★★★ ½ @BethCato #Bookreview
Darker than the first book, Clockwork Crown starts where the first book ended. This should not be read as a standalone. It is best to read this book after reading the first. Octavia is now on the run as a fugitive from her own country. Keeping her safe is Alonzo Garrett who was assigned to watch and possibly end her. Now on her side, he tries to protect her as well as help her learn more about the origins of "The Lady".
This second book moves at a faster pace than the last which I enjoyed. It also is more grim which I also enjoyed. What surprised me the most was the lost of faith by Octavia. She comes face to face with her "god" and she is disillusioned. I found this story provocative in how people treated those with faith. I also liked how the "higher power" is explained and yet doesn't completely destroy Octavia. Her questions are mostly answered. What she learns is not what she expected but it made sense.
The different trials Octavia needs to over come both with and without Alonzo by her side are tough. Fortunately for her, she does have a little bit of help from a delightfully adorable gremlin. These creatures are different than most people think. I found them to be both adorable and very sad. Their creation and how they are treated is reprehensible. Leaf, the baby gremlin who is saved by Octavia in the first book steals the show here. I wanted my own little one after his scene stealing antics.
One of the big reveals is a bit shocking as it is not all how I imagined. Kudos to Ms. Cato for throwing several plot twists in this conclusion. I loved it. The conclusion to this story is resolved a little too pat for me but it works. This fantasy is recommended to readers who enjoy a strong plot line with great characters and an adorable little sidekick.