ARC Review : Gilded by Karina Cooper


December 22, 2012 by thebookslayer

Gilded by Karina Cooper

Release Date : December 26th

15782111In the gleaming heights of Victorian London, a world of deception awaits an unconventional Society lady whose taste for adventure makes her a most formidable adversary . . .

Though Society demands that I make a good marriage, I, Cherry St. Croix, have neither the time nor the interest. I am on the trail of a murder with no victim, a mystery with no motive, and the key to an alchemical formula that could be my family’s legacy.

Yet the world is not so kind as to let me pursue simple murder and uncomplicated bounties. Above the foggy drift, an earl insists on my attention, while my friends watch my increasingly desperate attempts to remain my own woman. From the silken demands of the Midnight Menagerie—to whose dangerously seductive ringmaster I owe a debt—to the rigorous pressures of the peerage, all are conspiring to place before me a choice that will forever change my life.

Gilded is the second book in the St. Croix Chronicles by Karina Cooper. Steampunk is this series’ beautiful home and that in and of itself makes me happy. I adore Steampunk and hot men and this series has both! Before I expound upon this amazing book I must emphasize that if you have not read Tarnished, you must. I will say it didn’t rate as well as this book, but you need it to set the stage. The actors and actresses are introduced and the plot must be set only then can you enter Gilded.

I think this was the first book that as I was reading I didn’t want to take notes of what was going on. I  wanted to write letters to the characters. I know this isn’t a new idea, but for me, I don’t believe I have ever done this in a review.

I think it might be due to the fact that as I was reading it was like I was sitting on the side of the road watching a car accident in motion. Every tiny event shifted into place and I couldn’t help but want to scream, No! No! Damn you, No! or What the Hell?!

And so as I was reading along I desperately wanted to sit Cherry down and hash out a few things, but alas I must suffice with a letter. Oh, Compton and Cage, you aren’t left out of this. Your turn will come.

For the first time in book slayer history I give you a letter to the heroine of the hour, Cherry St. Croix.

Dearest Cherry,

I know that Tarnished was a bit slow for me, but I have to say that I loved Gilded. Maybe it’s due to understanding this new London or maybe because the suspense drove me forward at a much quicker pace. All I know is that there were plenty of ups and downs along the way. This is why, dear Cherry, I am writing today.

First off, I am truly sorry about your late mad father’s experiments, in which you were sucked into.

“Brilliant or simply mad; the two so often came hand in hand.” 

We, unfortunately, do not get to pick the families that we are born into, but can create bonds with others that can replace that. I know that you and Zylla had a bit of a rocky patch, since she was sent to tattle tell on you, but I truly believe she does care. Keep her close, she may surprise you.

Now on to a more delicate matter. You must know that I am and will be honest here. I think you are a strong woman who has survived in a world that has wronged you at almost ever turn. Orphaned, enslaved, abused by not only family, but society. But you keep on. You find what works for you and push forward. That is what I admire about you. You could spend your days twiddling your thumbs and talking about lace this and that, but you don’t. You go out and put the skills that you learned as a kid into helping yourself stay sane and helping others.

“Tight places had long since ceased to bother me. Dark places were my bread and butter. … I am a collector a seeker of bounties for coin.”


Even in your own words you do realize that life has made you more, harder. Your fight or flight response has been switched permanently to fight. This, Cherry, is why my only response to all this Compton business can only be, What the Hell were you thinking?!

While Compton isn’t a bad guy and I might say he is rather kind, he is. not. for. you. The man has no earthly idea what you do with your free time. He lives in a society that expects him to keep you in line. Now I ask, is that what you want?! No?! I didn’t think so. So really, why keep this going? You and I know it can’t end well. Not if the price is your silence and sitting in parlors gossiping about clothing etc. *shudders*

I think you may enjoy the idea of winning such a grand prize as Compton, to rub the noses of society’s elite in. But I think we both know who has started to win your heart.

That is right, Micajah Hawke. The man might be a little rough around the moral edges, but really does that bother you? I can’t say that it does me. He saved your life in Tarnished and I am sure cost him dearly. I know, I know, it cost you too, but I am sure he did not go unpunished. Oh and do I have to point out all the little ways he tries to keep you away from danger? Because you and I know that he does. He plays the big bad wolf rather well, but he has a soft spot for you. He doesn’t judge and has kept your secrets.

My last piece of advice before I bid you ado, is to watch out for Compton’s brother. You know the shady one. I think he did the thing at the end which I can’t actually talk about and yet I am. 😉 Yes, I believe he is our mysterious man. Remember, keep your friends close, but your enemies closer. Those Compton’s are bad news all around.

Stay safe. Please for the love of Steampunk, do not die a virgin. Seriously, go spend some time with Cage.

Yours truly,

Amanda, the book slayer

Trust me Compton’s and Cage’s letters are much shorter. Ahem.

Dear Cornelius Compton,

I am sad to say that I have never really liked you. I wish I could say that I cared about how things went, but well I just can’t. I hope you don’t take offense, but it’s just that you are in no way a good match for Cherry.

Best Wishes,

Amanda, the book slayer

ps. Beware of train whistles


Last but not least, Micajah.


You sir need to get that sexy butt in gear. Honestly, are you really going to just sit back and let Cherry set herself up for a life of disappointment?! Now, what is done, is done. It’s time to make your move. You have put it off for too long. I don’t know what is holding you back, but get over it and man the fuck up.

Big Fan,

Amanda, the book slayer

ps. Whips are sexy but so is being bound. I totally think a scene between you and Cherry is a must. 😉


I feel so much better now that I got that off of my chest. Back to what you can expect when you pick this book up.

Suspense, intrigue and murders abound. I am telling you that I did not want to put this book down. I was hanging onto every move Cherry was making and yes, I was pissed off at half the things that transpired, but that ending, it was pure win! I would have to say that it was poetic justice in a way. I am still grinning, shame on me.


It is what it is and I am happy for know. I can only hope that Cage and Cherry will get to know each other a little better (*wink, wink*) and that the Ripper will be brought into the light of day and justice will prevail.

Recommendation : if you enjoy Steampunk with a sassy heroine who fights crime than give this one a try.
Rated : 

For all those that are interested, here is the book trailer for Gilded, produced by Book Candy Studios.


I also want to say Thank you to Avon via Edelweiss for providing me with a copy of this book, which I was excited to get ahold of, for an honest review. I enjoyed every minute of it, especially the ending.




2 thoughts on “ARC Review : Gilded by Karina Cooper

  1. Its funny how we’re always on the opposite ends when it comes to the leading men! LOL I actually love Compton, the line “you’re the only weakness I’ll allow myself” or something like that melted my heart! Sad to read how things ended but it makes for a great story… and hopefully more time with Papa Cage! Him!

    Happy holidays Amanda!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )


Connecting to %s


I love reading, blogging, pinning all the things on pinterest, wine, whiskey, tequila, and coffee.

Follow on Goodreads

Follow on Pinterest



Follow My Blog!

Click here to follow this blog and view my other followers...

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Currently Reading

%d bloggers like this: