The Ace of Clubs is the third chapter of the Red Dog Conspiracy Series. A steampunk noir novel that is exclusive, flawlessly written, well crafted, complex & intricately detailed world building descriptions & settings. Characters are complex, well seasoned & leap off of the pages & into your heart strings. A perfect addition to the series that ends with a What The Frick! Oh My Gosh! Oh My Star's & Garter! & to top it off with whipped cream & a cherry on top it will leave you spellbinded. A must listen steampunk noir series that draws you in & keeps you captivated & will have you treasuring forever.
Narrator Machelle Williams continues to perform this series in a way that holds your attention. Her inflection is smooth and consistent. A highly entertaining performance.
Look forward to listening to the next audio in this series.
Note: This is Book 3 in the series and the books really need to be read in order to get the plot.
So far, I have been luke warm about this series but finally here in Book 3 the story is growing on me. I finally have the setting down. Yay! Some distant major event dropped humanity down a few notches and we now have domed cities and dirigibles and women have very few rights. Jacqui finds these restrictions chaffing and she uses her talents to step outside those rules. And that is the main reason I like Jacqui. I find she’s a bit of a twit from time to time yet her character keeps drawing me back into this tale.
The plot picks up shortly after the events of Book 2. There’s a major inquest into the explosion that took out a dirigible and killed several people including a friend of Jacqui’s. More than one of the major families is under suspicion, including the Spadros. Even as the families pull into tight, defensive groups, Jacqui still has her own motivations and sometimes is a bit oblivious to the political dangers she’s straying into.
That is one of the things that still tickles at me. Supposedly Jacqui has been trained since the age of 12 to be a good Spadros spouse. Yet she still lacks some basics, like not knowing some Italian, who to invite to dinner without starting a war between families, etc. Perhaps she had bad teachers? But I tend to think that Jacqui can be a little dense in regards to such things. I can’t help but think that this part of her character could have been cleaned up a bit, sharpened, made clear.
Tony Spadros keeps earning my respect. He finally has some big reveals about his wife and her secret activities and contacts. I really wanted Jacqui and Tony to join forces and become a cohesive team to take on the world, but that didn’t happen. Instead Jacqui is still hung up on Joseph who is just as caught up in her. Joseph is still a stick figure. I wish we had more about his character. After 3 books, we still know little about him other than he has strong feelings for Jacqui.
The story ramps up as things start to fall apart for Jacqui. Most of her secrets have been pried out of the closet. Her list of allies and friends is dwindling. Her choices are narrowing. Even with that, she’s still holding onto her core values. The story does end on a cliff hanger. The fate of the main characters is all up in the air. 4/5 stars.
The Narration: Machelle Williams continues to improve. Her pacing is better in this book. The character voices are all distinct and her male character voices are masculine. She makes a good Jacqui Spadros. There were no issues with the recording. 4/5 stars.
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