Merciless Reason by Oisin McGann

Merciless Reason (and the entire Wildenstern Saga) is the type of read that really makes me regret I cannot come close to writing a review as good as the book deserves. Imaginative, inventive, full of adventure, and with fascinating characters, it’s solid from the beginning to the end. With this final book, we get full resolution, explanations of all the mysteries, and a bucketload of action. And although I hated to see the end of the series, I am also excited for what author McGann will give us in the future.


Story: Nate has traveled Africa and North America but come to realize it is time to return home. Armed with full knowledge of the source of the engimals and smart particles, he most return to Wildenstern Hall and end Gerald’s reign of merciless reason. But how do you beat someone who can so accurately predict the future?

At the beginning, I thought this was Nate and Gerald’s story. But by book two, it became obvious this was Daisy and Nate’ story. McGann cleverly wove the plot so that there were many twists and unexpected turns throughout – this wasn’t just Nate returning to end Gerald once and for all. Daisy, Tatty, and several side characters (as well as several new characters) are all instrumental in small or major ways in working to overthrow Gerald as patriarch.

All of the mysteries were finally explained – from the Nate’s parents’ tragic history (the focus of book 2) to the origins of the engimals. The build up is slow and given in pieces, allowing the obvious answers to unwind organically. Fortunately, we don’t have any droning exposition or villain blabbering at the end to explain it all.

Taken as a whole, this was an excellent series. Individually, each book stood on its own and furthered the story perfectly. It’s a big world McGann created and this last volume really ties it up neatly for the reader. But even beyond the reveals, this last book continued the momentum from the first two and suffused quirky characterizations with non-stop action.

If you haven’t read the first book, you’ll definitely want to start there since there is so much character development. And for those who read the first two, expect more great writing and an excellent ending to the series-long arc. Reviewed from an advance reader copy provided by the publisher.

This entry was posted in alternate history, ARC, Book Reviews, Steampunk, YA. Bookmark the permalink.

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