Title: Past Lives
Author: Stephanie Abbott
Genre: Steampunk, Adult Fiction, Historical Fiction
Publisher: Lyonnesse Books
Publication Date: February 02, 2012
Where’d I Get It: Free from the author
Synopsis (From Goodreads): How many times can you die for love?
A near-fatal car crash unlocks memories from Rachel MacReady’s past life, dredging up secrets taken to the grave. And even as Rachel discovers the hidden power that is her birthright, she finds herself drawn to the reincarnates of two very different men. In that past life, both loved her. One might even have loved her to death…
My Thoughts: First of all, I have to say – this book is listed in places as Young Adult and I definitely don’t think it is. The characters are in their twenties and are dealing with distinctly adult situations and living adult lives. There’s also a fairly explicit sex scene that may or may not push it out of YA category.
Aside from that…
This historical fiction slash steampunk slash quasi-romance novel (really, I’m unsure of how to categorize it, though that’s not necessarily a bad thing) was a fun, quick read. Unfortunately for me, it was a little too quick. Just as I was getting into the story and wanted to know more about what was going on, the book ended.
Now. That said, I did really enjoy the book. The prose is lovely and flows forward with few hitches. The dual timelines (past life, present life) are expressed in a way that is easy to follow. I really enjoyed seeing Rachel’s past self through the visions – the steampunk aspects of the 1870s timeline were really quite fun! – and I wish we could have been shown more in this first installment.
I also really enjoyed the characters. It’s obvious Ms. Abbott put thought and effort into each one of them. I’ll probably pick up the next in the series so I can find out just what happens to Rachel and her friends…the cliffhanger ending pretty much guaranteed that would happen!
Rating: 3 of 5