Review: The Shadow Revolution by Clay and Susan Griffith

May 22, 2015 4.5 stars, Book Review 13 ★★★★½

Review: The Shadow Revolution by Clay and Susan GriffithThe Shadow Revolution by Clay Griffith, Susan Griffith
Series: Crown and Key #1
Published by Del Rey on June 2, 2015
Genres: Adult SFF, Alternate History, Steampunk, Urban Fantasy
Pages: 320
Format: eARC
Source: Publisher
Buy on Amazon
My Reviews in this series: The Undying Legion, The Conquering Dark

*This book was provided by the Publisher for review. No compensation was provided and all opinions are strictly my own.

A thrilling new Victorian-era urban fantasy for fans of Kevin Hearne’s Iron Druid Chronicles, the Showtime series Penny Dreadful, and the Sherlock Holmes movies featuring Robert Downey, Jr.
They are the realm’s last, best defense against supernatural evil. But they’re going to need a lot more silver.
As fog descends, obscuring the gas lamps of Victorian London, werewolves prowl the shadows of back alleys. But they have infiltrated the inner circles of upper-crust society as well. Only a handful of specially gifted practitioners are equipped to battle the beasts. Among them are the roguish Simon Archer, who conceals his powers as a spell-casting scribe behind the smooth veneer of a dashing playboy; his layabout mentor, Nick Barker, who prefers a good pub to thrilling heroics; and the self-possessed alchemist Kate Anstruther, who is equally at home in a ballroom as she is on a battlefield.

After a lycanthrope targets Kate’s vulnerable younger sister, the three join forces with fierce Scottish monster-hunter Malcolm MacFarlane—but quickly discover they’re dealing with a threat far greater than anything they ever imagined.

I was looking for my next fix of urban fantasy action when I stumbled on The Shadow Revolution, the 1st book in the Crown and Key trilogy. And what a fix it was! It was loaded with action in a setting I love, fabulous characters and cool themes. Even with its sometimes dark tone the personalities and banter between the characters balanced that making for one very fun read.

I knew you were more then just a pretty face

I swear Simon Archer sprang forth from my book boyfriend day dreams being a handsome rogue and yet ever the gentleman. He’s covered in hidden tattoos and boasts all sorts of magic! And let me not forget about his walking stick with fancy hidden sword. But this rogue might have met his match when he teams up with Miss Kate Anstruther to solve the mystery behind local werewolf problems and her sister’s abduction.

When there’s something strange in the neighborhood

You need a big manly Scotsman strapped with two huge pistols and a sword to kick its ass. Malcolm McFarlane is just such a man. He’s a man of few words and those are almost always insulting. But who doesn’t love a good hot head? I know I do.

The aristocracy doesn’t value brains with beauty

Kate Anstruther is as intelligent as she is beautiful and we all know how unattractive most men during the Victorian time period viewed such women as her. Imagine what they would think if they knew just how much of a scholar she is and that her favorite and very accomplished past time is alchemy!? So she is of course single but she seems to prefer it that way. She runs her father’s estate (who has been missing for quite some time) and looks after her aggravating sister Imogen.

The side kick mentor

Nick Barker is long time friend and mentor/teacher to Simon. He is a dabbler in many different magical arts and is a disheveled, drinking, gambling cantankerous man. He has a habit of being against everything that Simon wants to do and yet goes along with all of it anyway. For a mentor he came across to me as much more of a side kick instead.

A few tiddly bits

– I found Simon to be emotional and often brash, jumping headlong into situations. I do so love a fiery spirited man *wink*. He relies heavily on the brute strength he can access from his magic and gets a bit tipsy from time to time on the use of the aether (magic). He is also the character we get to know the best.

The Shadow Revolution is so action packed that I wish there were a little bit more time to have gotten to know the characters better. Of course the action is excellent! The fight scenes were so will depicted that I could feel every slash, beating and burst of magic. Even with all of the action it still delivered a good feel for each of the main characters and I anticipate that I’ll get to know them even better in the next book.

– Just the right hint of romance! It can be so hard to find that perfect balance of romance in an urban fantasy novel. Personally I like it when it’s there but doesn’t become the main plot nor overwhelm it. Here I saw the possible budding of mutual affections that might grow to be a bit of romance in the future and that suited my tastes wonderfully!

– *shivers* The monsters gave me the willies. They are so varied and definitely the stuff of nightmares. With as many and as vicious as the baddies are in this novel I wouldn’t hesitate to slap a small #horror hashtag on this one along with the #Victorian #steampunk and #urbanfantasy ones.

– There are a few interesting supporting characters, that while they aren’t given much depth are still great additions. Kate’s strong and dedicated manservant Hogarth. Penny, A local engineer/metal goods merchant that both Simon and Malcolm use for her services. A particular little werewolf named Charlotte.

Can I have some more?

Everything was blended so perfectly in The Shadow Revolution that I even read the sample chapter at the end of the novel….and I never read the sample chapters. So it’s pretty obvious that I’m aching for more! *makes with the grabby hands*

(Note! All 3 books will be released within a month of each other. Score right!? This trilogy is my binge reading dream. No year long wait between each installment!)

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Tabitha (Pabkins)

When I'm in the zone I can flip book pages faster than the eye can see - screaming "More Input!" I'm a book, yarn, & art supply hoarding goblin who loves to draw, make toys and craft all sorts of creepy cute things. My current habit is to listen to audio books while I'm arting it up!
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13 Responses to “Review: The Shadow Revolution by Clay and Susan Griffith”

  1. Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy

    I totally agree with you! Such fun, lots of action, and fun characters as well. I’m still waiting to be approved for the second book on NetGalley, have you been approved yet? I’m laughing because I already read this and posted my review, but they haven’t approved me for the next one. So strange, I’ve been experiencing this a lot lately with NG. Like they are ignoring my requests. Oh well…
    Tammy @ Books, Bones & Buffy recently posted…Tough Travelling – Dead GodsMy Profile

    • Leeanna @

      OT, but I’m noticing that with NetGalley too. Like my request will just sit and sit, and then I’ll get approved a week before the book’s out, which gives me no time. If I get a response at all. I’ve also noticed NetGalley is making little changes here and their to their site – I wonder if that’s getting publishers behind somehow?
      Leeanna @ recently posted…Book Review: Headstrong by Rachel SwabyMy Profile

  2. Jessie H.

    We’ve already talked about this but I loved this book too! It was so much fun! I’m so glad I was approved for all three on Netgalley because I immediately picked up book 2! I loved it too! I’m trying to hold off on reading book 3 but I’m pretty sure I’m going to lose that battle. I want to know more about Hogarth. I bet his back story on how he became such a badass would be fascinating!
    Jessie H. recently posted…Mixtape Mondays: May 3, 2015My Profile

  3. Kim { Book Swoon }

    This is a terrific start to this series – and YAY, I’m finally on board in the beginning of one. You’re right, Simon Archer is a perfect combination of rogue and gentleman. This Clay and Susan Griffith have my attention for sure. The Shadow Revolution completely surprised me in the best of ways. 🙂
    Kim { Book Swoon } recently posted…Uprooted by Naomi NovikMy Profile

  4. Wendell

    Great review! Glad you had so many good things to say about “The Shadow Revolution” because it is on my review pile. At least now, I know it is worth the investment of time. 🙂
    Wendell recently posted…THE NEW 52 SUPERMAN VOLUME 1My Profile

  5. kara-karina

    What a fantastic review, Tabitha! I had this trilogy on my wish list, but you just bumped it up higher. I was not approved for the arc, sadly but will be reading it soon enough. When you said that about overwhelming amount if action_ I thought of Lilith Saintcrow straightaway 🙂 she is guilty of that too.
    kara-karina recently posted…Eurovision Song Contest 2015: Snarky CommentaryMy Profile

  6. Leeanna @

    I just finished this one, trying to write my review now. I hope Hogarth and Penny show up more in the next books, and with that, I’m so happy the books are releasing in such quick succession.

    The authors do have another series, Vampire Empire, that I liked quite a bit. I recommend checking it out if you like gruesome vamps. It’s also steampunkish, IIRC.
    Leeanna @ recently posted…Book Review: Headstrong by Rachel SwabyMy Profile