The Machines of Theda (The Monster of Selkirk, #3)TITLE: The Machines of Theda #3
AUTHOR: C.E. Clayton

RELEASED: October 16, 2018
PUBLISHER: DevilDogPress
FORMAT: Paperback

GENRE: YA Fantasy

TRIGGERS: Death of artificially made children

Trying to put the events in Selkirk behind them, Tallis and Tomas find themselves in a land where people and machines have created a newfound relationship. Tallis wishes to hide and heal in this strange land while giving the people of Selkirk time to forget and perhaps forgive her. For with no one but once feral elves to verify her claim that she was not responsible for the recent carnage, who would give her an opportunity to explain?

Despite Theda’s golden coastline and amazing technology, something odd is happening throughout the port city of Aelius and Theda’s mechanical hub in Cato. Something nefarious is taking root in Tallis, making her bones ache; her dreams constantly torment her with visions she can’t ignore. But as Tomas isn’t affected, none believe Tallis’s claims that Theda is not as idyllic as it appears.

All Tallis and Tomas want is to rest and explore their budding relationship, free from the fear of death, but that desire is quickly crushed. How can Tomas and Tallis figure out what they mean to each other when a brilliant student sets her sights on Tomas, and a pirate makes secret plans for Tallis? Not to mention Theda’s elves have taken an uncomfortable interest in Tallis. Theda may be a land full of wonder, but Tallis is finding that wherever she goes, danger trails her like a mischievous shadow, following her every step.

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First up, a warning since this is the third book in The Monster of Selkirk and it may contain spoilers for the two first books! I’ve tried to keep it as spoiler-free as possible but.. you never know.. If you’re okay with that, read on. If you’re not, maybe read my review of The Duality of Nature – which is the first book in this series? Simply click here!
Okay, all seriousness aside [for now]. It’s high time I read this book! You may or may not know that the first book in The Monster of Selkirk, The Duality of Nature, was the first book I ever won in a giveaway after starting my blog. It was the start of both a wonderful journey reading-wise and an amazing friendship with the author, Chelscey, otherwise. So much so that I now own all books in the series – signed! Unfortunately I still haven’t read them all, which is something I need to remedy this year. So without further ado, my review for the third book in the series!

The good

The story started off slowly. Our characters – Tallis and Tomas – arriving in a new country took a lot of time being described. It didn’t bother me but it definitely made for a slow start to this book. However – the descriptions were so very detailed and amazing! I was intrigued by the clothes mentioned. Let alone the accessories. The thing I thought of most while reading those was “steampunk!” and I was all for it.

Tomas and Tallis [a half-elf by the way] switch POV’s throughout the book. It makes the story very interesting, especially taking into account their personal relationship and the growth we see happening on-page. I thought it all very well done and even applauded Chelscey for it. I know she has a hard time writing the emotional things relationship-wise but I feel like she succeeded brilliantly at it!
Also, when it comes to Tomas? I absolutely adore him. He’s so insecure, yet secure and so smart, yet naive and.. and.. Endearing. That’s the word. The term “cinnamon bun” definitely applies here.

Tallis, on the other hand, is still her amazing, trouble-finding self. She stands up for the people needing it, is willing to sacrifice herself for anything remotely good and.. she simply succeeds at being that personif you know what I mean.

Not too far into the book, we’re introduced to one of the new characters – Rodrigo. I’m hoping he’ll get more of a place in the story later for one reason and one reason alone. He’s pirate. I totally forgot there’d be a pirate and now I want him to be all dangerous and awesome! I’m keeping my fingers crossed. But knowing Chelscey I’m going to curse him to the seven seas and back eventually. She tends to get that reaction out of me. Ugh.

As far as the story goes… I was enraptured. Not only the writing helped, but also all the events, the sugary sweet conversations between Tomas and Tallis. There was so much going on that I couldn’t help but continue reading. Or, wanting to read more whenever I had to stop reading. [Admittedly, there are some ridiculously long chapters, which had me frustrated at times because I often only have time to read a couple of pages so the “just one chapter” didn’t really work in this book..]

The bad

If there is one thing that was “less” for me, it was the ending of the book. Not because the ending didn’t fit or things happened that should have been different but.. Because it felt too long. The main “ending”, as you’d say, happens way before the actual ending of the book. This made the ending seem unnecessarily long and slow-paced while.. I think it shouldn’t have been? On the other hand.. It is pretty much Chelscey’s “thing” to write very descriptively as was definitely the case in those final chapters. And there were certain things happening that needed to happen so I get why at least!

Overall, this was another very enjoyable read! Tallis and Tomas grew, seperately and together, there are new characters [I don’t mention some because it might spoil some things] and.. well.. I’m very intrigued to see where our cast is heading next!

Highly important! If you’re interested in these books, now that you can buy signed copies through Chelscey’s Etsy store!

What are some of your favorite indie authors?
Apart from “the big ones”, which books also feature elves that aren’t as known?



3 thoughts on “STEAMPUNK, ELVES, HALF-ELVES AND ONE AMAZING CINNAMON BUN ~ The Machines of Theda by C.E. Clayton

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