I absolutely adore the Penny Dreadfuls series. It’s brilliant and so well done. The idea of a group of writers of Penny Dreadfuls – ranging from wealthy upper-class members to merchants to former urchins – banding together to rescue as many of London’s street urchins as they can is so fascinating, and of course endears us to the heroes who so obviously care for the children.
The characters are charming and sympathetic, the romances are swoony with strong, determined women who help the Dreads rescue urchins whilst falling in love with them.
Brogan’s inner turmoil over having to lie to Vera, to Moirin, to his fellow Dreadfuls in order to complete his mission made him sympathetic. Vera’s distrust of him once some of those lies were revealed was heartbreaking – especially as she already harbored an intense distrust of writers and those who lied. The way the story played out there was surprising and so well-crafted.
I also love the way the chapters are alternated with those of the Penny Dreadfuls by the hero and Mr. King, and how they relate to the overarching plot of the story.
This tale is no different, though the overarching plot has thickened. Now the Mastiff looms larger than in previous books. There is a difference, actually, in that this book doesn’t end with a wrap-up of the conflict as the others do. This one leaves off mid-conflict, with the characters knowing there is worse yet to come.
I am eagerly anticipating the next installment! (Which, if you think about it, is exactly what a writer of Penny Dreadfuls would want.)
*Thanks to NetGalley and Shadow Mountain Publishing for providing an e-arc for review.