Author: A.A. Aguirre
What I’m Talking About:
Silver Mirrors is the second book in the Apparatus Infernum series by Ann Aquirre and her husband Andres, together known as A.A. Aquirre. It picks up where book one left off. I recommend reading this series in order. There is significant (steampunk) world building that is better understood by taking the books in sequence. The supernatural plays an even bigger roll in this book than the first, as we discover just what makes this world go, even more than steam engines and mechanicals.
Most of the action in Silver Mirrors takes place outside of the city of Dorstaad where lead characters Mikani and Ritsuko are based. In fact, it has a Pirates of the Caribbean flare to it that I enjoyed very much. On assignment from the ruling council, they take to the open seas aboard the Gull, a ship captained by a weather witch, able to command the winds—who also happens to be one of Mikani’s ex-lovers. At the outset, the street-wise female captain Saskia appears to not be quite over Mikani, but is at the same time angry at being dumped. Ritsuko, thrilled to be out of Dorstaad for the first time even if they are on official business, begins a flirtation with the ship’s doctor. Mikani discovers that he is not happy for his partner, not happy at all. All together these flirtations and unreturned affections make for some interesting emotional tension in the confined space of a sea vessel. It also means that while Mikani can run, he can’t hide, not even from himself. The romantic feelings that were barely beginning to blossom in Bronze Gods, begin to really develop. For a couple that makes their living at as detectives, one has to wonder why they haven’t figured that they are each in love with the other before now. I guess there’s something to be said about being blind to what’s right in front of you.
As they moved within a larger geographical area, I found that I wanted a map. Something in the front cover would have been sufficient to grant better mental sense of north, south, coasts, ports, and distances so I could understand the relationships of each district and territory to the others.
The story seems to have two climaxes. This was a big bonus for the reader, as far as I’m concerned, as the relief from the first climax is only preparatory for the big ending. My single criticism is that I felt the authors could have made more of the first climax, giving the reader more detail, without taking anything away from the second. I was actually a little surprised that the story moved through this section so quickly since Ann Aquirre is known for her word pictures and this was a prime opportunity to embellish. I think they sacrificed some drama for the sake of pacing.
The Aguirres clearly have a broad vision for this series and are not afraid to take their characters into new territory. Bronze Gods was more of a murder mystery to be sleuthed out, but Silver Mirrors reads like an action-adventure, not at all like the first. I’m very excited to see what new turns book three will bring!
My Rating: A- Enjoyed A Lot
About the Book:
Criminal Investigation Division inspectors Janus Mikani and Celeste Ritsuko were lucky to make it out of their last mission alive. Since then, strange troubles have plagued the city of steam and shadows, apparently as a result of magic released during the CID inspectors’ desperate interruption of an ancient ritual. The fabric of the world has been unsettled, and the Council has assigned Mikani and Ritsuko to investigate.
They soon discover that matters are worse than they imagined. Machines have developed minds of their own, cragger pirates are raiding the seas with relentless aggression, and mad elementals are running amok. As the chaos builds to a crescendo, Mikani and Ritsuko must fight a war on two fronts—and this time, they may not be able to turn the deadly tide….
Release Date: April 29, 2014
Series: Apparatus Infernum #2
Genre: Urban Fantasy/Steampunk
Format(s): paperback (336 pages), e-book
Book Source: Publisher
Silver Mirrors (Apparatus Infernum #2)
Reviews in the Series:
Bronze Gods by A.A. Aguirre (Apparatus Infernum #1)