Genres: Urban Fantasy
Published by Penguin, ROC Fantasy on September 1, 2015
Also by this author: House Immortal, Infinity Bell
The national bestselling author of Infinity Bell returns to her “fresh and unique” world where the truce between the ruling Houses has shattered and chaos now reigns. Only one woman has the power to save the world—but she could also destroy it...
Matilda Case never thought of herself as a hero. But because she is galvanized—and nearly immortal in her stitched, endlessly healing body—she doesn’t have much of a choice. Even if she doesn’t want to save the world, she’s the only one capable of traveling in time to do so.
But her rescue attempt hasn’t gone as planned. She’s stuck in an alternate universe, and her world is in danger of disappearing. Worst of all, an unfathomably powerful man who can also travel through history doesn’t want her to put things to rights. He’s willing to wage bloody war to stop Matilda, unless she surrenders control of time to him.
Now, with the minutes ticking, Matilda must make impossible decisions, knowing that one wrong choice will destroy her—and any chance of saving everything she loves...
As much as I enjoyed the other two books in the series, Crucible Zero managed to be so much better. Time travel and alternative realities are not always easy to navigate but Devon Monk does it seamlessly. Her characters are also incredible, especially Matilda who, as a heroine, isn’t a know it all and admits she needs help to attain her goal. Matilda and Abraham’s relationship, although different in this reality, continues to be entertaining and steamy.
At first, it was a little confusing as to why Matilda ends up in an alternate universe where she didn’t even exist before, but at least all her loved ones and some of her family members are alive in this one, unlike in her original timeline. In Infinity Bell, Matilda had to travel back in time in order to save billions of people from a 300 year old experiment, but obviously not everything goes according to plan. The time travelling did change the future, in some capacity, but more specifically changed the course of Abraham’s long lived life as he waits for the reappearance of Matilda Case, the mysterious future girl who saved him three centuries before.
The galvanized, like Abraham and Matilda, live extra long lives because of the ramifications of that long ago time travel experiment called Wings of Mercury. In order to survive, they sometimes need to be patched up and stitched so they are quite often recognized by their patchwork of skin and stitches. Living for a long time can get quite lonely and in the previous books, I was glad Matilda and Abraham found each other. However, in this new reality, they meet again for the first time and Matilda is the only one with memories of their time together. The chemistry between the two character is definitely still there and it’s quite interesting to see them fall for each other a second time.
After the time travelling, Matilda still isn’t done saving the world. This time, she plan to prevent a tyrannical leader from taking over the world. However, killing another galvanized isn’t that easy so she’ll need all the help she can find. In this new timeway, she also has to deal with new obstacles such as a plague, deadly ferals and mercenaries. I really like Matilda as a character. She has a strong mind and isn’t afraid to do what she thinks is right. When she sets her mind on something, she tries her best to accomplish it but she’s not afraid to ask for help. Physically, she’s quite strong but she knows her limitations. However, physical limitations may not be what prevents her from attaining her goal. She admits multiple time that she’s never killed anyone, yet her ultimate goal is an assassination. It’s quite interesting to see Matilda go through various emotions. As a galvanized, her kind aren’t always seen as human, but there’s there’s nothing more human than Matilda.
In my opinion, this series has reached a new height with Crucible Zero and I have no clue if Devon Monk will be able to surpass it. Honestly, I have no clue if there’s going to be a next book because the story felt quite finished. No cliffhanger ending for this one. I don’t want the series to be over because it happens to be one of my favorite Urban Fantasy series lately but I wouldn’t be surprised if it is. Crucible Zero, like the other two books in the series, is exceptionally written and highly recommendable.
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