Tuesday, August 16, 2016

Release Day Review: Mission: Improper by Bec McMaster

25791377Mission: Improper
(London Steampunk #6)
Bec McMaster
Release: August 16, 2016
Goodreads Amazon
ARC provided by the author
Three years ago, London society changed forever, with a revolution placing the widowed Queen firmly on the throne her blue blood husband tried to take from her. Humans, verwulfen and mechs are no longer considered the lesser classes, but not everybody is happy with the new order…

Entire families have gone missing in the East End. When Caleb Byrnes receives an invitation to join the Company of Rogues as an undercover agent pledged to protect the crown, he jumps at the chance to find out who, or what, is behind the disappearances. Hunting criminals is what the darkly driven blue blood does best, and though he prefers to work alone, the opportunity is too good to resist.

The problem? He’s partnered with Ingrid Miller, the fiery and passionate verwulfen woman who won a private bet against him a year ago. Byrnes has a score to settle, but one stolen kiss and suddenly the killer is not the only thing Byrnes is interested in hunting.

Soon they’re chasing whispered rumours of a secret project gone wrong, and a monster that just might be more dangerous than either of them combined. The only way to find out more is to go undercover among the blue blood elite… But when their hunt uncovers a mysterious conspiracy, Byrnes and Ingrid must set aside their age-old rivalry if they have any chance at surviving a treacherous plot. 
The last London Steampunk book, Of Silk and Steam, was one of my favorite books of 2015 so I had some pretty high expectations for Mission:Improper. And it lives up to many of them. There's even more action, including rooftop chases, vampire battles, and rappelling reminiscent of the movies that inspired the title.

The Duke of Malloryn has assembled a covert team featuring several characters from previous books to investigate a new terrorist group. If you had asked me which characters I wanted to know more about, this team might have been my whole list. (Charlie Todd, who was a child at the start of the series, would be right at the top.) I'm really looking to forward to the rest of their stories! I also liked getting see a different side of Byrnes who played a big role in Forged by Desire. I would not have pegged him as a dirty talker!

But I felt like maybe there was just a little too much stuffed in to the story. It focuses on Byrnes and Ingrid, but I feel like all of the other couples are already set up, which probably wasn't necessary. And I wonder if it might have been more effective to peel back one layer of the conspiracy in each book instead of all of them at once. It seemed to take me entirely too long to read the book even though I can't point to any obvious lulls.  It's not unusual for the first book in a series to get bogged down in backstory, but since this isn't exactly a first book and so many of the characters were familiar it's frustrating.

I also kept feeling like I missed a novella. Byrnes and Ingrid's story begins with a case they worked a year prior to the start of this book. That case is referenced several times but I wanted to know more. I wish that Byrnes and Ingrid had gotten the same treatment as Garrett and Perry who had a prequel novella before their book.

Still, I loved being back in the London Steampunk world and I'm so happy that more books are on the way.

Recommended for fans of: Gail Carriger and Kristen Callihan


Our reviews of other books in this series:
Kiss of Steel (London Steampunk #1)
Heart of Iron (London Steampunk #2)
Forged by Desire (London Steampunk #4)
Of Silk and Steam (London Steampunk #5)

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