This is my first REAL steam punk book and I honestly didn't think I would like it much. But to my surprise I did like it a lot more than I expected.
At the beginning of the book the story was fairly slow (like most other books) but that doesn't mean you should stop reading. So I kept on reading until I got to the part where action rolled in and Synn, our protagonist, gets captured. I'm amazed of the world Blooding has created and built. It has Sky, Land, and Water Cities. These cities each has its own technologies, language, and a whole different way of life. These worlds remind me a lot of Avatar the Last Airbender and Star Wars, which I both loved wholeheartedly.
I loved the writing style, dialogue and the character development, it went on smoothly, with enough breathing space in between. One thing that worries me about books like these. Is the author's ability to sparingly spread information from one chapter to another. I've read books that slaps on so much information on one page that is way too overwhelming for readers. I hate it when they do that and I was so pleased when Blooding managed to easily and gradually spread how the world works in Hands of Tarot, throughout the whole book rather than compiling them in a prologue or somewhere in between the book. For that, The Hands of Tarot immediately gets 4 stars!
I enjoyed each character in the book (okay, maybe I didn't enjoy Joshua, I don't like how he says "Bloody" in every sentence! Gets annoying but he still cracks me up), my favorite being Ryo, Synn's older brother. Each character comes from a different "Family" that defines their way of life, language and Mark. Marks in this book is something a character gets by the age of 10, that defines the way they fight, or simply the purpose they have in life. Some have water as their mark, or fire, storm, and other elements we have yet to see.
I love the world Blooding has created. She managed to create it in a way that it combines specs of all my favorite movies, books, etc. It's a mixture of young adult fantasy, steam punk, dystopia, sci-fi, paranormal and even some tiny bit of romance. The Hands of Tarot is a diverse book that is intense, a little bit violent, and a whole lot of awesome! I look forward to reading the next book of the series!