Category Archives: Steampunk

Book Review: “Timebound”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – The “Timebound” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Heather Albano (http://www.heatheralbano.com). Ms. Albano has published three novels with this being the third book in her “Keeping Time” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set across the last few centuries. This time the primary character is Maxwell Carrington.

Carrington has been separated from the other time travelers. Inadvertently one of the time travel watches is found by agents of Nazi Germany. This adds an additional layer of difficulty to Carrington and his colleagues. They struggle to set the timeline back to what it should be.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 11.5 hours I spent reading this 200-page steampunk science fiction tale. I have enjoyed all three novels in this series, but I think that this is the best of the three. I think that the author did a good job of concluding the trilogy. Definitely, I would recommend reading the first two books of the trilogy before this one. The chosen cover art is OK, but something closer to the plot would have been better in my opinion. I give this novel a 5 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review: “Timekeeper”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Timekeeper” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Heather Albano (https://www.facebook.com/heatheralbanoauthorpage/). This is Ms. Albano’s second publication and the second in her “Keeping Time” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set across time in Europe. The primary character is 17-year-old Elizabeth Barton. She, along with her love interest William Carrington and mysterious friend Maxwell, continue their fight to put the timeline back the way it should be.

They use their time travel pocketwatch to move to one critical moment in time after another. They are fighting a very dangerous battle to keep both the Frankenstein like monsters and the metal giants from ever being created. They must also find a way to keep Napolean from victory at Waterloo.

I thoroughly enjoyed the 9 hours I spent reading this 280-page young adult steampunk thriller. This novel is just a continuation of “Timepiece” the first novel in the series. The characters are much the same as in that first novel. I have enjoyed the first two novels in the trilogy and look forward to the third. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review: “Timepiece: A Steampunk Time-travel Adventure”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “Timepiece: A Steampunk Time-travel Adventure ” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Heather Albano (http://www.heatheralbano.com/). This is Ms. Albano’s first publication and the first in her “Keeping Time” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in a variety of times and places in Europe. It begins in 1815 with the primary character 17-year-old Elizabeth Barton receiving a very special pocket watch.

In this alternate reality, the monsters of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein are real. The British have created an enslaved army of them to counter Napolean. After that victory, they are employed as forced labor in mines, but soon they rebel. England is desperate to control them. A brilliant inventor steps in with mechanical men, not quite robots as they are controlled by a human crew.

That allows the monsters to be brought under control, but the mechanicals are then used by the government to control the populace. As more and more work is done by the mechanicals and other automation the displaced are kept in check by the mechanicals.

Into this steps Barton and her new acquaintance, 21-year-old Willaim Carrington. Carrington had been a soldier but a wound to his arm caused him to be discharged. The unlikely pair soon discover that the watch has the astounding ability to travel through time.

They discover the plight of future inhabitants of England and try to change history to prevent the mechanical men. They also attempt to stop the use or even the creation of the monsters used to beat Napolean. Their travels are not without risk but they do find allies in other timelines. They also discover that theirs is not the only special pocket watch.

I enjoyed the 8 hours I spent reading this 264-page steampunk fantasy. While this has a touch of Romance and appeals to the Young Adult, it was an enjoyable story. I liked this slightly new take on time travel with the travelers starting off in the past. I like the chosen cover art. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Book Review: “The Revenant Express: A Newbury & Hobbes Investigation”

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(See all of my Book Reviews) – “The Revenant Express: A Newbury & Hobbes Investigation” eBook was published in 2019 and was written by George Mann. Mr. Mann has published more than a dozen novels. This is the fifth in his “Newbury & Hobbes Investigations” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in a Victorian Europe, though not our own.

Sir Maurice Newbury is headed to Russia with Veronica’s sister Amelia to pick up a mechanical heart. The heart has been made by Faberge. Meanwhile Veronica lies ill in London. Their other team member, Sir Charles Bainbridge, is also in London trying to determine who is infection prominent men with the Revenant plague.

I enjoyed the 5 hours I spent reading this 234-page steampunk mystery. This is not the ifirst novel in the series and this novel expected the reader to be familiar with the ongoing plot and characters. I recommend reading them in order. I do like the selected cover art. I give this novel a 3.8 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Pretty Waiter Girls”

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Book Reviews – “Pretty Waiter Girls” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by Greg Alldredge (https://www.greg-alldredge.com). Mr. Alldredge has published three novels, with this being the first in his “Helena Brandywine Adventure” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in 1899 San Francisco. The primary character is young Helena Brandywine.

Brandywine is a wealthy young woman who is educated and who has grown up protected somewhat from the seedier and more brutal side of life. Her step-father, the general, has been away for many years and she has been without her mother for most of her life. She has Sigmund and Lane to assist, guide, and protect her.

Brandywine fancies herself as a detective after the popular stories she has read. When a friend approaches her about the disappearance of another young woman, Brandywine dives into the investigation. That investigation takes her to Chinatown and opens her eyes to what is really going on in the strata of society beneath her station. She also finds herself drawn to a San Francisco Police detective and encountering one dangerous situation after another. She also begins to learn much more about her parents. They are not exactly who she thought they were.

I enjoyed the 5.5 hours I spent reading this 317 page steampunk mystery. I liked the characters in this novel, and the willingness of the author to see primary characters be killed off. I was not expecting the supernatural thread, but I still enjoyed the novel. I will look forward to more novels in this series. I like the cover art. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Arabella The Traitor of Mars”

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Book Reviews – “Arabella The Traitor of Mars” eBook was published in 2018 and was written by David D. Levine (https://www.daviddlevine.com). Mr. Levine has published three novels as well as numerous novellas and short stories. This is the third in his
“The Adventures of Arabella Ashby” series. Read the interview with him.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in an alternate history to our own. While the story is set in Earth’s 19th century, this one has lighter-than-air craft traveling around the Solar System since the 1600s. The main character in this fantastical tale is Mrs. Arabella (Ashby) Singh, a young woman who has grown up in the British Colony on Mars.

While she is a more or less proper English young lady, she has shown far more interest in adventure and mechanical automata than English refinement. She has already proven to be a force to be reckoned with as she helped her fiance defeat Napoleon’s space navy at Venus. While in London celebrating the defeat of Napoleon and paying last respects to Lord Nelson who died in the battle, she learns of a plan by both The Mars Company and the British Crown to force the entire planet of Mars into the British Commonwealth.

Flush with the defeat of Napoleon, there seems to be no obstacle to Britain’s domination of Mars or the Solar System. When her husband is chosen to lead the British forces, she feels betrayed and flees Earth in a desperate attempt to reach Mars ahead of the British forces and lead a resistance as she feels Mars is her home rather than England. It becomes a race to see if adequate Martian forces can be brought together to oppose the powerful British fleet.

I enjoyed the 8.5+ hours I spent reading this 336 page steampunk alternate history and fantasy. While I liked the story and there are several very well created battles between opposing vessels, I really had a hard time with the notion of there being a breathable atmosphere between planets and ‘sailing ships’ able to travel through space. Perhaps if I had started with the first book in the series things would have been explained, but I doubt it. I was able to pick up this third novel in the series and read it without really needing to have read the prior novels in the series. I do like the cover art. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Ash & Quill”

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Book Reviews – “Ash & Quill” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Rachel Caine (http://www.rachelcaine.com/). Ms. Caine (aka Roxanne Longstreet and Roxanne Conrad) has published more than 45 novels.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in an Alternate History where the Great Library of Alexandria has survived and now hordes, and controls all knowledge. The primary character is Jess Brightwell, a young man who has grown up being able to enjoy and treasure books. He has been in that unique position as his family are smugglers, and the black market trade in books is their specialty.

Brightwell and his group of friends and allies have fled from London and find themselves in the besieged American village of Philadelphia. They are taken prisoner by the Burners, rebels who would rather see books burn than turned over to the Great Library. Still sought by the Great Library, Brightwell and friends must find a way to escape Philadelphia, elude the Great Library army that surrounds the city and take the battle back to Alexandria.

I really enjoyed the 7.5 hours I spent reading this 351 page alternate history. The story incorporates technology of fantasy/science fiction, as well as having a steampunk feel. This is the third book of the series and I did have some problem with backstory. It would have read better if I had read the other two novels in the series first. I do really like the characters and the concept of the Great Library of Alexandria being the center of power. The chosen cover art is OK. I give this novel a 4.4 (rounded down to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “The Guns Above”

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Book Reviews – The Guns Above” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Robyn Bennis (http://www.robynbennis.com). This is Ms. Bennis’ first novel and the first in her “Signal Airship” series.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence and Mature Language. The story is set in another universe where steam is the king of technology. The primary character is Lieutenant Josette Dupre, the first woman to Captain an airship.

Her command is challenged by a doubting crew as well as an untested airship. Her life is further complicated by the foppish aristocrat, Lord Bernat, who has been assigned as an “observer” to her vessel. Clearly he is there to spy on her for his uncle, the general.

While on their shakedown cruise, still evaluating the ship, they are drawn into battle. Led by Dupre, the crew is able to survive, just barely. Dupre finds many ways to make her little airship have a large impact in the battles being fought.

Dupre steps into her shoes as Captain, leading her crew with creative ideas and courage. Her successes reach the press which is why the King had, against tradition, appointed her an Airship Captain. Now, like it or not, she is in a leadership role that some hope will see the military integrated with women in all capacities.

I really enjoyed the 9 hours I spent reading this 352 page Steam Punk Thriller. I enjoyed the characters and the plot. I look forward to further books in this series. The cover art is well chosen. I give this novel a 4.6 (rounded up to a 5) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Jeremiah Willstone and the Clockwork Time Machine”

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Book Reviews – “Jeremiah Willstone and the Clockwork Time Machine” eBook was published in 2017 and was written by Anthony Francis (http://jeremiahwillstone.com/). This is Mr. Francis’ fifth novel.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘R’ because it contains scenes of Violence, Mature Language and Mature Situations. The story is set partially in a parallel universe where Steam Punk is the technology and partially in our own world, The primary character is the young woman, Commander Jeremiah Willstone.

Willstone is an officer in the Victoriana Defense League (VDL). She is sent on a mission to find and stop her uncle who has stolen highly secret technology. She soon finds herself and the airship she is on plunging through time and dimensions. She finds herself in our very different contemporary world.

She and the VDL have spent years battling invasion attempts by extraterrestrials in their universe. Her view of things changes on this mission as she learns more about her uncle as well as both her allies and enemies.

I enjoyed the 11+ hours I spent reading this 298 page Science Fiction Steam Punk novel. I liked the world created for Willstone, as well as the cross over to our own. I thought that the plot was well laid out and very engaging. While the story arrives at a conclusion, there is plenty of loose ends that beg for sequels. I liked the cover art showing Jeremiah Willstone with an airship above her. I give this novel a 4 out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).

Review of “Steam and Sensibility”

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Book Reviews – “Steam and Sensibility” eBook was published in 2016 and was written by Kirsten Weiss (http://www.kirstenweiss.com). Ms. Weiss has published 20 novels.

I received an ARC of this novel through https://www.netgalley.com in return for a fair and honest review. I categorize this novel as ‘PG’ because it contains scenes of Violence. The story is set in the mid 1800’s just as gold was discovered in California. The primary character of the story is young Miss Sensibiliy Grey.

After the death of her inventor father, Gray travels to the primitive port of San Francisco to be with her uncle. Little known to her, she has secrets of her fathers inventions that others are willing to kill to obtain. She must both avoid those obviously out to take her and her secrets, as well as sort out who amongst her newly made friends she can really trust. She also finds that she learned far more from her father than her previous ‘tinkering’ led her to believe.

This was an enjoyable, quick 3.5 hour read of this 234 page Steam Punk tale. This isn’t the best Steam Punk novel I have read, but it wasn’t bad. It really just touches the surface of what could draw into a true Alternate History based upon the ‘discoveries’ Ms Gray has found. As expected, there is a touch of romance in the story. The cover art is a good selection. I give this novel a 3.5 (rounded up to a 4) out of 5.

My book reviews are also published on Goodreads (https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/31181778-john-purvis).