It's Victorian London and Simon Archer is a scribe, a magick practitioner that uses runes and tattoos to focus his magical energy. Posing as a handsome rogue playboy to infiltrate society and hide his abilities, he and his mentor Nick Barker, attend a society ball to discover more about the pesky werewolf problem plaguing the city. While at the ball, the striking headstrong alchemist Kate Anstruther catches Simon's eye. He is intrigued at her boldness and willingness to jump in to help. Come to find out, Kate's sister Imogen is embroiled in a sinister plot devised by these very same wolves. Accordingly, the two team up, and along with partner Nick and new acquaintance Malcolm MacFarlane, a fierce Scottish monster hunter, the four are a force to be reckoned with.
I thoroughly enjoyed this start to the Crown & Key series. The action was intense with werewolves, magic, alchemy and mad science all playing a role to make this steampunk urban fantasy speed along at breakneck speed. All this action was delivered with a slight detriment to other aspects however, that being character development and world building as other reviewers have mentioned. Not that I found it completely lacking in those departments, but it was enough that I never fully embraced any one particular character. Since this is an ongoing series however, I can only hope that many of these aspects will be further expanded upon in the upcoming books in the series which I look forward to reading soon.
Thank you to NetGalley and Random House Publishing Group/Del Rey Spectra for providing me with a copy of this e-book in exchange for an honest review.