A Matter of Blood by Lauren H. Salisbury

Book Blurb:

In a city where debts are paid in blood, it takes more than courage to survive.

All his life, Jake Amarel’s talent for mechanical invention has been overshadowed by his family’s ability to control matter with their minds. After an argument with his father compels him to leave for the capital, Jake’s dream of becoming an inventor is finally within reach. But as he’s swept along on a whirlwind of high living and technological marvels, Jake unwittingly enters the city’s darker side, where the slightest misstep could put more than his own life in peril.

Nathan Amarel has the peaceful life he always wanted—working the land on his family’s estate far from the evils they left behind in the capital. But when Jake leaves for the city, Nathan must decide how far he is willing to go to protect the brother he loves.

A Matter of Blood is an allegorical steampunk adventure that explores family bonds, sacrificial love, and redemption.

I received this book from the author. All comments and opinions are entirely my own and this review is voluntary.

Rayleigh’s Review:

In this steampunk allegory of the Biblical parable The Prodigal’s Son, readers see themselves in Jake as the story illustrates Jesus’s sacrificial love and relentless pursing of those He calls His own.

I’m always blown away by Lauren Salisbury’s allegorical stories. Her Legacy Chronicles are a science fiction allegory of Moses in the Bible and I truly loved how masterfully she tied those together, so when I learned of her new steampunk allegory, I got very excited! A Matter of Blood is an excellent book to add to your shelves.

This story is a powerful reminder of the Gospel and is a very clear retelling of the Prodigal’s Son. I truly loved Jake as a main character and I think he is diverse enough that any reader can relate to him in some way. Nathan was also an incredible character and I loved the brotherly bond that he and Jake had (yep, a brother duo is one of my favorite literary tropes). The steampunk world was fascinating and exciting and I loved that Jake took the time to explore it. I also felt little bit of a similarity to Oliver Twist as I read the first half of the book, which was one of my favorite books in high school.

The only reason that I give this 4 stars instead of 5 is because I feel like the magic could’ve been explained a little better. I spent most of the book asking questions about the magic that were never answered. In the end, I realized that we’re just not supposed to understand how the magic works, so I’m not that upset about it, but I was confused as I read. The book is also a slower pace than I prefer. It’s very good, but there were spots where I felt like I was getting too many details and I’d skip around chapters.

But overall, I really loved revisiting Salisbury’s work and A Matter of Blood did not disappoint at all! 4 out of 5 stars!


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