Saturday 25 July 2015

Book Review: Rooks and Romanticide by J. I. Radke (MM Novel)

Title: Rooks and Romanticide
Author: J. I. Radke  
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press  
Publication Date: 28 July 2015    
Pages: 250   
Format: E-Book - EPUB  
Genre:  MM / Steampunk    
Source: ARC via NetGalley

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In an alternate world, Romeo and Juliet are gunslingers. Verona gives way to a steampunk Victorian London. The victims of turf wars are dumped in an alley they call Lovers’ Lane, and the moment the son of his family's enemy touches his face, Cain's revenge is poisoned by love. Fate would have it no other way.

Levi Ruslaniv is the heir to the Ruslaniv family gang, but ridiculous ancient feuds do not interest him. Cain Dietrich’s vengeful hatred for the Ruslaniv family is rooted deep, since he believes the Ruslanivs arranged for the murder of his parents. But his encounter with Levi pierces him deeper than hatred ever could.

With bullets and blazes of glory, schemes, spies, and pack mentalities, loyalty runs as deep in the veins as passion or revenge, and there is only one way to end the fighting. From the start it was inevitable—a bloodstained fate for children with bloodstained hands, and the streets of New London will never be the same.
(Goodreads Synopsis)

When I requested this title, I expected a blow by blow MM version of Romeo and Juliet in a steampunk setting; however, I ended up being pleasantly surprised. While J. I. Radke uses Shakespeare's tale as a springboard and does include iconic moments readers will recognise, he takes the story in its own direction, creating something new and intriguing. I was invested in both story and characters right from the start. The novel really gets inside Levi and Cain's heads, making for great drama. Rooks and Romanticide is a page-turner that provides an exciting plot and emotional punch. My final rating is 4.5*

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