A steampunk World War Z... Secrets in the Mist by Morgan L. Busse (Review & #Giveaway) #steampunk #yalit #yabooks #newbook #fantasybooks @Celebrate_Lit @EnclaveBooks

I've been looking forward to this book for some time.
Check out my review and enter the tour giveaway below...

Secrets in the Mist
(Skyworld #1)
By Morgan L. Busse
YA Fantasy, Steampunk, Christian
Hardcover & ebook, 225 Pages
August 10, 2021 by Enclave Escape


What’s lurking in the Mist is the least of their worries…

In a world where humanity lives in the sky to escape a deadly mist below, Cass’s only goal is survival. That is, until she finds a job on the airship Daedalus as a diver. Now she explores ruined cities, looking for treasure and people’s lost heirlooms until a young man hires her to find the impossible: a way to eradicate the Mist.

Theodore Winchester is a member of one of the Five Families that rule the skies. Following in his father’s footsteps, he searches for the source of the Mist and hopes to stop the purges used to control overpopulation. But what he finds are horrifying secrets and lethal ambition. If he continues his quest, it could mean his own death.

The Mist is rising and soon the world will be enveloped in its deadly embrace, turning what's left of humanity into the undead.

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My Review

SECRETS IN THE MIST is a story set in a world where a chemical war left a mist of disease on the land below that turns humans into living corpses. Those who are wealthy or smart enough live higher up where the mists can reach them. The story focuses on two main characters: a girl who has survived in the slums and a boy who was raised in wealth on his family's island in the sky. Both characters are likable with a world full of danger and political intrigue. Fans of steampunk, zombies and Christian fantasy will find this an exciting read.

I liked Cass from the start. She's street smart, a survivor and definitely doesn't take anything for granted. I also liked the motely crew she ends up joining. Theo I also liked as he has this drive to gain knowledge and do something about the state of the world he lives in. I enjoyed discovering this world and figuring out what was going on. It's an interesting premise of what might happen with chemical warfare that creates zombie-like humans and how those unexposed would still survive. I loved the steampunk aspects: the flying ships, gliders for individuals to travel down to land and back up, guns with bullets that light things on fire, and floating islands of land for people to live on. The action parts were also really well done and were the parts where I felt most immersed in the story. I'm very curious to see where this series goes and am impatient to read book two!

I did have a few things I would have liked developed more in the story. Some parts were a bit too forward or pointed, particularly in regards to religion. I would have liked those to be more weaved through so they came across more authentically. A few other parts of the story had a bit  too much telling instead of letting the character, and thus the reader, experience what was happening. I also thought Cass came across a bit too young in places for her age and background, particularly in the beginning.

In the end, was it what I wished for? An overall exciting mix of zombie and steampunk with a light inspirational aspect and great characters. An entertaining read and a series I will continue. Definitely recommended to those who enjoy this genre.

Content: Some violence, but not overly descriptive.
Source: I received a complimentary copy from from the publisher through Celebrate Lit, which did not require a positive review. All opinions are my own.

About the Author

Morgan L. Busse is a writer by day and a mother by night. She is the author of the Follower of the Word series and the award-winning steampunk series, The Soul Chronicles. Her debut novel, Daughter of Light, was a Christy and Carol Award finalist. During her spare time she enjoys playing games, taking long walks, and dreaming about her next novel.

More from Morgan

I’m afraid to fly. At first, I tried to ignore it. Then the panic attacks came. And the one time I accidentally grabbed my neighbor’s arm during turbulence, which was really embarrassing. But it was when I was waiting for my flight at the airport and felt like I was going to burst into tears right there at the gate that I knew I needed help.

I didn’t want to stop flying. I love traveling! But the fear of plummeting to the ground scared me, so I talked to my doctor and was given medicine to help me calm down. The problem is it made me really groggy. But hey, at least I could fly again.

Then I started writing Secrets in the Mist. Half of this book is about flying and one third is hang gliding. You know, flying with just a kite on your back. To write realistically about hang gliding, I started studying the sport. I read all the articles I could find, watched a lot of YouTube videos, and in the end spent over 10 hours immersing myself in the sky.

As I first imagined, then wrote each scene in Secrets in the Mist, something started to happen. I started to lose my fear of flying. It wasn’t the first time I tried to read the science behind flight to help me lose my fear of flying, but this time, I was doing it in my head. I was feeling the air and wind, tilting my glider, catching the air drafts, and not just understanding how to fly in my mind, but also with my heart.

I realized a plane couldn’t fall out of the sky just like my character couldn’t fall out of the sky. That an experienced flyer understood what to do in storms and sudden gusts of wind. And should the plane actually lose its engines, the pilot would help it glide to the ground the same way my gliders eased their way to a landing.

Not only that, by creating the exhilarating feelings my character felt when she was gliding began to seep into my psyche. I felt her joy and freedom, her lack of fear, and even more, how she felt more connected to God when it was just her, the wind, and the sky. I saw the beauty of flying through my character’s eyes.

I can fly now. Without medication. I actually enjoy the takeoffs and the feeling of the plane gliding through the air. Will I try hang gliding someday? Probably not, I still hate heights. But I never dreamed that writing about flying would help me overcome my fear of it. This is the power of imagination, and the power of story.

Tour Schedule

Texas Book-aholic, September 1
Wishful Endings, September 2
Remembrancy, September 3
deb’s Book Review, September 4
Blogging With Carol, September 4
Mia Reads, September 6
Rebecca Tews, September 7
Mary Hake, September 11
Simple Harvest Reads, September 12 (Guest Review from Mindy Houng)
Daysong Reflections, September 13

Tour-Wide Giveaway

To celebrate her tour, Morgan is giving away the grand prize package of Steampunk themed basket that includes a signed book, coffee by barnies, a soy candle (so it should be safe for everyone), and a $20 B&N gift card!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter.

Are you a fan of steampunk? Will you be reading this one?

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