It's 1889. Paris is on the cusp of industry and power, and the Exposition Universelle has breathed new life into the streets and dredged up ancient secrets. Here, no one keeps tabs on dark truths better than treasure-hunter and wealthy hotelier Séverin Montagnet-Alarie. When the elite, ever-powerful Order of Babel coerces him to help them on a mission, Séverin is offered a treasure that he never imagined: his true inheritance. To hunt down the ancient artifact the Order seeks, Séverin calls upon a band of unlikely experts: An engineer with a debt to pay. A historian banished from his home. A dancer with a sinister past. And a brother in arms if not blood. Together, they will join Séverin as he explores the dark, glittering heart of Paris. What they find might change the course of history--but only if they can stay alive.
I received this book in exchange for an honest review via Netgalley. I picked up this book because the title, cover and the descirption intrigued me. That’s a rare combo for me, so I was really excited to read it. I’d also heard a lot of hype about the book from some of my fellow ARC (advance reader copy) bloggers.
The unique and immersive world that the author created was immediately apparent from the first page. The decadance, magic and beauty of Paris in Chokski’s world jumped off the page from the beginning of the book to the very end. Everything from the entertainment to the food to the clothing was thoughtfully planned out and worked together to create the background for the plot. Additionally, the time period Choski selected plays an important role in the conflicts the characters face. It was great to see all these elements come together to create a truly one-of-a-kind landscape.
This books features a large cast, but the author does a good job of making each character distinct. The perspective also shifts between four of the characters of the main crew. While this is sometimes frustrating, I never was confused about whose perspective I was in, thanks to clear perspective changes at each chapter. As always, when there are perspective changes, I found myself wanted to skip through some character’s sections to get to the characters I preferred. But it was fun seeing some scenes from multiple perspective.
The plot of the book starts in a strange place, as all the characters already know each other and have history together. This lead to a lot of backstory and flashbacks later on, but I was impressed with the author’s ability to spread this out so it didn’t feel so heavy right up front. That’s definitely something I need to learn from for my own writing. And, since this book often dealt with puzzles or riddles, the pace did slow in some sections, but in general, the tension was strong enough that I was willing to read throught hese slower sections to get the action.
The Gilded Wolves is a book heavy with mystery, tension and magic. The world the author created is unique and memorable. There is a large, but enjoyable cast of characters to get to know. The pacing can be slow at times, but, overall the book makes up for it with excellent tension and action.