Steampunk is a cultural movement that gained a following in the 1980s. Many characteristics embraced by the culture have their origins in Victorian England and America but with the added flavor of mechanical and scientific enhancements. The Steampunk influence can be found in fashion, arts, social interaction and most assuredly in literature. Combine the societal structures of the Victorian period with the fantastic scientific and mechanical possibilities that were on their brink at the same time and you get a form of science fiction or futuristic fiction for that period.
My first venture into the Steampunk scene was made by selecting several current novels and novellas and will over the near future review those here at Bookworm.
In steampunk Victorian London, Lady Phoebe Hughes develops an herbal elixir, Viridis, unlike any other. London’s elite flock to her club to experience the euphoria and heightened senses the drink brings. Imagine an orgasm brought on by a single kiss. But when Lord Hawthorne is murdered after leaving her club, Phoebe is shocked to find that not only was he working for the Special Services to infiltrate the Cause, a movement fighting for the city's poor, he was also in possession of her secret formulation for Viridis.
Adding to her difficulties is the unexpected return of Mr. Seth Elliott, a brilliant tinkerer who stole her heart and imagination, only to abandon her when she needed him most. Unable to ignore all that is between them, Phoebe finds herself falling for Seth once again, only to have a powerful rival for her affections wrongly accuse Seth of attempted murder. As Phoebe struggles with a way to free her love, revolution, conspiracy and murder threaten to ruin it all.
My ReviewThis introduction was a great place to start.
I found the genre very interesting. Akin to Sherlock Holmes stories, this title is set in a similar period but with the additions of technology and machines that probably didn't exist in the period but could have. The story is well written, engaging and imaginative with solid characters and great interaction. When these qualities combined, it has led me to list other Steampunk titles on my "To Read" shelf.
On my second outing, I chose the second title in this review. But when I realized that there was a novella, written after the first in the series, therefore the “#0.5” I quickly stopped and read the prequel first to allow for flow. It was a great idea, since the central character in the “Steel Corset” is Finley Jayne.
Finley Jayne knows she's not 'normal'. Normal girls don't lose time, or have something inside them that makes them capable of remarkably violent things. Her behavior has already cost her one job, so when she's offered the lofty position of companion to Phoebe, a debutante recently engaged to Lord Vincent, she accepts, despite having no experience. Lord Vincent is a man of science with his automatons and inventions, but Finley is suspicious of his motives where Phoebe is concerned. She will do anything to protect her new friend, but what she discovers is even more monstrous than anything she could have imagined...
An ebook exclusive prequel to The Steampunk Chronicles.
My ReviewI have to confess that I have been quick to become a Kady Cross fan. I read this title in two sittings and am ready to move on to another of her titles. Finley Jayne is a straightforward story with suspense, intrigue and a dose of misdirection. The only shortcoming is that it goes so quickly. The central character is so easy to embrace and to like that the reader then begins to worry for her safety. What next?!
When I come back I will have 3 more steampunk reviews to share!!
Thank you for visiting and reading my genre special, I hope to see you again soon!