorable. And, Marcus’ grandma is such a great character! Quirky, funny, a little crass (but, y’know, regally so since she’s nobility and all), and the only person to tell Marcus how it is when it comes to life and his potential relationship with Robin.
This book drew me in for so many reasons. It’s a Rhys Ford book, and she is awesome. It is narrated by Greg Tremblay, and he is brilliant. The two main characters are from different social circles, and completely opposite (c’mon, one’s invention killed the other’s dad). Even the minor characters were written (and narrated) superbly. Do get Clockwork Tangerine. It’s an absolute treat.