Born in a whorehouse in the slums of Fortuna and burdened with a prosthetic arm, seventeen-year-old JANET REDSTONE doesn’t think she owes the Clockwork Gods anything—which is why she makes a living stealing from their temples. But when she lands her team in prison, making a pact with the God of Mischief, ITAZURA, is the only way to right her wrongs and free her friends.
Janet doesn’t trust Itazura as far as she can punch him, but with her soul in his hands, she has no choice but to do what he says. The clockwork gods and the bad-tempered elder gods of the ancient past are locked in a game of cat and mouse and the human realms are caught in the middle. If Janet can’t somehow convince the gods to step in a save the world, humanity is in an abyss of trouble.
Using her unconventional wits, an impressive tolerance to alcohol, and a strong right hook, Janet has to convince the gods that humanity is worth saving. Unfortunately, it’s a lot more difficult to stop an apocalypse when you’re slowly being driven crazy by the Lord of Mischief, especially when he starts growing on you.
First of all, I would like to point out that the cover art for Hour of Mischief is spectacular- Janet Redstone is the focal point and the muted colors and gears are attractive. When I’m browsing through books, a unique or aesthetic cover will draw me in before title or author will and I think that’s a wonderful way to discover something new. The inside of the book is equally appealing, with clocks and gear work as the chapter headers. But really, the true gem is the story which was highly imaginative and was incredibly fun to read. I found myself disappointed and a bit surprised that I was already at the end and now have to await the sequel!
I really loved Janet, Itazura, and Laetatia- Aimee wrote them to have such a great compatibility with one another and as a result they were a great deal of fun to read about. They would make awesome friends- I mean the God of Mischief and the Goddess of Merriment/Festivities? You literally can’t fit any more excitement and trouble into it, unless there was a God of poorly timed pyrotechnic displays. Janet Redstone, our protagonist, was strong, confident, loyal, and also a pretty good sport considering all she had to put up with. She could also really hold the liquor quite well and throw a strong left hook, both of which are good in bar fights (or street fights).
The storyline was well-developed and had a steady pace- there weren’t any dull moments, but at the same time my head wasn’t spinning from all the action. I like the Clockwork Gods- it’s very different than the portrayal of a pantheon than is traditionally done. The attributes of the gods was similar to Greek, Roman, and perhaps even Norse, but their personalities were a little more unique. The fact that several of them were so closely tied to humanity was something that I don’t see done very often in literature. The world building was one aspect of the book that I feel could have been given much greater detail. We learn that there are separate “realms” that may or may not be connected in a way that people can travel between them. I was a bit confused on this part, but I don’t remember reading specifically one way or the other. There is also very little detail regarding the society that Janet lives in- we know she is from the slums, but what about the other rings of the city? What do people in the other rings do for a living and how is the society governed? Perhaps we really don’t need all the details, but for me to fully invest into a story I like to know as much as possible.
Overall, I really enjoyed the story and found it to be entertaining enough to want to read the sequel. This is something I would definitely recommend to readers that already enjoy books from smaller publishers because it’s unusual and very different from mainstream novels. I look forward to reading more books from Aimee Hyndman in the future! You can purchase Hour of Mischief on Amazon US or Amazon UK.
I would like to thank Curiosity Quills Press for letting me join in on their September blog tour and for providing me with an ecopy of Hour of Mischief in exchange for an honest review!
Aimee Hyndman has been writing ever since her toddler fingers could grasp a pencil. A lover of all things speculative fiction, she spent many a night penning the beginnings of novels that would never see the light of day. Now attending college in Iowa, double majoring in Creative writing and English, she has clearly never lost her love of the craft.
When not writing and avoiding her school work, Aimee enjoys reading, singing, and acting at her school’s theater department. She is also a lover of anime and all things Disney.
Her area of specialty is fantasy of all sorts but she dabbles in many genres— whatever she feels compelled to write at the moment. The plot bunnies are never ending but, luckily, so are the words!