Review of The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova

The Alchemists of Loom by Elise Kova. ★★★1/2 I have no idea why I didn’t like The Alchemists of Loom more. It has a lot of the elements I want out of a book… but for whatever reason, it just never landed. Once Loom was a free world, but then it was conquered by the Dragons in the world…

Review of The Guns Above by Robyn Bennis

The Guns Above by Robyn Bennis. ★★★1/2 The Guns Above is not easy to describe. It’s sort of like a cross between steampunk and military fantasy, without any magic. It’s a military focused novel that takes place in a whole different world that includes plenty of airships. The kingdom of Garnia is perpetually involved in warfare. Due to…

Review of Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine

Paper and Fire by Rachel Caine. ★★★1/2 Paper and Fire is the sequel to Rachel Caine’s YA alternate history fantasy novel, Ink and Bone. This is a series that really must be read in order, so if you haven’t read Ink and Bone, I’d suggest looking into it before Paper and Fire. Jess Brightwood has infiltrated the Library, the tremendously powerful…

Review of Everfair by Nisi Shawl

Everfair by Nisi Shawl. ★★★ Everfair is a novel that collapses partly under the sheer weight of its ambition. Yet for all that, it still contains some interesting ideas at its core. Essentially, Everfair is a steampunk novel taking place in the Belgian Congo. A group comprised of an odd melding of Fabian Socialists and African American missionaries joins forces to…

Review of The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter by Rod Duncan

The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter by Rod Duncan. ★★★1/2 I’ve had a bit of a hit or miss history with steampunk, but The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter was certainly a hit. It’s a fast paced start to a series taking place in an alternate timeline where all new technology was outlawed by the all powerful Patent Office. With technology stagnant, societal mores stagnated…

Review of The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Sydney Paudua

The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage by Sydney Padua. ★★★★★ The Thrilling Adventures of Lovelace and Babbage is an absolutely delightful graphic novel that contains a wealth of historical information regarding Ada Lovelace, Charles Babbage, and the history of computing while at the same time being relentlessly entertaining. The book begins with a brief history of…

Review of Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear

Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear. ★★★ Told in the distinct voice of its narrator, Karen Memory is the story of young woman, Karen Memery, who works at a high end bordello in a steampunk version of the Pacific Northwest. One night two girls, one badly injured, show up on the doorsteps of Madame Damnable’s house, seeking shelter. They’re perused by…

Review of Emilie and the Hollow World by Martha Wells

Emilie and the Hollow World by Martha Wells. ★★★1/2 Emilie and the Hollow World is reminiscent of 1800s stories such as Jules Vern’s but with a distinct Girl’s Own Adventure sort of feel. While running away from home, Emilie ends up stowing away on the wrong ship. She soon finds herself embroiled in a rescue expedition to the…

Review of The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman

The Invisible Library by Genevieve Cogman. ★★★ Irene works for the Library, an organization outside of time and space that collects books from across alternate realities of Earth. Right as she gets back from one assignment, she’s sent out on another, along with a new apprentice, Kai. Irene and Kai are supposed to find and retrieve a…

Review of The Empty Hourglass by Cornelia Grey

The Empty Hourglass by Cornelia Grey. ★★1/2 My problem with The Empty Hourglass is that I kept waiting for things to start happening. Around 80% of the way through I realized, this was it. This was what I was getting. And it just wasn’t enough. The Empty Hourglass is a steampunk leaning story about a toymaker named Thomas Escott who lost…

Review of Cogling by Jordan Elizabeth

Cogling by Jordan Elizabeth. ★★ Cogling is a stand alone YA fantasy novel with steampunk elements. It suffers from a number of issues, most notably poor world building and an ill developed lead. The end result is a clumsy story. When Edna Mather’s tears a pocket watch away from her brother, he crumbles into a pile of clockwork….

Review of Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson

Shadows of Self by Brandon Sanderson. ★★★★1/2 Shadows of Self is part of the second Mistborn sequence, which starts with The Alloy of Law. I would suggest reading The Alloy of Law first, or even starting with The Final Empire and the original trilogy, since it is referenced in this newer sequence. Waxillium Ladrian is a nobleman who spent over seventeen years…