I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review for my stop on the blog tour at Donnie Darko Girl.
I'm always craving more steampunk stories, and HAND OF MIRIAM confirmed for me that I haven't read nearly enough. This book blew me away with its creative plot, vibrant characters, and mix of Jewish mythology, supernatural creatures, and steampunk. There are several layers rich to the story which kept things intriguing and caused me to stay glued to my Kindle.
After her husband's tragic death, Bayla awakens a golem - a fallen angel named Gesher - to protect her from the supernatural creatures threatening her because she's been branded with the Hand of Miriam and can detect them. She can "read" their evil intentions and prevent them from killing people. They obviously don't want to be kept from harming others and view Bayla as a threat, making attempts on her life several times.
Expecting a man of clay, Bayla is surprised when she summons the golem and he's in the form of an attractive man. Gesher is a fallen angel who has lost his wings, and if he wants them to be restored and go back to heaven, he must not become intimate with a human woman. They're attracted to each other instantly but must fight their feelings - Bayla doesn't want to prevent Gesher from returning to heaven. There's a lot of heat between the two of them, and I loved every minute of it!
There were moments in HAND OF MIRIAM where I fought the instinct to look over my shoulder because I had a creepy crawly feeling, especially when Bayla awakens the golem. An entire world of supernatural creatures exists right in front of humans, but they can't see it. Thinking about that creeped me out, too. Whereas some people might not like that feeling, it is one I relish when a book causes me to feel this way.
Bayla is my new favorite kick ass heroine. Though she's protected by the golem, she chooses to face down werewolves and the like alongside him. She has the desire to prevent any harm coming to other people and can do so with the Hand of Miriam though it is never easy. She's strong enough to hold back her physical desires for Gesher and is selfless - she doesn't want to be the cause of his downfall. I love her!
HAND OF MIRIAM is a novel not to be missed. With unforgettable characters setting out on unforgettable adventures in a steampunk world, there's romance, supernatural mayhem, Jewish mythology, and a plot that will leave you catching your breath. I'm looking forward to where the story will go from here!