*This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review courtesy of AudiobookBlast dot com, at my request.
Stein found one of Tesla's old journals, the deadly enemy of the Hollows, and has found the emblem sketched inside that matches her birthmark. She has questions for Tesla, but one big question to answer first. Having her DNA tested she finds that she tests positive for Aetas Mutation. Looking deeper into her DNA Nobel finds she's suffering from something far worse than expected. Tesla is working to stop all the Hollows from accessing the Time Stream, but Stein starts to see she has to face the threat to her and her friends lives to save her own.
Gwendolyn did a splendid performance. Gwendolyn does a voice of Tesla through the speaker, and it sounds like it's coming through an old speaker! I really enjoyed Gwendolyn's interpretation of feelings through pauses when speaking. These really help hit home a spectrum of emotions depending on what's happening. She has the dreamy, tender feel to her voice as her rhythm smooths with longer pauses at moments of kisses to give use the feel they are sweet and lasting memories. Even when voices were to sound flat, she did it in the same vocal for the character.
I've not read or listened to the first book. I was told I could start with this book and be okay. I was able to read/listen to this book without the first. This story does not linger on the retelling of the previous book, which I love. There is enough through the book to understand and make you curious as to what happened in the first book or why, leaving you wanting to read that book as well. I also think hurt feelings with some of the Hollows starts in the first book.
Wow. The prologue has a lot of information that had me pausing and noting questions I'm hoping to get answers to. The Hollows? Imperial children? Rifters? I'm curious of all these things but by the end I figured out Rifters are time travelers, and that's what the group of Hollows does. Then we see Catherine and her device that she's working on with Tesla's brain. Wow. That's one dangerous machine, and she doesn't come across as the kindest person either.
The story fascinated me from the beginning, feeling as it's well thought out world of gadgets and time travel along with the motives of the people. The world is full of nifty research and gadgets that could be and is used by the Rifters. There are people who live with enhancements with good reason. We also get time travel, but not as much of that is done. I also get the feel that there are rules and restrictions on using and when going in the time spectrum, but we don't see that side here.
We get to see Tesla! In the current time Tesla is only a brain that's wired into the Institutes speakers and cameras. He's a brilliant man and still working! But ooooh, he's a devilish man as well.
I think this is classified as steampunk. And in some ways it is. It has the elements present to be. But it also has other elements mixed in that makes the story deeper in the world of inventions. Is there a Teslapunk? Or New Electropunk? Whatever the classification, I loved all I found here!
I wanted to keep listening as I wanted to know what was happening to Stein, and the others but mostly Stein as this story is about her. And what was everyone at Tesla's Institute up to, as it couldn't be good. In the end I kept watching the time left of the story as I feared we wouldn't get a complete ending, that we would end on a cliffhanger. There are a few speculations I have of Ember and Stein and I got some hints and answers. There is an ending, but there is also a revelation that has me scrambling to see where the next book is!