What an intriguing and refreshing surprise this book was! I was hoping I would find a story special and worthy enough to be reviewed on my birthday and I succeeded. Steampunk, feminist elves (and goblin) for the win! This is not a fast paced, action adventure fantasy. There is no strong magical aspect. Rather, it is a fascinating character study, a meditation on subtle court politics and intrigue, and an examination of the relationships that make it all worthwhile. Much like the intricate clockwork in the story, the book itself is one of many details and pieces, some interconnected, some working separately but contributing their own importance, and all ticking steadily on to bring us one truly complex and captivating tale. First off, I will say that there is some adjustment needed to the language used. At the back of the book is a guide to the pronunciations and naming… Read more »
Posts Categorized: steampunk
If the notion of kickass girls, steampunk, and turn of the century London appeals to you, The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress may just fit the bill! This story follows three independently-minded girls named Cora, Nellie, and Michiko, who each serve as assistants to powerful men, as they work together to solve a mystery. Written with sassy humor and packed with lots of action, I think this book would definitely appeal to fans of the Gemma Doyle series, The Girl in the Steel Corset, and possibly Dearly, Departed. And please, that cover is just pinky-swearing that it will be fun. Win a copy of the ARC! The Friday Society will be available in bookstores next week on December 6, but thanks to our friends at Dial, we’re pleased to offer our readers the opportunity to win an ARC here on the blog. All you have to do is fill out… Read more »
Stormdancer by Jay Kristoff When a book arrives with a massive amount of fanfare, in the form of glowing advance praise and accompanied an agreebly affable author, it’s necessary to take a step away from all the hype to ensure that a review isn’t influenced by outside factors. Which I did–I avoided reviews, fled the country (okay, that wasn’t just to read this book), and read it away from much of the joyful noise that surrounded the book’s release. After the promise presented by the author’s description of the story as “telepathic samurai girls and griffins in steampunk feudal Japan,” I’m happy to find that this particular novel proved to be an exciting and memorable a reading experience. Stormdancer is nearly operatic in its scope and grandeur, and young Yukiko’s reluctant quest to find a supposedly extinct griffin–and her subsequent relationship with the fierce, noble beast–is both thrilling and moving. The thing is,… Read more »
Masque of the Red Death by Bethany Griffin Ah, steampunk libertines! Who’d have thought they’d be so appealing? Books that are heavily influenced by classic stories are always tricky, particularly when it’s as ambitious an undertaking as a story inspired by the Edgar Allan Poe classic. I loved the lavish setting and moodiness of the original story, so I had my doubts that anything could come close to capturing its crazy vibe. But somehow Bethany Griffin has managed to create a very similarly dark, extravagant feeling in her gothic adaptation, which is a surprisingly compelling read. Seventeen-year-old Araby Worth lives in a world devastated by plague. Haunted by the death of her twin brother Finn, she and her friend April spend their nights attending opulent club parties, trying to lose themselves in pleasure so they can forget the what’s going on around them. In this atmosphere of dissipation and discontent,… Read more »
Dearly, Departed (Dearly #1)by Lia Habel Dearly, Departed is one of the most enjoyable steampunk novels I’ve ever read, as the author skillfully puts Victorian customs down in a futuristic setting and then throws the crazy addition of zombies into the mix! It is, unfortunately, also a very frustrating novel in many ways, mainly because it has major flaws that stand in the way of a really terrific story. In the year 2195, Nora Dearly is just coming out of a period of mourning for her father, who was a noted scientist, when her home is attacked by living corpses. She’s rescued by Captain Bram Griswold, a dashing young man who turns out to be not quite alive himself. There’s a difference between Bram’s brand of zombie, however, who have technically died but have retained their memories and personality, and those who are just mindless, violent cannibals. There are a… Read more »
For a limited time, you can pre-order a free download of The Strange Case of Finley Jayne for Kindle, which is billed as prequel to The Girl in the Steel Corset. It wasn’t one of my favorites, but fans of steampunk novels may enjoy–and it’s certainly a good way to sample the author’s writing. It’s also available on Barnes and Noble for your Nook, and will be automatically sent to your e-reader on May 1. Don’t forget to double-check the promotion before you click to order, as sales vary in duration!
The Girl in the Steel Corsetby Kady Cross On a dark night in Victorian England, 16-year-old Finley Jayne is assaulted by her former employer but manages to escape, thanks to a thing inside her that she barely understands. She meets up with Griffin King, a wealthy young duke who asks her to help him investigate a series of crimes committed by automatons. This is the first part in a new series called The Steampunk Chronicles, and there is some measure of success in some of the devices used here. The Organites in particular are pretty cool (if borrowing somewhat from Star Trek), as they are tiny life-giving creatures that copy human composition so that scars are healed and bones are mended. Many of the other steampunk elements are also fun, including the decorative but useful steel corset designed for Finley by her friend Emily. But after awhile, there’s almost too… Read more »