The Chronos Clock by Wendy L. Callahan

The Chronos Clock by Wendy L. Callahan
Publisher: Musa Publishing
Genre: Sci-Fi/Fantasy, Historical, Mystery/Suspense
Length: Full Length (173 Pages)
Rating: 3.5 Stars
Reviewed by Cyclamen

Time is of the essence to everyone but her…

In 1892 Victorian London, Demetra Ashdown is a half-daemon with the ability to locate and draw Aetheric artifacts to her. When her former fiancé’s valet is held hostage and will only be released in exchange for a device with the power to control time, she must act quickly to save a man’s life. Armed with only her razor-edged fan and equally sharp wit, she feels it is her duty to ensure that the potentially-devastating device does not fall into the wrong hands.

In addition to this dilemma, she must determine if she both trusts and loves the man to whom she was once betrothed. Lord Francis Winterton not only broke her heart, but also appears to have betrayed her to the ruthless people in search of this powerful artifact. With close friend and inventor Simon Warom at her side, Demetra begins her adventure: the hunt for the clock that will save the life of the valet, and thus prevent Francis from transgressing the limits of fashionable good taste.

Demetra Ashdown decides to help Lord Francis Winterton, her former fiancé, rescue his valet who has been kidnapped and is being held for ransom. The kidnappers want the Chronos Clock, an artifact which has the ability to change time. Demetra, a half-daemon, has the ability to locate artifacts and draw them to her, and she feels that she must take charge in this case to prevent the Chronos Clock from falling into the wrong hands.

Demetra is a very smart and witty heroine. When she is stumped about the next step to take, she says to Francis, “If the kidnappers had any manners whatsoever, they might give you at least some clue as to where to look,” Demetra responded, offering him a slice of cheese. “However, I think it is safe to assume since they have chosen to operate outside the law, they have no manners. Therefore, we are on our own. Besides, if we find the clock, we have no intention of giving it to the kidnappers.”

Wendy Callahan has written a fun story with good pacing. I enjoyed the characters, especially Demetra, Francis, and Simon, but I would have liked to see more character development. Demetra has a sharp tongue capable of very witty repartee, which she uses effectively to keep others, especially Francis, at a distance. Unfortunately, she also succeeds in keeping her readers at a distance. I would have liked to have gotten to know her better as she has a lot of fascinating characteristics.

It was humorous to have the kidnapping victim be a valet and I enjoyed Demetra’s announcement that she was helping to find him in order to prevent Francis from exhibiting poor sartorial taste, but the plot took some unexpected turns which I, at least, found to be not quite believable. After everything was solved, I realized that it was possible to figure it out, but I think the author could have added some depth to the plot to make the ending seem not only surprising but also more plausible.

Nevertheless, this was definitely a fun read and it captured the flavor of Victorian London society. The mystery was intriguing and I think my favorite character was actually Simon, Demetra’s close friend and inventor.

I am sure that readers who enjoy Steampunk fantasy will find this to be a most engaging story with plenty of action and very amusing characters who battle fireballs and other mayhem.

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