Archivist Emmet Dennison has fallen from grace. Instead of extracting the memories of the dead, he finds himself assigned to protect Nicola Tesla, a woman who is as mad as she is brilliant. Each moment they are together challenges not only his beliefs, but jeopardizes his future with the Guild.
Nicola Tesla hasn't met a man like Emmet Dennison before-intelligent, insightful and full of anger. Despite her curiosity, she has no desire to pursue a relationship. Her life is her work and no distraction, no matter how attractive, will get in her way.
Thomas Edison intends to grow his influence and take control of New London's underbelly. When Nicola and Emmet are kidnapped by Edison and become pawns in his plot, their feelings for each other grow. Edison unleashes his creations on New London, putting Nicola in danger and forcing Emmet to choose between saving her life or saving his soul.
"This series is creative, original, full of engaging and well written characters and set in an unusual and entertaining version of London. " - KT Reivews
"I absolutely love d’Abo’s descriptions of the mechanics and was super intrigued with the idea of the archivists. Her gritty description of New London, the different guilds and affinities are fabulous. " - Reader Confessions
Keegan stayed huddled in the corner of his cell, his forehead pressed to the tops of his knees, and muddled through prayers he didn’t believe in. The man hadn’t been by to visit him for so long that he’d lost track of the time. It couldn’t have been more than a few hours, yeah? Surely not more than a day. The other Underlings would have noticed he hadn’t been seen in a while. They might even start to poke around, see if they could find his sorry arse. They’d assumed he’d been pinched by the Sentry if he didn’t show by midnight. Glyn would be pissed, and he’d catch an earful when he got back.
If he got back.
No one would miss him though. Not really. His mat in the abandoned house they used at night would be filled by another quick as could be. If Keegan was gone long enough, that boy or girl would be put to work on Keegan’s streets to pull in the marks, though no one was as good as him. He was the best there was at parting them upper crust from their purses because he was special.
Without needing to look, Keegan reached into the pocket of his trousers and touched the small fob watch nestled between the thinning fabrics. His rising apprehension started to fade, making it easier for him to breathe once more.
It was only luck that the man hadn’t taken his one prized possession away from him. Yes, it was broken and comprised of worthless metals, but Keegan had seen boys killed for far less out on the streets by men who didn’t look a thing like killers. The man had even seemed pleased when Keegan showed him the trick that never failed to bring him coins from the muckety-mucks who pranced around the streets. They always liked him, liked the way he reminded them of their son, nephew, grandchild, and would step closer. He could make the metal sing, dance, do what he wanted, all with a single touch, pulling his mark in as they tried to figure out what he was doing.
Not that they ever could.
This bloke hadn’t been much different from the rest. He knew the man was American from the way he spoke his words, long and stretched out. There weren’t many tourists who came to New London these days, but when they did they were easy for him to pick clean. He’d be the poor starving waif, needing money for his mum. Oh, and look what I can do! It would be simple enough to show him the trick with his watch, spin a bit of a yarn about how the watch was magic, and when he was focused on the ticking of the hands, Keegan would reach into the bloke’s pocket and pinch his purse. Easy peasy.
What he hadn’t expected was for the man to wrap his hand around Keegan’s wrist, his fingers tighter than any metal band he’d ever felt. He’d thought for sure he’d be dragged off to the King’s Sentry and thrown into the prison in the guts of the Tower. Instead, the man made him perform the trick again and again until Keegan’s mind throbbed from the pressure. It was too much, made his brain hurt and his skin itch, like bugs beneath the surface trying to get free.
“I have a better place where you can show me, son.” The man smiled in a way that made him feel worse than his crawling skin. “Someplace quiet.”
Keegan’s weakened state made it easy for the man to haul him into the back of a hackney, that and the two men he had with him. Keegan had fought, kicked, and punched, called out for help, but no one cared. He was nothing more than an Underling, a street rat who was going to get his what for. That had been the last time Keegan had seen daylight.
Hours? It couldn’t be days, could it? Maybe. It was so hard to tell here in the dark. He shifted so his eye socket was covered by his kneecap. The pressure served as a short distraction for him, though he knew he’d adjust to the small pain soon enough. It was then that his stomach chose to rumble, reminding him of the thin soup he’d swallowed down for his breakfast…whenever that had been.
Approaching footsteps had him release his grasp on the watch and curl further in to himself. It was a pointless act on his part, there was no place for him to hide in the empty cell. The bastard hadn’t even put him in one with a steam pipe for warmth against the cold winter’s air. With the sound of each approaching step, Keegan tried to make his brain work, to come up with an idea, some sort of plan to get out of here. But it had been far too long since he’d had a proper meal, and the chill in his bones made it hard to concentrate.
Not that he was going to give up. Fuck that and fuck the man if he thought Keegan would simply roll over and die. He’d survived the streets of New London up to this point, and he’d find a way to survive this, too.