The Earl and The Artificer by Kara Jorgensen
Where to begin? The Earl and The Artificer is Kara Jorgensen’s third Ingenious Mechanical Devices novel and she successfully brings it once again. Jorgensen weaves together a tale of science fiction, history and mystery, and brings to life characters that are painfully real. Reading these books is a wonderful experience because Jorgensen doesn’t conform to literary conventions. She simply wants to tell a really good story. And with the Ingenious Mechanical Devices series, she’s managing to do just that.
The Earl and The Artificer finds Eilian and Hadley married and on their honeymoon. The scene is set in a time and place that brings to mind BBC’s Downton Abbey, but with more adventure and intrigue (at least in my opinion). Eilian and Hadley are trying to navigate their new stations in society without bothering the other with their troubles. And to add to their already full plate, they find themselves in the middle of a small town scandal and family drama.
The thing about Jorgensen’s writing, apart from the fact that it’s so unique, is that she writes her characters so well. Eilian is fighting the rules that come with his new title (something he really never wanted) and exploring his sexuality – something that most male characters never explore. It is taken for granted that humans feel the same things emotionally. The reality is, we don’t, and minorities are still under represented in every facet of entertainment today. Except in Jorgensen’s novels. She doesn’t seem to mind exploring new territory for her characters. She digs deep and explores the reasons why her characters are the way they are.
Hadley is my favorite character by far. I like that she’s not some Victoria’s Secret model – that she’s kind of plain looking, but beautiful to Eilian because of her courage, strength and head strong attitude. I also like that she’s an engineer; that she’s smart and capable of keeping pace in a man’s world. More and more, we are finding strong female characters in entertainment, but the thing about Jorgensen’s Hadley is that she is also a little unsure and weak, and Jorgensen allows us to see that side of Hadley’s character. Hadley is dealing with the insecurities that every woman faces at least once at some point in her life.
While we don’t see Adam and Immanuel in this novel, we are introduced to another well rounded male character – Nadir. I could see Nadir popping up in another novel somewhere along the line mostly because he has so much personality and there are so many corners to his story that Jorgensen left unexplored.
I do wish, and hope, that Eilian’s family drama will be explored a little more later on. I was intrigued by the character Randall Nash, and felt that his personality and actions were unexplained. Jorgensen does leave Eilian in the midst of working out his complicated place in his family, so maybe she plans to delve a little deeper later on. This reader certainly hopes so, if only because she’s curious and a bit nosy.
The Earl and The Artificer is a strong third installment to Jorgensen’s list of titles. She paints an easy-to-follow story, but manages to keep you guessing until the end. Her vocabulary is strong and colorful. Her characters are vibrant and relatable. Her imagination is fascinating. I totally enjoyed this book. It made my commute to work a lot more enjoyable. And I look forward to whatever Jorgensen has planned for the future.
The Earl and The Artificer, Ingenious Mechanical Devices novel will be available on Amazon on January 30, 2016.