Darke London by Coleen Kwan

October 10th, 2013 Kimberly Review 87 Comments

10th Oct
Darke London by Coleen Kwan
Darke London
by Coleen Kwan
Series: Uncanny Chronicles #1
Genres: Steampunk
Source: Author
Purchase*: Amazon *affiliate
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarHalf a Star

The only way to save her life is to resurrect the dead... Julian Darke was only a newborn when he was abandoned on the doorstep of a gentleman doctor. Though raised with love, he is driven to discover his true origins. Convinced Sir Thaddeus Ormond knows something, Julian shadows him one night and is shocked to see a young woman thrown from Ormond s carriage and accosted by a thug. Julian manages to save her life, but not her face and hands from horrific injuries.
Nellie Barchester doesn t recognize the scarred, disfigured stranger in the mirror. Though the gifted doctor and engineer has done his best to repair the damage, scars ravage her body, and chill her soul with the realization that her own husband may have plotted her death. Julian s tenderness is a balm to her soul, and Nellie is drawn to the edge of passion by a man not repelled by her deformities. But as their pursuit of the truth draws them into London s underbelly, they cross the path of a ruthless enemy who will stop at nothing to fulfill his schemes.

Darke London by Coleen Kwan is the first novel in the Uncanny Chronicles and offers a nice blend of historical romance, suspense and steampunk. With its colorful characters and heated romance, I quickly devoured this tale. Three word review: engaging, original and fast-paced.

The tale quickly captures your attention as Julian Darke gallops towards his home carrying a badly injured woman. While stalking Sir Thaddeus Ormond, a man who may hold the key to his birth, he witnesses him throw a young woman from the carriage. A young woman Nellie Barchester is immediately set upon by a thug. Her hands and face brutally injured before Julian pulls the thug from her and races to his estate. Julian and the man who raised him are both doctors. They work to save her life, and as she recovers, Julian learns they are linked through Ormond. Together they pursue answers and the tale that unfolds was action-packed, and suspenseful.

Julian Darke is yummy, compassionate and more than just a healer. He is also an engineer who looks at ways to help damaged bodies become whole with gadgets. I instantly liked Julian and understood his desire for answers. Nellie Barchester is brilliant, opinionated, and fearless. She her own share of issues but I adored her and loved her nonsense approach to life. The relationship that develops between them felt real and grew out of trust and respect. We get some heated moments with just enough detail to sizzle the page. The characters were fleshed out, and the secondary characters added depth, and suspense.

Kwan offered up a light blend of genres withΒ Darke London. She wove them into a historical romance that took us into the underbelly of London. The world and characters were fleshed out allowing me to slip into the world. This is a relatively short book and one that I finished in a single sitting. The gadgets mentioned were impressive, but I am not sure I would classify this as Steampunk. There were some paranormal moments that were chilling and offered a unique creep factor to the tale. The pacing was excellent as we went from moments of action to character development allowing the reader to become invested. The first in Uncanny Chronicles, Darke London,wrapped up nicely giving us closure and felt genuine.

Fans of historical romance filled with mystery, suspense and a dash of steampunk will enjoy Darke London and the Uncanny Chronicles. I look forward to reading more of Coleen Kwan’s work and this new series.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads and listens to fictional stories in all genres. Whovian, Ravenclaw, Howler and proud Nonna. She owns and manages Caffeinated PR. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat. Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

87 Responses to “Darke London by Coleen Kwan”

  1. Lori H

    I haven’t read steampunk but came across this book and it sounds awesome. Thanks for sharing πŸ™‚

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This is a nice intro as the steampunk element is light, and this leans more towards historical suspense.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I enjoyed this one Dani πŸ™‚ I loved the blending of genres.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      thanks Cohlina, if you haven’t read it yet, I hope you do πŸ™‚

  2. Christine

    I love historical romance, suspense and steampunk, so this sounds like a perfect read for me!! Thanks for sharing πŸ˜€

  3. Braine Talk Supe

    I’m a little sad that the next book won’t feature Nellie anymore. But I’m curious to see how it’ll all play out after Julian’s estranged uncle is now handicapped. That man deserves to suffer a bit more but I wonder if his son will continue his reign of terror. That kid is too volatile to turn evil.

  4. Lark of the Bookwyrm's Hoard

    Wonderful review, Kimba! I haven’t heard of this book before, but I’ll definitely keep an eye out for it. It sounds like a fast but enjoyable read with some out-of-the-ordinary features. It’s refreshing to have a heroine who isn’t physically perfect, and I like the sound of the romance-mystery-steampunk-paranormal blend.

  5. Natasha

    Great review!
    I have been wanting to read this one for awhile now, it sound like one I would really enjoy!
    Thanks for the great giveaway!

  6. ki pha

    Coleen is awesome and I love that she wrote a historical suspense steam punk novel!!! I’ve been crazy for these steam punk with historical mix and action for months now and I’m loving them!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      You should love this, and I am looking forward to trying some of her other novels. πŸ™‚

  7. Lauren

    I love historical romance, and steampunk is always a hit with me! I also adore London, and getting to see a scarier seedier side is always fascinating to me. Glad you enjoyed this! I’ve been getting so many good steampunk recs this week I think I need to start a new virtual shelf. Lovely review!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Right, I keep writing them down or worse yet click, confirm, buy..my nook might explode!

  8. JenM

    Sounds intriguing. The cover makes it seem very steampunkish, but it sounds like that’s not really the case. I’d definitely give it a try.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I agree but it was light on the steam and had some paranormal elements that made it interesting πŸ™‚

    • kimbacaffeinate

      thank Christy, this offered a nice blend, and was very enjoyable πŸ™‚

  9. H.B.

    Sounds like a good time, right up my alley. I’ll definitely have to give this one a read.

  10. Heidi

    I love a good historical steampunk with a bit of romance and those looks like a lot of fun, thanks for introducing me to it!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Oh too funny, I think I was visiting your blog at the same time. I have a nasty head cold and have been making the rounds late after a very long nap. This was a nice blending of genres and a fast read. I hope you get a chance to try it.

  11. Anita Yancey

    Great review. This book sounds really good, I love the setting and the cover. Thanks for having this giveaway.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      thanks Anita, I enjoyed this and hope you get a chance to read it.

  12. Terrie Fulk

    I have been looking for a different type of read lately. “Darke London” sounds has if just may fit the bill.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      thanks Terri, this was a fun., quick read and I hope you like it πŸ™‚

  13. Jenea

    I like the sounds of this, and the setting being in London makes it sound even better. Great review.

  14. Felicia S. (

    Usually not a fan of steampunk but this seems to be more historical mystery. I might like it. I do love the cover–very dark and haunting!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Yes Felicia this is very light on the steam and heavier on the mystery and paranormal elements

  15. Sharon - Obsession with Books

    I find the mix of genres in this book to be really appealing and the characters and storyline sound great!

    I have read Coleen Kwans contemporary novels & quite liked them.

    A wonderful review Kimba! I hope you are feeling much better x

    • kimbacaffeinate

      thanks Sharon, and I am glad to hear her contemps are good too πŸ™‚

  16. Melissa (Books and Things)

    I like dark and I don’t mind steampunk light. Might be good for those that shy away from the genre. I do like the sound of the pacing and the paranormal aspect. Oh curious here! πŸ™‚

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This was a quick, delightful read Melissa, with a nice blend of genres.

  17. Michelle

    I always get the best historical romance recs from you Kimba. And I haven’t read a steampunk in a while. And for some reason, London is my favorite steampunk backdrop. I’m not sure why.

    Thanks for the great review!

    Michelle @ Book Briefs

    • kimbacaffeinate

      thanks Michelle hope you get a chance to try this πŸ™‚

  18. Aurian

    I do like some steampunk now and then, but in this book, it are the medical details that I don’t like to read about. So no, not for me. But I am glad you enjoyed it Kim.

  19. Kim { Book Swoon }

    Oh, I love that the author takes us into the underbelly of London in Darke London. Coleen Kwan’s work is new to me, but you know I’m a fan of romance/steampunk, so I’m
    definitely checking this one out some more. Thanks Kimba. πŸ™‚

    • kimbacaffeinate

      Enjoy Kim, this was a solid read, and I loved all the elements.

  20. Andrea

    I’ve read one of Kwan’s contemporary books, and liked her style. I’m glad to see you enjoyed this!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      I saw that she does contemporary too, glad to know you liked it πŸ™‚

  21. Tammy

    It’s be awhile since I’ve read a good suspense novel, adding this to my to-read list.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      you are very welcome Erin, hope you get to read it πŸ™‚

  22. Victoria (aka Zemfirka)

    OK… “historical romance, suspense and steampunk,” I can’t believe this is not on my TBR list already. Lovely review. Will be checking this book out. πŸ™‚

      • Victoria (aka Zemfirka)

        I actually quite like this mix of genres. I don’t need it heavy on gadgetry, so when they mix steampunk/romance it’s just the right amount for me – and I adore Victorian period (which is usually the setting).

        It was actually on my TBR list already. I knew I saw it somewhere before! πŸ˜‰

  23. sharonda

    I haven’t read a steampunk book in the very long time and this sounds like a good way to start the genre again.

    • kimbacaffeinate

      this was a good and kept my attention πŸ™‚ thanks Sharonda πŸ™‚

  24. Mary

    Julian sounds YUMMY! I think I want to meet him and Nellie, too. Definitely do like a good steampunk…

  25. Nick

    I’m so wary of steampunk books because there haven’t been many that I enjoyed because of a lack of world-building. This definitely seems like it has more paranormal elements than steam-punk elements, so I actually think I might enjoy it. The characters sound interesting and I’m curious about the blend of genres.
    Great review, Kim!

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This has several genres and the world building is sound, not deep but sound.

  26. Tanja

    I haven’t heard of this book before, but my it sounds so good. I’m really intrigued and I haven’t read any steampunk novel in a while! Great review πŸ™‚

    • kimbacaffeinate

      This is a light steampunk and will give you a little taste.

  27. Trish

    Love the London setting, sounds really good. Love the mix of historical, elements of steampunk and suspense. Great review πŸ™‚