Review copy was received from Publisher. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Crucible Zero by Devon Monk
Series: House Immortal #3
Published by Roc on September 1st 2015
Genres: Urban Fantasy
Matilda Case never thought of herself as a hero. But because she is galvanized—and nearly immortal in her stitched, endlessly healing body—she doesn’t have much of a choice. Even if she doesn’t want to save the world, she’s the only one capable of traveling in time to do so.
But her rescue attempt hasn’t gone as planned. She’s stuck in an alternate universe, and her world is in danger of disappearing. Worst of all, an unfathomably powerful man who can also travel through history doesn’t want her to put things to rights. He’s willing to wage bloody war to stop Matilda, unless she surrenders control of time to him.
Now, with the minutes ticking, Matilda must make impossible decisions, knowing that one wrong choice will destroy her—and any chance of saving everything she loves...
I love Devon Monk’s books and always read them. I wouldn’t even have considered not reading Crucible Zero and definitely wanted to review it. The last two books in the House Immortal series were 5 stars for me. I really have enjoyed this series, the sci-fi aspects, the mystery, and the romance in the background.
The characters are awesome and I care about them. I want to see Matilda and her family and friends win. I want them to thrive as well as survive; they try so hard to improve the world.
I felt confused by the first half of Crucible Zero. It was right after the time travel and none of the characters were quite themselves. I didn’t feel like I knew them or what was happening. I dislike time travel in general, but I agreed with its purpose in this story, as a one-time thing.
I understand Matilda’s determination in this book but she seemed too confidant in the face of not knowing all the people or differences in this alternate time. Her connection with Quentin and Neds seemed very limited. The only person she felt somewhat connected with is Abraham. I liked that but it felt so distrustful. I guess I felt so strongly about them in the other time; it was almost harder to attach to the different time. I re-read parts of the story while writing this review and it felt somewhat better.
Crucible Zero is an appropriate end to the trilogy but I really want more. I want to see the relationships continue and build, as well as the how the world changes and develops now. And who did the jacket belong to? Are the galvanized immortal? I’m interested in the scientific advances that the Cases will develop, the new lives for the galvanized, and the shifts in power and business.
Giggle worthy quote:
“Hello, Oscar,” I said, taking my fingers away from my mouth.
“Oscar?” Abraham said. “Is that it? Is that your first name?”
“That,” Oscar said shortly, “doesn’t matter. I am curious who told you it might be.”
“I just thought… I must have heard it from Abraham,” I said.
“No,” Oscar said. “You did not. He doesn’t know my first name. No one knows my first name.”
“Not even your parents?” I asked.
His round eyes curved into crescents as he laughed. “Really. I must know. Who told you?”
“No one,” I said truthfully, “I … guessed.”
He studied me, his eyes bright. “You must be Matilda Case,” he said. “The girl who knew the future. Is this lovely young woman Matilda Case, Abraham?”
Anne Sits Down with Devon Monk
Anne: Do you have a “blurb” about you which you prefer us to use with the interview and review?
Devon: Devon Monk writes the House Immortal trilogy, the Allie Beckstrom urban fantasy series, and the spinoff Broken Magic series. She also writes the Age of Steam steampunk series, and the occasional short story. She has one husband, two sons, and lives in Oregon. When not writing, Devon is either drinking too much coffee or knitting silly things.
Anne: Will there be more books with characters from Allie Beckstrom and Broken Magic series? I miss Stone and I’m also drooling over Shame, (although I see him with longer hair than they showed him on the covers in the Broken Magic series) Or will there be a next generation view with the children?
Devon: Well…since you asked….yes! I haven’t announced it yet. But I will now. I’m putting out a Shame and Terric novel later this year. It will be e-only, but if it does well, there could be more in the future, both in ebook and print.
If readers would like to find out the release date of that book and other news, the best way is to sign up for my monthly newsletter. All breaking news, updates, and early excerpts and goodies will go out in the newsletter first.
Anne : Is House Immortal really just a trilogy, or will it go forward? I’d like to see Matilda and Abraham together more.
Devon: As of this moment, House Immortal is really just a trilogy. I do think there could be other stories with Matilda and Abraham. There is a lot of their world and relationship left to discover, but I don’t have anything planned at the moment.
Anne: If you could talk to one of your characters, such as Allie or Shame or Matilda, or any other, what would you like to tell them?
Devon: I guess I’d tell Allie that I was proud of her. She went through some really hard times and never gave up. Plus, she’s building a new life with Zayvion, and I love that.
I’d tell Matilda that she made the right choice. And that I have a feeling she’s going to have a really great future.
As for Shame…well, I’d probably tell him to stop drinking my beer, and to give me back the twenty he lifted out of my pocket.
Anne: Shame can drink my beer anytime. JS.
What would you tell me about your Age of Steam series I sadly have not yet read? What do you like best about it?
Devon: It has magic. Cedar and Wil Hunt are brothers cursed with lycanthropy who are trying to outrun their past and rebuild their present in a wild west powered by steam contraptions. There are the tricksy Madder brothers who can talk to mountains and who might or might not be working for the good of the United States, and the clever Rose Small who can make anything with a bit of string and wire.
Add in a witch burdened with dark power, a sweet-talking, fast-shooting airman, and an ancient magical weapon that might just destroy everyone, and you have the Age of Steam series.
Well, there is one more thing: the Strange. Creatures carved out of nightmare, fear, and pain that slip through the cracks into our world, to devour, to feed, to feast on the living. They want the ancient weapon and its destructive power too. The only thing standing in their way, are a couple of cursed brothers, a witch, an airman, a clever deviser, and three guys who talk to rocks.
Anne: What genres did you read growing up and what are your favorite genres now?
Devon: I read everything. Fairytales, mystery, contemporaries, science fiction. But I always loved fantasy, in all of its shapes and forms, the best. I still do.
Anne: Can you talk a little about your future writing plans, and if it is not related to your existing series, what genre it might be?
Devon: If all goes well, early next year you’ll be seeing something else from me that falls under the urban fantasy genre with a little more humor, romance, and mystery mixed in. I don’t want to give too much away on that. I also have another project–still squarely under the fantasy umbrella–that I’m working on, but can’t share details about yet.
I guess it’s safe to say that my writing plan includes a lot of fun, a lot of adventure and, of course, a lot of magic.
Thank you so much for having me here today!
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Devon Monk is an author that I’ve had my eye on for a while, but haven’t tried yet. I need to remedy that soon. Great review and interview.
Thanks Melanie. She is amazing and never disappoints me.
Plus she is a knitter like me and Ilona. We have had a few twitter convos about knitting.