Thursday, March 24, 2016

Book Review: Nyssa Glass and the House of Mirrors by H.L. Burke

Read the review in Fantasy Worlds emag

Nyssa Glass and the House of Mirrors by H.L. Burke is a YA Steampunk story full of twists and turns. Nyssa is an electrical apprentice working in a shop on Clockwork Row that repairs videophones, radios, and signal sending devices. It's a step up from the cat burglar that she once was.
The book starts with a mysterious man who comes into the shop to procure Nyssa's services, but not as a repair person. He's looking for a burglar. When Nyssa doesn't agree, she is forced to escape where she falls into the hands of his rival. She agrees, since she has no choice at this point, to break into Dalhart Mansion, a deserted estate that belonged to Professor Dalhart, the famous inventor of the videophone, computers, and robotics. She's to obtain his papers that detail his inventions - the only problem is that the mansion is booby-trapped. Numerous people have tried to break in and no one has come out alive.
Nyssa does manage to get in far enough that she can activate the house computer which she calls 'Hart'. Hart has huge chunks of memory missing and his circuits have been cut off, but he tries to help Nyssa navigate the huge house which is filled with special mirrors. I don't want to give away any more of the story, but there are many surprises. There is also some violence as the stakes get higher and higher.
H.L. Burke does a wonderful job portraying the world Nyssa inhabits. There are steam engines and corsets along with the older technology (to us) that is so new to the people in the book. Nyssa is an engaging heroine, spunky and brash, and she makes a fine team with Hart. This is a well-written and enjoyable adventure story and I look forward to the next book about Nyssa's adventures.

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