Time for another blog tour, the second to the last one I have for the year. This one’s for young adult steampunk novel, The Hands of Tarot by SM Blooding. I don’t think I’ve read anything steampunk so I thought I should give it a go. Okay, actually I didn’t realize this book was steampunk when I first signed up for the tour. I saw the word tarot and thought I was in for a dark witchy fantasy. Oh, there’s dark stuff alright and magick, too. Plus flying ships and inventions! Yeahboy, steampunk!
The Hands of Tarot (The Hands of Tarot Series) by SM Blooding
She killed his father. She imprisoned and beat him. And now she thinks he’s her trophy. Synn El’Asim will do almost anything to prove her wrong. But he’s only proving her right.Queen Nix awakened his Mark of power and inducted him into the House of Wands. She knew what she was doing. The son of the two most powerful Families standing against her is the ultimate prize.
What she didn’t take into consideration was that maybe he was too strong for her. Maybe.
The Families aren’t. They’ve been weakened, and it’ll take a lot more than one young man with a powerful Mark to take on the Hands of Tarot.
Why is it that when you say steampunk, flying ships are always involved? Anyway, that was just a thought. I don’t mind flying ships. In fact, I think they’re pretty nifty. Like this book.
Quick recap activate! Synn is of the El’ Asim family who live on flying ships and whose mark is the storm or the power to wield lightning. Synn also happens to be part Ino family who live on land and whose mark is fire. The Families hide from The Hands who take the families’ children and kill anyone they don’t need. When Queen Nix of The Hands kills Synn’s father, Synn’s mark manifests and it’s not storm or fire but a powerful combo of the two families’ marks. Queen Nix captures Synn and tries to turn him to their side, but it’s not that easy.
I thought The Hands of Tarot was fast-paced and exciting from start to finish. I liked the concept of the Families and of each family bearing unique marks, the source of their power. I liked the whole thought of the Marks appearing as intricate tattoos. I also loved the fact that these pretty pretty tattoos come alive whenever the person uses his or her power. Very very cool.
Even though I enjoyed this book, I would have liked more descriptions of the setting and a little more background on the Hands and the Families. A little history on this unique world and its people couldn’t hurt. When I was reading the book, it felt like I was expected to already know why things were such, how things were supposed to work, the ways of the families, etc. I like my fantasy worlds larger than life and clear. To me the only things crystal clear in this book were two things: Families good, Hands bad. I would have liked a little more world building. The story was pretty cool and I wanted to be able to imagine and understand the fantastical world of this story.
Other than that little tidbit, this book was a fun read and I wouldn’t mind finding out what happens next in the second book. Maybe there’ll be more details on the history of the Hands and the Families!
Disclosure: I received a review copy for this tour in exchange for an honest review. I was not compensated nor was I required to give a positive review. All opinions expressed are my own.
Read an excerpt
Joshua twisted around to glance at me. “We’re gaining altitude, but I don’t know for how much longer. The other engines won’t take it.”
I nodded. “Weapons are in place. Just keep us flying.”
He turned his attention back to doing just that.
I jumped into the compartment underneath.
It was cramped. I had no idea who they thought they were going to get in here with a weapon of any real size. I laid flat on my belly. One of the two ribs of the compartment was jamming uncomfortably into my legs and I was fairly certain the other one was trying to take out my spleen. I opened the exterior hatch—
—and wished I had a pair of goggles and a flight hat. My hair whipped around my face, the wind making it impossible to see. I closed the hatch and rose. “Goggles,” I yelled. “I need goggles.”
Joshua reached down beside him, picked up a leather flight hat and threw it over his shoulder.
It missed me by a couple of arm lengths.
He pulled the goggles off his face and threw them my way.
He at least got those closer.
I scrambled to put both of them on and scurried back into my cubby hole. I could get claustrophobic quick.
This time, when I pulled the hatch, I could see and my hair wasn’t an issue, though breathing was. I’d had plenty of experience breathing at high altitude, but not this high and not this speed.
It was brutal.
But I didn’t really have time to worry about it.
Nix’s planes moved so fast. It was as if we were moving at super slow speed. I tracked one, but lost it before I could get a bead on it.
The world rocked and tipped starboard with another ricochet pop.
A second bird whizzed by. This time, I pulled the trigger—
–and nothing happened.
“Joshua, what did you do?” I popped my head out of the hole and shouted. “Did you take the copernicium out?”
“No,” he ground out, pulling hard on the control stick, trying to regain the altitude we’d just lost. “I just reduced it. Find something else.”
There was nothing else. I slipped back into my hole, shook the pistol, and found another target.
There was a lot to choose from.
I pulled the trigger, ready to bolt and find another solution when veins of lightning lava exploded from the weapon toward my intended target. It hit the first, then his wingman, and destroyed a third.
I released the trigger and blinked. There were big gaping, melted holes in each of the planes and they were headed for the sea. Fast.
I popped my head out. “This thing is fantastic!”
“That’s bloody awesome, Synn, but get these things off of me!”
About the Author
SM Blooding lives in Colorado with her pet rock, Rockie, their new addition, Mr. Bird, who’s a real bird. She likes to hike the beautiful Rocky Mountains, and is learning to play the piano and guitar. Currently, she’s trying to MURDER them both. Friends call her Frankie.
She’s dated vampires, werewolves, sorcerers, weapons smugglers and US Government assassins. Yes. She has stories.
She’s also an investigator with a local paranormal investigation group, Colorado Paranormal Rescue!
A randomly drawn commenter will win a Tarot Doll of their choice (US/CANADA only) at the end of the tour! The more you comment, the more chances of winning!
Visit the other tour stops:
December 3: Fantasy Pages
December 4: White Sky Project
December 5: Journey of a Bookseller
December 6: Welcome to My World of Dreams
December 7: Writing from the Middle
December 10: Sharing Links and Wisdom
December 11: Stories of My Life
December 12: Paranormal Reads
December 13: The Wormhole
December 14: Books in the Hall