Release Date: Dec. 24, 2012
Publisher: Zebra Books
The Legend Chronicles prequel
Genre: Paranormal Steampunk
Book Source: Purchased with my own funds
Sir Marley Turlock doesn’t normally bother with flirtation. He’s an inventor, a scientist, not a gadabout. And the floor of the inaugural London Aeronautical Exhibition, just before he presents his groundbreaking new device to the Queen herself, is not the place to change his habits toward the fairer sex.
But Lady Persephone Hargrieve has her delicate fingers engaged in the innards of his device before Marley can catch his breath at her beauty. He’s never met a woman like her—a fiery intelligence to match his own, a genius for mechanics, and more secrets than he can guess.
Of course, Sephie’s secrets aren’t all innocuous tricks to make the gears spin smoother. It’s no coincidence that she’s turned up to investigate Marley’s machines—if they’re good enough, if he can be trusted enough, they might save the country. Even if along the way she ends up losing her heart…
For those of us that read The Legend Chronicles series by Theresa Meyers, we know and love grouchy ol’ Marley: genius inventor extraordinaire. He is friend to the Winn Brothers (the men of legend fighting the evil Darken), but lives alone. He has a mysterious past, one hinted full of lost love and sadness. So when Ms. Meyers shared with me (at AADNOLA) that she was telling Marley’s backstory in an upcoming novella, I was giddy! And a note to those that haven’t read the series, The Inventor is a prequel set several years before the beginning of the series and can be read at any time. There are no series spoilers in this novella.
The short story takes place in London, 1868, and opens with Marley working on his latest invention. He hopes to impress the Queen and be invited to join the prestigious Aeronautical Society of Great Britain. While stumped trying to work out a kink in his inventions, the lovely Lady Persephone Hargrieve sits down and starts tinkering (with his permission). Marley is immediately taken with Sephie and hopes to court her, even though she is daughter of Lord Hargrieve and above his station.
Lord Hargrieve is impressed with Marley and invites him to his home to discuss a project. It is here that Marley learns the true nature of Lord Hargrieve’s work: he fights the things that go bump in the night, the Darken. Marley is overcome with the knowledge that demons, vampires and other beings exist, and quickly becomes wrapped up in the dangerous life.
Overall, The Inventor is an enjoyable tale, a short story that gives a very small insight into Marley’s past. It is entertaining for both readers and new-comers to The Legend Chronicles. Marley is an amusing character, and I want to know more. His relationship with Sephie is sweet and romantic, and appropriately chaste for the setting.
However, the story left so much still unknown and unsaid, which was frustrating for me as someone who knows what becomes of Marley! If you read the series, you know that things go wrong at some point, and I had hoped this novella would have shared the entire story of Marley’s past.
With that said, The Inventor is a delightful tale centered on beginnings of a sweet love story. It can be read prior to reading the series, or at any time in between. Readers get a great taste of Marley’s gadgets and of what is to come.
Enjoyed – strongly recommend (A-)
Reviews in the Series: