Thomas Escott has always wanted to be a toymaker, yet just as he achieves his dream, an accident claims his right hand. He’s certain his life is over—until he hears about groundbreaking prosthetics being made by a reclusive inventor.
Jethro Hastings is perfectly content to live alone up in the mountains working on a secret masterpiece: a humanoid automaton that will change the scientific community forever. He’s behind schedule, and the date of the unveiling is fast approaching, so when Thomas shows up on his doorstep offering help in exchange for a mechanical hand, Jethro agrees. Time, after all, is running out on another deal he’s made: one with the devil.
The devil gives Jethro’s inventions life, but he can just as quickly take life away—Jethro’s, to be exact. As the sand in the devil’s hourglass falls, marking the time until the end of the deal, inventions go haywire, people get hurt, and Thomas realizes he needs Jethro just as much as his prosthetic. Now he must find a way to save Jethro’s soul, but negotiating with a devil is just as difficult as it sounds.
There’s a couple of things that should probably be pointed out about The Empty Hourglass. First, even though I numbered it as the third book in the Deal with a Devil series, you can read any of the books in any order. This just happens to be the third book written in the series. I’ve enjoyed all the books so far, but I have to admit that I enjoyed Devil at the Crossroads and Circus of the Damned a little bit more. The other thing I need to mention is that even though this is listed as a romance, everything was behind closed doors. That’s honestly not a complaint… just an observation.
The Empty Hourglass was also different from the other books in this series because the story was told from Thomas’ POV and he wasn’t the one who owed his soul to the Devil. For me, that was kind of a neat twist, but I still would have like to have been in Jethro’s head just a little, because honestly, throughout most of this book he was a really hard character to like.
So, basically I really liked the Steampunk aspect of this story and I had a semi love/hate relationship with the characters. Not sure that Jethro really deserved Thomas, but I love how it worked out for them in the end.