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The Shadow Cipher: 11/23/18
The Shadow Cipher by Laura Ruby is the first of the York series. It opens with a man following a woman to her brownstone at the close of the 18th century. It's set up as if she's going to be his victim but then she isn't. It's at this moment that New York as we know it and New York as Laura Ruby imagines it, diverge.
The remainder of the book is present day, present time. But it's not our New York. Imagine if you will, a modern day steampunk New York. Imagine if a pair of eccentric brothers had bought the majority of the city and rebuilt it as a living, breathing, clockwork maze. Imagine Kate Milford's Nagspeake on the scale of a city of eight and a half million.
Imagine it's the current day and still no one has solved the Moringstar cipher. Imagine entire subsets of society built around studying the clues.
The main characters, Tess and Theo Biedermann are the children of the current super the most famous Morningstar building. Now there is a developer who has plans for the building and everyone has been given eviction notices. Besides their own apartment, they have their grandfather's apartment, full of a lifetime of research on the cipher (as well as a hoarding issue)
In terms of the road narrative spectrum, The Shadow Cipher is a 3300CC, or family in the city trying to solve the maze (that is their city). Although Tess and Theo and their friends do the heavy lifting in this book, I'm downgrading it to a "family" protagonist because of the work older generations did. Theo and Tess aren't working blind or from scratch.
The next book in the series is The Clockwork Ghost which comes out on May 19, 2019.