Category: Steampunk


From Publisher’s Website

In the gleaming heights of Victorian London, a world of deception awaits an unconventional Society lady whose taste for adventure makes her a most formidable adversary . . .

Though Society demands that I make a good marriage, I, Cherry St. Croix, have neither the time nor the interest. I am on the trail of a murder with no victim, a mystery with no motive, and the key to an alchemical formula that could be my family’s legacy.

Yet the world is not so kind as to let me pursue simple murder and uncomplicated bounties. Above the foggy drift, an earl insists on my attention, while my friends watch my increasingly desperate attempts to remain my own woman. From the silken demands of the Midnight Menagerie—to whose dangerously seductive ringmaster I owe a debt—to the rigorous pressures of the peerage, all are conspiring to place before me a choice that will forever change my life.

My Review:

Ms. Cooper has landed herself in on an elite list of authors who have made me cry with their stories. The other members of this list are Diana Gabaldon (multiple times with her Outlander series, Sherrilyn Kenyon (Acheron), and Karen Marie Moning (Dark Highlander ). Like I said, an elite list.

This was my first Steampunk from Ms. Cooper, and I enjoyed immensely. I read most of it in one night. I didn’t realize that this was the second book in the St. Croix Chronicles. Never once did I feel that I needed to go read the first book (Tarnished) to enjoy this one. Ms. Cooper did a wonderful job of giving information to those of us who skipped the first book.

The imagery and setting that you have in Ms. Cooper’s Victorian London. You feel like you are with Cherry in the drift, feeling suffocated by the smog and smells of the lower levels of society. You understand and empathize with the plight of those who are stuck below, not just in a societal class system sense but also in reality. When the smog started to overtake the posh neighborhoods of London, the Queen had parts of London lifted above the smog on stilts. Which left people behind and below in a place called the drift, never able to escape the smog. The smog hid not just the middle class and the poor, but also crime. Lots of crime, especially murder. In the drift, just about anything happens. There is murder, theft, brothels, “escorts” called sweets, opium dens and other drug offerings, and many gangs. It is a rich world that was created by a brilliant mind.

The character of Cherry St. Croix is a very complex character. She isn’t title but is an upper class member of society, even with the taint of her father’s madness following her. Cherry is intelligent and fascinated by science and debating the pros and cons with her best friend. But she has a dark side. To fight off the memories of the abuse she suffered in the drift at the hands of her own father, she relies on laudanum to sleep and sometimes to get through the day. But there is a small problem with this habit. The small stipend she receives from her guardian (who holds the key to her inheritance until she is 21) isn’t enough to by the laudanum. So to get the money for her drugs, she works in the drift as a collector, a type of bounty hunter. But because of another debt to a gang, not always does she get paid. At night she sneaks out of her house and spends hours in the drift. Trouble does find her, but for the most part collectors are left alone, much like clergy in war zones.

I’m not going to spill any more on this story. You will just have to get the book and read it. Come back and let me know if you cried also while reading this book.

I give Gilded a 5 Horseshoe rating.

Gilded is available from Amazon Print in Kindle editions.

Publication Details:

Author Karina Cooper
Title Gilded
Format Ebook
Length 384 Pages
Publication Date December 2012
Publisher Avon Books
ISBN 978-0-0621-2766-2
Advertisements

From Publisher’s Website

When Nowhere is Safe

Most people avoid the dreaded Whitechapel district. For Honoria Todd, it’s the last safe haven. But at what price? Blade is known as the master of the rookeries—no one dares cross him. It’s been said he faced down the Echelon’s army single–handedly, that ever since being infected by the blood–craving he’s been quicker, stronger, and almost immortal. When Honoria shows up at his door, his tenuous control comes close to snapping. She’s so…innocent. He doesn’t see her backbone of steel—or that she could be the very salvation he’s been seeking.

My Review:

What an amazing mix of genres! This Paranormal Steampunk was a great read. I was captured on the first page. I’ve been fascinated by Steampunk for a couple of years and have loved Paranormal since before it was called Paranormal. So to mix these two genres was ingenious. Ms. McMaster did a wonderful job of creating a credible world and characters.

I’ve re-read this book a few times. I love the characters, especially Blade. Such a complicated man. On the surface he is hard and unapproachable, but underneath he cares for all of the people in Whitechapel. He truly wants to help them and to provide protection. But because of his position, he has to charge a price.

Honoria is just as complicated character. She is trying to hide from the Echelon, the highest members in society. At the same time she is trying to hide her siblings and care for them. But when she loses her job, she is forced to reach out to Blade for assistance.

Ms. McMaster has created a world that shows the Steampunk elements and the Paranormal elements, but also managed to keep the Victorian sensibilities and class structure as realistic as possible. I would easily rank this book among the top Steampunk romance novels I’ve read. I would say that it is a very close second to Maya Banks’ Iron Duke.

I can’t wait to read more from Ms. McMaster and this Paranormal Steampunk world.

I give Kiss of Steel a 5 Horseshoe rating.

Kiss Of Steel is available from Amazon in Kindle and Print editions.

Publication Details:

Author Bec McMaster
Title Kiss Of Steel
Format Print
Length 448 Pages
Publication Date September 2012
Publisher Sourcebooks Casablanca
ISBN 978-1-4022-7027-7

In December, Rosey from Rosey’s Reviews sent me a message asking if I wanted to contribute my Top Ten Favorite Books of 2011 after I participated in the half year Top Ten List.

It was a hard list to come up with. I strictly looked at the 16 books I had given a 5 Horseshoe rating and from those picked the books I have read more than once. I noticed that my Top Five have not changed from the first list, and like on that one the top three are easily interchangeable.

The images are linked to my review of the books. I hope you enjoy. 🙂

1. The Legend of Michael by Lisa Renee Jones

This book is number one because I have been recommending it like crazy to people! Lisa did an amazing job with her first book of her Zodius Series. (I think my mom has re-read it more than I have!)

The Legend Of Michael is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions and from Barnes and Noble in Print and Nook Editions.

Publication Details:

Author: Lisa Renee Jones

Title: The Legend Of Michael

Number of Pages: 382

Publication Date: May 2011

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

ISBN: 978-1-4022-5156-6

2. The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook

This was my first Steampunk book and what a great introduction to the genre! This is the book I recommend to those who want to get in to this genre. Meljean did an amazing job with giving her readers a living, breathing Victorian era story that relies on automation. I have not had the chance to read the second book, but the novellas are just as enjoyable!

The Iron Duke is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions and from Barnes and Noble in Print and Nook Editions.

Publication Details:

Author: Meljean Brook

Title: The Iron Duke

Format: eBook

Publication Date: October 5, 2010

Publisher: Berkley Trade

ISBN: 978-0-4252-3667-6

3. 12.21.12 by Killian McRae

This is an amazing debut book by Killian McRae. She did a masterful job of weaving a contemporary story that explored the history of Egypt and the paranoid suspicion of the Mayan Calendar. If you love Indian Jones, Stargate, and Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon, you will love this book!

12.21.12 is available from Amazon in Kindle edition and from Barnes and Noble in Nook Edition.

Publication Details:

Author: Killian McRae

Title: 12.21.12

Format: eBook

Publication Date: December 2010

Publisher: Omnific Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-9363-0554-4

4. Cowboy Fever by Joanne Kennedy

Cowboy Fever is Joanne Kennedy’s third contemporary western romance. The primary story is a rekindled relationship story between the two main characters (one of my favorite types of romance), but the underlying plot is an amazing social acceptance and education story. Joanne shows in this story that everyone, no matter their physical or mental disabilities, is capable of great things if given the chance and motivation.

Cowboy Fever is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions and from Barnes and Noble in Print and Nook Editions.

Publication Details:

Author: Joanne Kennedy

Title: Cowboy Fever

Number of Pages: 393

Publication Date: April 1, 2011

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

ISBN: 978-1-402-25141-2

5. On The Edge by Ilona Andrews

I greatly enjoy Ilona Andrews’ writing. This husband and wife team writes fantastic Urban Fantasy books. They write deep characters that are fun to watch grow through their stories. I knew that this book was going to be good when it starts with Rose shooting her grandfather with a crossbow.

On The Edge is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions and from Barnes and Noble in Print and Nook Editions.

Publication Details:

Author: Ilona Andrews

Title: On The Edge

Format: Ebook

Publication Date: September 29, 2009

Publisher: Penguin Group

ISBN: 978-0-4410-1780-5

6. Badlands by Seleste deLaney

Badlands is a Steampunk Novella that takes place in the United States after the civil war, but it is a different world than what our history shows. Seleste wrote beautiful deep characters, and left me very satisfied with the story. I’m eagerly awaiting the next book in this series.

Badlands is available from Amazon in Kindle edition and from Barnes and Noble in Nook Edition.

Publication Details:

Author: Seleste deLaney

Title: Badlands

Format: Ebook

Publication Date: February 28, 2011

Publisher: Carina Press

ISBN: 978-1-4268-9125-0

7. Savor The Danger by Lori Foster

Savor The Danger the third book in Lori’s Men Who Walk The Edge Of Honor series. I fell in love with Jackson after he had a night of passion with a woman he had been chasing for months and then couldn’t remember the night. While trying to protect her, he spends his time trying to convince her to do it again. Sometimes a desperate Alpha Male is fun to read.

Savor The Danger is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions. Also from Barnes And Noble in Print and Nook editions.

Publication Details:

Author: Lori Foster

Title: Savor The Danger

Number of Pages: 411

Publication Date: June 28, 2011

Publisher: Harlequin

ISBN: 978-0-3737-7582-8

8. Locked In Silence by Shiloh Walker

Locked In Silence is book of Shiloh’s Grimm Series. Out of the ones I’ve read so far (which isn’t the whole series, yet), this one really touched me. I won’t spoil who the lead is, but his story is a tear jerker.

Locked In Silence is available from Amazon in Kindle edition and from Barnes And Noble in Nook edition.
Publication Details:

Author: Shiloh Walker

Title: Locked In Silence

Format: eBook

Publication Date: September 20, 2011

Publisher: Samhain Publishing, Ltd.

ISBN: 978-1-6092-8528-9

9. Giving Up The Ghost by Melissa Ecker

With Giving Up The Ghost, Melissa gave every woman even more reason to hold tight on to their spouse. This is the story of a woman who loses her husband in a tragic accident and a year later believes he is visiting her. But things aren’t as they seem. Make sure you have a box of tissue next to you when you read this one!

Giving Up The Ghost is available from Amazon in Kindle and Print editions. Also from Barnes And Noble in Nook edition.

Publication Details:

Author: Melissa Ecker

Title: Giving Up The Ghost

Format: eBook

Publication Date: April 2011

Publisher: Turquoise Morning Press

ISBN: 978-1-9358-1781-9

10. Creed’s Honor by Linda Lael Miller

Creed’s Honor is the second book in Linda’s 2011 Creed Trilogy. This series is following the Creed’s of Colorado. Linda Lael Miller has given her readers a couple, everyone can relate to, who reminds us all that home is where love thrives and that love has a stronger pull than anything else in the world.

Creed’s Honor is available on from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions. Also from Barnes and Noble in Print and Nook editions

Publication Details:

Author: Linda Lael Miller

Title: Creed’s Honor

Number of Pages: 377

Publication Date: June 2011

Publisher: Harlequin

ISBN: 978-0-3737-7580-4

There are many other books that deserve to be on a top ten list but these are my favorites of 2011. What are favorite books from 2012?

About ten days ago, Rosey from Rosey’s Reviews sent me a message asking what my Top Ten Books of 2011 were so far. It was a hard list to come up with. The top three are easily interchangeable. Here is the list I sent to her.  The images are linked to my review of the books. I hope you enjoy. 🙂

1. The Legend of Michael by Lisa Renee Jones

This book is number one because I have been recommending it like crazy to people! Lisa did an amazing job with her first book of her Zodius Series.

The Legend Of Michael is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions and from Barnes and Noble in Print and Nook Editions.

Publication Details:

Author: Lisa Renee Jones

Title: The Legend Of Michael

Number of Pages: 382

Publication Date: May 2011

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

ISBN: 978-1-4022-5156-6

2. The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook

This was my first Steampunk book and what a great introduction to the genre! This is the book I recommend to those who are wanting to get in to this genre. Meljean did an amazing job with giving her readers a living, breathing Victorian era story that relies on automation.

The Iron Duke is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions and from Barnes and Noble in Print and Nook Editions.

Publication Details:

Author: Meljean Brook

Title: The Iron Duke

Format: eBook

Publication Date: October 5, 2010

Publisher: Berkley Trade

ISBN: 978-0-4252-3667-6

3. 12.21.12 by Killian McRae

This is an amazing debut book by Killian McRae. She did a masterful job of weaving a contemporary story that explored the history of Egypt and the paranoid suspicion of the Mayan Calendar. If you love Indian Jones, Stargate, and Dan Brown’s Robert Langdon, you will love this book!

12.21.12 is available from Amazon in Kindle edition and from Barnes and Noble in Nook Edition.

Publication Details:

Author: Killian McRae

Title: 12.21.12

Format: eBook

Publication Date: December 2010

Publisher: Omnific Publishing

ISBN: 978-1-9363-0554-4

4. Cowboy Fever by Joanne Kennedy

Cowboy Fever is Joanne Kennedy’s third contemporary western romance. The primary story is a rekindled relationship story between the two main characters, but the underlying plot is an amazing social acceptance and education story. Joanne shows in this story that everyone, no matter their physical or mental disabilities, are capable of great things if given the chance and motivation.

Cowboy Fever is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions and from Barnes and Noble in Print and Nook Editions.

Publication Details:

Author: Joanne Kennedy

Title: Cowboy Fever

Number of Pages: 393

Publication Date: April 1, 2011

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

ISBN: 978-1-402-25141-2

5. On The Edge by Ilona Andrews

I greatly enjoy Ilona Andrews’ writing. The husband and wife team writes fantastic Urban Fantasy books. They write deep characters that are fun to watch grow through their stories. I knew that this book was going to be good when it starts with Rose shooting her grandfather with a crossbow.

On The Edge is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions and from Barnes and Noble in Print and Nook Editions.

Publication Details:

Author: Ilona Andrews

Title: On The Edge

Format: Ebook

Publication Date: September 29, 2009

Publisher: Penguin Group

ISBN: 978-0-4410-1780-5

6. Bayou Moon by Ilona Andrews

Bayou Moon is Ilona Andrews’ second book in the Edge series. Yes, I know, number 5 is the first book in this series. That should really tell you something about this series! This story follows a character from the first book through a different part of the Edge. Once again, it is an amazing story and characters.

Bayou Moon is available from Amazon in and editions and from Barnes and Noble in Print and Nook Editions.

Publication Details:

Author: Ilona Andrews

Title: Bayou Moon

Format: Ebook

Publication Date: September 2010

Publisher: Penguin Group

ISBN: 978-0-4410-1945-8

7. Badlands by Seleste deLaney

Badlands is a Steampunk Novella that takes place in the United States after the civil war, but it is a different world than what our history shows. Seleste wrote beautiful deep characters, and left me very satisfied with the story. I’m eagerly awaiting the next book in this series.

Badlands is available from Amazon in Kindle edition and from Barnes and Noble in Nook Edition.

Publication Details:

Author: Seleste deLaney

Title: Badlands

Format: Ebook

Publication Date: February 28, 2011

Publisher: Carina Press

ISBN: 978-1-4268-9125-0

8. Creed’s Honor by Linda Lael Miller

Creed’s Honor is the second book in Linda’s current Creed Trilogy. This series is following the Creed’s of Colorado. Linda Lael Miller has given her readers a couple, everyone can relate to, who reminds us all that home is where love thrives and that love has a stronger pull than any thing else in the world.

Creed’s Honor is available on from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions. Also from Barnes and Noble in Print and Nook editions

Publication Details:

Author: Linda Lael Miller

Title: Creed’s Honor

Number of Pages: 377

Publication Date: June 2011

Publisher: Harlequin

ISBN: 978-0-3737-7580-4

9. Awaken The Highland Warrior by Anita Clenney

This is another wonderful debut novel! Anita gave her readers a very capable yummy clan of Highlanders. I would expect Anita to give Karen Marie Moning a run for her money, if she continues to produce stories like this one!

Awaken The Highland Warror is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions and from Barnes and Noble in Print and Nook Editions.

Publication Details:

Author: Anita Clenney

Title: Awaken The Highland Warrior

Number of Pages: 430

Publication Date: May 2011

Publisher: Sourcebooks Casablanca

ISBN: 978-1-4022-5123-8

10. When You Dare by Lori Foster

When You Dare is the first in Lori’s Men Who Walk The Edge of Honor series. This is a compelling Romantic Suspense book. You might be surprised who ordered the kidnapping of Molly. I know I was. The second book in series can easily be on this list as well, but this is only a Top Ten not a Top Eleven list.

When You Dare is available from Amazon in Print and Kindle editions and from Barnes and Noble in Print and Nook Editions.

Publication Details:

Author: Lori Foster

Title: When You Dare

Number of Pages: 448

Publication Date: May 2011

Publisher: Harlequin

ISBN: 978-0-373-77571-2

There are many other books that deserve to be on a top ten list but these are my favorites so far this year. What are your current favorite books you have read so far this year?

From Publisher’s Website:

After a brutal Civil War, America is a land divided. As commander of her nation’s border guards, Ever is a warrior sworn to protect her country and her queen. When an airship attacks and kills the monarch, Ever must infiltrate enemy territory to bring home the heir to the throne, and the dirigible Dark Hawk is her fastest way to the Union.

Captain Spencer Pierce just wants to pay off the debt he owes on the Dark Hawk and make a life for himself trading across the border. When the queen’s assassination puts the shipping routes at risk, he finds himself Ever’s reluctant ally.

As they fly into danger, Ever and Spencer must battle not only the enemy but also their growing attraction. She refuses to place her heart before duty, and he has always put the needs of his ship and crew above his own desires. Once the princess is rescued, perhaps they can find love in the Badlands-if death doesn’t find them first…

My Review:

Seleste has definitely shown herself as a strong storyteller with this story. I love her alternate history of the Americas after the Civil War, including the different ways how each region reacts to Ever and her self confidence in herself and her body. Seleste did a wonderful job of showing the pros and cons of the clockwork mechanisms. How important they were for certain tasks but also how they could be used against other people.

The characters in this story were amazing. Their depth of personality and history blew me away. I enjoyed the cast of characters that were found on the Dark Hawk ship. I found myself telling Ever to not judge a book by it’s cover, when she believed that Spencer wasn’t a strong enough leader. Their relationship was an enjoyable journey.

I would love to see off shoot stories about the other characters. I would hope that they all could find their own Happily Ever After. I also hope that there will be more stories from the Badlands. They are a strong Matriarchal society, much like the Amazons, and it takes a strong society to develop in to that. I would love to read about their history and how they came to be the society they are.

If you are new to the world of Steampunk novels, I would recommend this as your first. It is a good one to read to get your “toes” wet in the genre.

I give Badlands a rating of 5 Horseshoes!!

Publication Details:

Author Seleste deLaney
Title Badlands
Format eBook
Publication Date February 28, 2011
Publisher Carina Press
ISBN 978-1-4268-9125-0

From Author’s Website:

After the Iron Duke freed England from Horde control, he instantly became a national hero. Now Rhys Trahaearn has built a merchant empire on the power — and fear — of his name. And when a dead body is dropped from an airship onto his doorstep, bringing Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth into his dangerous world, he intends to make her his next possession.

Mina can’t afford his interest, however. Horde blood runs through her veins, and despite the nanotech enhancing her body, she barely scratches out a living in London society. Becoming Rhys’s lover would destroy both her career and her family, yet the investigation prevents her from avoiding him…and the Iron Duke’s ruthless pursuit makes him difficult to resist.

But when Mina uncovers the victim’s identity, she stumbles upon a conspiracy that threatens the lives of everyone in England. To save them, Mina and Rhys must race across zombie-infested wastelands and treacherous oceans — and Mina discovers the danger is not only to her countrymen as she finds herself tempted to give up everything to the Iron Duke.

My Review:

Wow, what can I say about this amazing book? Meljean brilliantly brings to life a Victorian style world that relies on automation and clockwork mechanisms. This Steampunk world is made so real in the mind of the reader that I felt like I was actually there helping Mina with her investigation, fighting off zombies and sea monsters, walking the Ivory Market, and falling in love with the Duke.

The characters that were created are complex and compelling. I want to know more about them all, especially Lady Corsair. I love when I get so wrapped up in a story that I find myself talking to the characters or calling them names. When the Duke sends Mina away, I called him names and wanted to hit him for sending her away!

This book also showed the positive and negative advantages of relying on automation. It is a cautionary tale that can be applied to the world we live in now and our dependence on computers. Meljean is brilliant wordsmith, and that brilliance is showcased in this magnificent literary work.

I truly did not want this book to end. But since it did, I have November circled on my calendar for the next book in the Iron Seas series! I am surprised that I have not read this author’s books before. I will be trying her paranormal series in the near future.

I give The Iron Duke a 5 Horseshoe rating!!!

Publication Details:

Author 

Meljean Brook
Title 

The Iron Duke
Format eBook
Publication Date October 5, 2010
Publisher Berkley Trade
ISBN 978-0-4252-3667-6