Review: Shadows of Asphodel by Karen Kincy (Melissa’s review)

shadows of asphodelShadows of Asphodel (Shadows of Asphodel #1)
written by Karen Kincy
published by Karen Kincy

find it here: (affiliate links) Barnes & Noble, AmazonBook Depository, Goodreads

Disclosure: I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange  for an honest review.

Did I enjoy this book: 
I’m all for steampunk err . . . dieselpunk, especially when it involves necromancy and hot chicks with swords.  For some reason, though, I guess I failed to see the word “romance” at the end of the genre listing.  Magic?  Cool.  Turn of the century robots?  Cool.  Secret organizations, mercenaries, dirigibles, and science?  Very cool.  But by the third round of sexy time I was channeling my inner Doge: 

Yep.  I get it.  Ardis and Wendel like each other.  A lot.  They’re all passionate and conflicted and kissy, and they’re full of sexual tension.  I actually thought the first sex scene was completely appropriate – it’s difficult to write a relationship with so much turmoil, and Kincy’s portrayal of the couple’s first encounter is spot on.  I would have preferred, though, more plot and fewer preventatives.


Would I recommend it: Sure, as long as you’re not afraid of some less-than-proper language and a few sex scenes.


About the book – from Goodreads: 
When Ardis discovers a man bleeding to death on the battlefield, she knows she has to walk away.

1913. In her work as a mercenary for Austria-Hungary, Ardis has killed many men without hesitation. One more man shouldn’t matter, even if he manages to be a charming bastard while he stands dying in the snow.

But when he raises the dead to fight for him, she realizes she must save his life.

If a necromancer like Wendel dies, he will return as a monster—or so the rumors say. Ardis decides to play it safe and rescues him. What she doesn’t expect is Wendel falling to one knee and swearing fealty. Ardis never asked for the undying loyalty of a necromancer, but it’s too late now.

Ardis and Wendel forge an uneasy alliance underscored with sexual tension. Together, they confront rebels, assassins, and a conspiracy involving a military secret: robotically-enhanced soldiers for a world on the brink of war. But as Ardis starts to fall for Wendel, she realizes the scars from his past run more deeply than she ever imagined. Can Ardis stop Wendel before his thirst for revenge destroys him and everyone else around him?

(Dieselpunk romance. Because steampunk wasn’t dirty enough.)




  1. Yes – the constant mention of the preventatives started really bugging me.