Radford presents five short steampunk stories and an excerpt from her upcoming novel in ebook format. In Radford’s steampunk world of alt history, air ships were invented and came into wide use early in the 19th century; Lord Byron was working on immortality before he died; automatons are no longer novelties; Ada Lovelace and Charles Babbage perfected their difference engine; and the map of North America is very, very different from our historical version. Four of the stories are related, featuring sisters Trude Romanz and Madame Magdala, one an airship pirate, the other an owner of an incredible bookstore and governess/assistant to Ada Lovelace. The fifth story is set in the same universe but with different characters, and is, in my opinion, the best of the stories.
The stories are fairly brief; they read like selections from a larger work or perhaps installments of a series. They could really use a little filling out, a little more plot. Some of the self-description of the heroines- four of the stories are told in first person- need some work; there are passages in them that are Mary Sue-ish. Radford is an experienced author, so I’m not sure why she had a problem with this. I’ve not read anything else by her; perhaps this is her first time writing first person POV? I don’t know. But this world she’s created has great promise and I love that the main characters are women.
I received this book free in return for an unbiased review.
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