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secret abyssWhat: The Secret Abyss – A Jack Mason Adventure by Darrell Pitt

Who: Text Publishing

When: June 25th 2014

How: A copy of this novel was provided by Text Publishing for review.

Jack, Scarlet and Mr Doyle return for their next action-packed adventure.

When the world’s deadliest assassin, the Chameleon, escapes from prison, Jack begins his most dangerous investigation yet.

With only the scantest of clues, the team travels from London to New York, a bustling metropolis filled with airships, steam cars and exciting new ideas.

Here they uncover a terrible plot that threatens the president’s life and brings the nation to the brink of civil war. Can Jack track down the Chameleon in time? And just what is the mysterious whip of fire that has the power to wreak destruction across the world?

2cats2Unfortunately, I didn’t enjoy The Secret Abyss as much as its predecessor. There were good aspects, and bad – but I just felt like it didn’t have quite the same magic as The Firebird Mystery.

We are introduced to a new cast of characters in The Secret Abyss. I liked this a lot, especially the introduction of Gabrielle, a twenty year old secret service agent who loves the same books that Scarlet does. I thought she was pretty kickass, and I hope we get to see her in future books.

The Secret Abyss is not set in England, rather in the US. This may have had something to do with my decreased enjoyment as I think that steampunk England is far more awesome than steampunk America (sorry US people!). It really wasn’t as steampunk-y, or at least the descriptions of the steampunk aspects were not as in depth as they were in The Firebird Mystery.

I was also not so keen on the mystery aspect of this book. It was about an impending second US civil war, and some guy hired an assassin to kill the president because he pretty much wanted to RULE THE WORLD US. This, for me, wasn’t as intriguing as the last story, and it just felt kind of flat.

One thing that was definitely improved upon was the pacing. In the last book, I very much felt like so many things happened – and all too quickly. But this time around, everything flowed at a much more believable pace, which I enjoyed.

Scarlet was more prominent in The Secret Abyss, and I was glad for it. She’s such an awesome character, and I liked that she was more involved in the more dangerous aspects of their adventures.

Again, I wish we had seen more of Ignatius Doyle because he is so awesome, and I think he could add so much to these stories with his cheese obsession and his wild stories. Hopefully next time,we’ll get some more page time with our Mr Doyle.

Jack definitely grew as a character, and I think he acted a lot more like a fourteen year old boy in The Secret Abyss. He was blushing and being generally dense when it came to Scarlet’s feelings for him. He is quite a cute and endearing character, and once again he had the ability to make me laugh.

Overall, I wasn’t as enamored with this book as I was with the first in the series, but I will definitely keep reading. I cannot wait to read of future mysteries, and character development.

© 2014, Chiara @ Books for a Delicate Eternity. All rights reserved.

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Posted on: August 13, 2014 • By: Chiara

4 Responses to Review: The Secret Abyss by Darrell Pitt

  1. See, this is the problem with series – too often I am disappointed that the second isn’t as good as the first. But I do like steampunk. Well, in theory. I haven’t really read enough to have an informed opinion. I might check out the first book and then…erm, not continue :P England is better than America after all. *ducks from the ‘Muricans*

    • Chiara says:

      England IS better than the US, haha. Especially when it comes to steampunk. It just fits with he country a whole lot better.

      I’ve read quite a few steampunk novels, and I always wish there was a little more of it in them. I feel like there is so much room for gadgets and things, but they never appear quite as much as I want them to!

  2. Too bad it wasn’t as good as The Firebird Mystery, which I am yet to read, but perhaps that was more about the setting than anything. Jack’s character sounds like he actually went backwards. Glad to hear you’ll keep reading though. Thanks for the review!

    • Chiara says:

      I think the setting might have been its downfall. I definitely think Jack grew as a character, because he just seemed less juvenile overall.

      It’s the kind of series I want to see succeed and grow, so I think I have to keep reading to see if that happens!

      No problem, Jeann :)

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