When Alex Gentlemen was just a child, bad men came onto the dirigible where he lived, killed his father and brothers, and took him captive. He was forced into slave labor, and then, as he got too big, was beaten and trained as a Wrath. Fifteen years later, Alex has done horrible things. When his brothers rescue him, for they weren’t killed as he thought, and remove the control collar that has kept him from thinking for years, Alex begins to remember. But he’s been trained to be a killer and it’s not like he can turn it off with a switch.
Nigel is the mechanical genius within the Hinders, the rebellion group that is fighting to save the world. He was instrumental in getting the collar off Alex, and he continues to be a calming presence in Alex’s life. When Alex’s old instincts become too much, it’s Nigel who can bring Alex back to the present. But those skills come in handy when the Hinders’ compound is attacked, and again when they finally have a lead on the mastermind behind what was done to Alex and so many others. Alex gets his revenge, and in doing so, liberates the world. With Nigel’s love, Alex is a reformed man. And with Nigel’s genius, they will keep improving the world.
This is the third and final book in The Gentlemen Brothers series, and it brings the arc to a close. These books definitely have to be read in order, as each one builds on the last. From the very beginning, the driving force has been to reunite the brothers. Along the way, they have uncovered dark and sinister plots, and have thwarted the bad guys, while simultaneously working to make the world better. This story is the satisfying ending we’ve been working toward since the beginning.
Alex is beyond broken because he hasn’t been able to think for years. The clockwork collar around his neck ensured that he would only do what he was told. I like that the author didn’t make it so removing that collar is an instant fix and Alex is all better. He has issues he needs to work through, and triggers and learned behaviors he needs to overcome. Yes, he does it with Nigel’s help, but he’s trying on his own. I thought Alex was particularly well done, as he also spoke in very formal and regimented language, which was somehow fitting. It was if he only had formal words and was learning about life again. Alex really made this book for me, and watching his journey unfold was worth it.
I wanted to see more of Nigel, and I definitely thought this part was lacking a bit. He was such a sweet and gentle man, intelligent and determined. But I felt like we got only a sketch of him, and we didn’t know much more about him than we learned in the previous book. He was good fit for Alex, and together they were sweet and hot. But I really felt that I needed more from him.
The plot worked well here, and I was turning pages to watch the story unfold, but I also thought it suffered a little from pacing issues. There were parts that just went too quickly, and I really felt as if the story would have benefitted from these sections being more fleshed out. There were several scenes that were just a skimming of action and thought, and then we were moving on. Not exactly bad, but I wanted some more from it.
All in all, I think Cox has created a really interesting steampunk world, and I definitely liked this series overall. The three books really tell a complete tale and this one in particular finishes it up nicely. If you’re looking for steampunk, reunion, love, and redemption, then this book, and the series, are definitely worth a look.