Wednesday, August 3, 2011

The Relic Hunters: Grey Griffins, The Clockwork Chronicles Book 2

My first book review on this blog, was for the first book in this series.  While there were a few flaws I gave it an okay review.  I can't say I'll be as kind to the second in the series.  I feel so bad for you co-authors Derek Benz and J.S. Lewis - you were so close...but yet so far away. 

The Grey Griffins - Max, Harley, Natalia, and Ernie - are still in their first year of school at Iron Bridge and still fighting Otto Von Strife (the Clockwork King), even though he's really not around.  Now he's trying to make something called a paragon engine that will create a portal to the Shadowlands and might allow him to time travel.

The Griffins aren't really around any more either, in a manner of speaking.  Ernie, still distraught over his friend and fellow changeling Robert's death, is spending more and more time with the other changelings.  They have decided to take on the people who steal changelings in acts of vigilante justice.  Natalia is making friends with other girls and Harley is spending more time in Monti's workshop, which leaves Max feeling very lonely.

Once school resumes after winter break they all end up in a class together taught by Obidiah Strange.  They're going to train to be "relic hunters," which seems to be the fancy pants Templar word for archeologist/treasure hunter.  So they go to classes and they study but they never seem to actually do any homework.  Monti starts looking ill but keeps working. They keep up the Round Table tournament to determine who will be on the school team, but instead of it feeling thrilling, it feels like a gimmick.  Schrodinger also comes into the story because there's a Schrodinger box the Relic Hunters have to find and keep away from Von Strife.  

In the end, not much of substance has actually happened in the story but there's a cliffhanger that sets up the next book.  The characters are incredibly shallow in that you never really feel connected with any of them.  Instead of being characters, they feel like gimmicks - especially Natalia.  There's more steampunk descriptions and faerie lore thrown in but they fall flat.  I really think the book is trying to be a steampunk Harry Potter but it doesn't work. 

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