Book Review: Dangerous Territory: a Keltin Moore Adventure (The Adventures of Keltin Moore Book 3) by Lindsay Schopfer

Dangerous Territory: a Keltin Moore Adventure (The Adventures of Keltin Moore Book 3) by Lindsay Schopfer

A Steampunk Science Fantasy Novel published through Amazon Digital Services (06/01/19)

Summary:

Keltin Moore is a beast hunter starting his own beast hunting company with two of his faithful companions: Bor’ve’tai the Loopi and Jaylocke the Weycliff Wayfarer. Their first job takes Bor’ve’tai and Jaylocke away together to hunt a smoke beast while Keltin holds down the office by himself. Not even a day later Keltin is tasked with an emergency beast hunting job and a secret assignment. Without being able to wait for his companions, he is off north to Krendaria once again.

Keywords:

Fighting, Hunting, Prey, Beasts, Determination, Heroics, Strategy, Politics, Discrimination, Hate, Farming, Working Together, Survival, Thoughtfulness, Injury, Escape, Stealth

My Review:

Keltin Moore’s world is much like stepping into the fictional wardrobe of Narnia with all sorts of creatures, most of them unfriendly. The Beast Hunter’s monsters are varied in form, function, and appearance. I really enjoyed the imaginative world building of the monsters themselves and the weaponry made to defeat them. The author gives the reader the perfect amount of description for both amidst the action of the hunt scenes.

Much like with the other Keltin Moore book I read, the start of the novel builds the world slowly, re-introducing the reader to Keltin and the new problem he must solve. Keltin himself has grown into an entrepreneur yet he remains humble. I really enjoyed his embarrassment and the way he would normalize himself anytime he was being described overly heroically. If I had an Uncle in a fantasy novel, I would like him to be Keltin.

This book reminded of the narrative ease of the Tarzan novels and once the main plot was revealed, I was hooked into the story and didn’t put the book down.

This novel was published through Amazon Digital Services 06/01/2019 and is available on Amazon here.

TLDR Star Rating: 3.75

Links for more information:

Author Website:  www.lindsayschopfer.com

Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/Lindsay-Schopfer/e/B007EF3MQS

Twitter: https://twitter.com/LindsaySchopfer

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/lindsayschopfer

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7078379.Lindsay_Schopfer

Patreon: https://www.patreon.com/lindsayschopfer?ty=h

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Book Review: Aftan Whispers (Estalia) by Phil Williams

Aftan Whispers (Estalia) by Phil Williams

A Steampunkian-Dystopian Novel published by Rumian Publishing (01/16/18)

Summary:

“People who can do something to help others should!” Tyler said. “This is big. We can change the sky. We can change the world. It’s more than just doing the right thing, it’s the only thing.”

Tyler is a young roofer that gets pulled into Deni’s story after she drops a precious message. Tyler won’t stop at returning the message because Deni is in trouble. She’s on the run from the slavers and the Guard and someone more sinister than both combined. After figuring out the message together, they will work together to find a rocket, return what was lost, and take down the evil in their town.

Keywords:

City, Weapons, Post-Apocalypse, Friendship, Evil, Power, War, Fighting, Knives, Guns, Science, Secrets, Crowds, Village, Traitors, Government, Guards

My Review:

The pacing is excellent. The first scene is intriguing and will immediately pull you in. Most post-apocalyptic novels push ordinary folk into roles of heroism amidst a great and powerful evil. This novel; however, is different. Instead of the ordinary folks being up against an insurmountable enemy, Tyler and Deni are up agains the government of one town. Their home. As the plot unfolds, the stakes get higher, and the lies unravel, it is up to the two of them to uncover the evil and show those who can fight that there is a fight and that it is worth fighting.

Deni and Tyler are both conflicted. Deni wishes the world was an exciting place with good people, but realizes the world is full of people who don’t care about others or only care about their own plight. Tyler wants to think people do things for good reasons, but is slowly starting to see that not everybody has good intentions in mind. I espeically loved the scenes where Deni and Tyler commented on each other’s actions. Especialy telling was when Deni commented on Tyler ‘helping’ the lamp lighter guard in one of the beginning scenes.

Tyler is extremely empathetic – he feels the pain of others so clearly that he drops everything to help those in need. tyler is driven by a need to do right! he is the good in the world and becomes Deni’s driving force. He shows Deni that all is not bad in the world. He is the smile that brightens each moment and the embodiment of hope and life.

This novel was published by Rumian Publishing on 01/16/2018 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.75

Links for more information:

Goodreads

Twitter

Phil Williams’ Website

Book Review: The Inventress by Mary Victoria Johnson

The Inventress by Mary Victoria Johnson

A Young Adult Steampunk Mystery Novel published by Fire & Ice Young Adult Books (07/18/17)

Summary:

Kay Ross, daughter of one of the most hated families in England, hasn’t been able to make many friends. Domino is her only friend. Domino is the genius and the inventor, but she doesn’t always tell Kay all her secrets. Her new invention is going to be the grandest of them all, but she never gets to show the world. The same day Domino lets Kay in on her new security camera invention and lets Kay take her to a society ball, she is murdered. In order to figure out who is to blame, Kay will have to find out more about her own family history and what on earth Domino was inventing.

Keywords:

Steampunk, Mystery, Death, Murder, Friendship, Loyalty, Family, Rivalry, Inventors, Socialite, England, Past, Challenges, Enemies

My Review:

Slow to start, this story soon wound me up in its intrigue. I desperately needed to know what happened to Domino. The more that Johnson expertly showed me the past friendship between Domino and Kay, the more I was sucked into the story. Domino is more than just an inventor – she puts up with Kay and her moods. She would never harm anyone and doesn’t believe in weapons. Who killed Domino? And why? Kay will stop at nothing to figure this mystery out.

I absolutely love stories that have strong friendships and interesting character details. Kay is closed off from her world, choosing to become what those around her think she is – the same power-hungry money-hungry person as her parents.

The steampunk elements were subtle throughout the novel. They were woven into the details of the world. At times, I got a strong historical fiction vibe from when Kay had to dress up to go to society affairs, but for the most part the story centers around Kay and her need to solve Domino’s murder. Everyone is a suspect and the only clues left behind are Domino’s latest invention and a slow trail that keeps including Kay in the mystery.

Disclaimer: I received a free ARC of this novel. This is my honest opinion.

This novel was published by Fire & Ice Young Adult Books on 07/18/2017 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.75

Links for more information:

Mary Victoria Johnson’s Website

Goodreads

Twitter

Book Review: The Girl and the Clockwork Crossfire (Clockwork Enterprises Book 3) by Nikki McCormack

The Girl and the Clockwork Crossfire (Clockwork Enterprises Book 3) by Nikki McCormack

A YA Steampunk Novel published by Elysium Books (6/01/17)

Summary:

Maeko must choose where her loyalties lie – with the Pirates or just those she loves. Can she betray her new friends to keep her loved ones safe? New information from the Lits’ secret prison isn’t good and Maeko won’t be able to ignore it.

Keywords:

Clockwork, Cat, Pirate, Friendship, Streets, Fleeing, Fighting, Stealing, Officers, Mystery, Death, Street Smarts, London, Teenager, Female Main Character, Love, Loyalty, Proper Society, Detective, Wealth

My Review:

Maeko only wants to do right by those she loves, but she can’t always save everyone. In fact, those around her seem to get into just as much trouble as she does! Maeko’s love and empathy for everyone around her, even the cat (and so much the cat) is quite endearing. She is a phenomenal person (even for a Rat and a Pickpocket) and a well-built main character. She is loyal to a fault and stubborn and brave.

Macak the cat even gets his own mini chapter in this third book and he’s more important than ever! He is one of my favorite literary ‘pets’ even though he’s more like a sidekick to Maeko. I wish I had a cat that sat on my shoulder and followed me into all sorts of danger!

The storyline continues to be amazing and the balance between action and storytelling is perfect. I do wish there was more to the Maeko and her mother storyline, but such is the way between parents and their children sometimes.

McCormack is a professional storyteller and I would read anything she writes.

This novel was published by Elysium Books on June 1st, 2017 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 5.0

Links for more information:

Goodreads

Twitter

Nikki McCormack’s Website

Book Review: The Girl and the Clockwork Conspiracy: Clockwork Enterprises Book Two (Volume 2) by Nikki McCormack

The Girl and the Clockwork Conspiracy: Clockwork Enterprises Book Two (Volume 2) by Nikki McCormack

A YA Steampunk Novel published by Elysium Books (9/12/15)

Summary:

Maeko is recuperating from her injuries as a ward of Lucien Folesworth. She saved his life and now he feels compelled to save her from a life on the streets, but high society and propriety isn’t all it’s cracked up to be. Maeko would rather live in poverty on the streets than have to conform to life following all the ridiculous rules as a woman in the ruling wealthy class. Will Maeko stay with Lucien or will something else tear them apart?

Keywords:

Clockwork, Cat, Pirate, Friendship, Streets, Fleeing, Fighting, Stealing, Officers, Mystery, Death, Street Smarts, London, Teenager, Female Main Character, Love, Loyalty, Proper Society, Detective, Wealth

My Review:

I have never read a steampunk series quite like The Clockwork Enterprises. The story is believable and gritty and full of plot and action and interesting characters.

Maeko is a loveable hero who doesn’t stop to think twice, even if her own life is in danger. She is now torn between her feelings for Chaff and the affection Ash feels for her, but she is almost too busy with other problems. Almost.

I loved seeing Em, the surly detective, more in this book.

The story is well put together and though the ending could have been a bit stronger, I’m glad that the third book is already available so I can start reading it immediately.

The steampunk elements were elegantly integrated. Again, like with the first book, McCormack is a genius with world building and writing a good story.

This novel was published by Elysium Books on September 12th, 2015 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 5.0

Links for more information:

Goodreads

Twitter

Nikki McCormack’s Website

Book Review: The Unwitting Journeys of the Witty Miss Livingstone: Book I: Journey Key (Miss Liv Adventures 1) by Kennedy J. Quinn

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The Unwitting Journeys of the Witty Miss Livingstone: Book I: Journey Key (Miss Liv Adventures 1)by Kennedy J. Quinn

A Steampunk Novel published by Amazon Digital Services Inc. (10/25/16)

Summary:

Miss Livingstone doesn’t quite fit into her era because she is a woman with her own mind. It is the early 1900’s until Miss Livingstone peeks into the new bookshop and finds time-traveling stones that take her forward in time to meet the owner of the bookshop. Then she is taken back through time as she attempts to solve the mystery of the stones and find some good books on the side!

Keywords:

Time Travel, Female Heroine, Adventure, History, Literature, Literary References, Snoqualmie, Books, Steampunk, Evil, Lurking, Romance

My Review:

A new blend of history, great literature, and adventure, Miss Liv Adventures was a fun read. I especially liked how every adventure ended with the steam train taking Miss Livingstone back (or forward) to her own time. I really liked the integration of books and history into the plot of the book and thought the details surrounding the key were marvelous and fantastical.

Miss Livingstone was curious to a fault and brave beyond doubt as she traveled across time and space, never forgetting her home and her love of books. The places she traveled to were rich and lively and there were just enough different settings to keep my interest but not too many to be confusing.

This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services Inc. on October 25th, 2016 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.50

Links for more information:

Sheri J. Kennedy’s Website and Blog

Goodreads

Sheri J. Kennedy on Facebook

FreeValley Publishing Featured Author

Book Review: The Cloud (The Marian Series #3) by Taylor Hohulin

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The Cloud by Taylor Hohulin

A Steampunk/Pirate Sci-Fi Novel published by Amazon Digital Services, Inc. (10/21/16)

Summary:

“Donovan Johns clearly preferred motivating his people to stick to Plan A by leaving them woefully unprepared for Plan B.” (Kindle Locations 1480-1481).

Ethan’s last hope lies in a three-way soul swap between the water dictator Donovon Johns, Duncan, and Ethan himself. All they have to do is go into the Cloud and get Duncan out of Ethan’s home dimension, use the blood from all three, and get someone to read from a book so powerful it corrupts. Easy, right? The Marian and its crew is committed to helping out Ethan, not just because he’s part of the crew now, but because they can change the face of the post-Bomb water scarce world for good.

Keywords:

Illegal Water Harvesting, Water Scarcity, Criminals, Soul swapping, Steampunk, Ship on Legs, Navigation, Well, Extraction, Water Police, Teenagers, Captain, Mercenaries, Trouble, Pirates, Post-Apocalyptic, Own Agenda, Death, Other World

My Review:

Excellent trilogy. Excellent ending. Excellent book. The Marian Trilogy is the best steampunkian series I’ve ever read. It’s well written and the plot makes sense on both the individual book level and as a series. There’s action, adventure, and tension. There’s depth, complexity and the characters are interesting and multi-faceted.

Every part of this story felt tight and well-edited. I never questioned a single scene or moment or piece of dialogue. I simply read the book (and the series) as a well-written story should be read: at the edge of my seat and without putting it down.

The evil HydroSystems and Donovon Johns were fleshed out and clever enough to give the Marian and its crew a run for its money. The good guys weren’t all good though – they were conflicted and sympathetic. And we finally get to see Duncan ‘in the soul’ with this final book! After so much hype about how great and motivating he is, even after abandoning his crew and a random soul to its own sordid fate, Duncan did live up to all that everyone thought he was. I very much enjoyed this book and the series and look forward to what Hohulin will write next!

I received a free copy of this novel.

This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services, Inc. on October 21st, 2016 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.75

Links for more information:

Taylor Hohulin’s Website

Twitter

Goodreads

Book Review: The Girl and the Clockwork Cat by Nikki McCormack

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The Girl and the Clockwork Cat by Nikki McCormack

A YA Steampunk Novel published by Entangled: Teen (9/02/14)

Summary:

Street rat Maeko survives on the dingy back streets of London with her friend Chaff, her fast feet and quick thinking as well as the pocketbooks of others. Will her latest escapade ever end? Mae is in the middle of a mystery involving a lovable cat with a clockwork appendage, the son of a murder suspect and pirate, and a city-wide conspiracy.

Keywords:

Clockwork, Cat, Pirate, Friendship, Streets, Fleeing, Fighting, Stealing, Hunger, Poverty, Officers, Mystery, Death, Street Smarts, London, Jail, Teenager, Female Main Character

My Review:

The setting and main character were so vivid that I was right there with Maeko on the streets of London. Maeko was written so descriptively that I felt like I knew her. I sympathized with her because she’s compassionate as well as realistic. She didn’t have the greatest childhood, but she is clever and thinks of others just as much as she does of herself. She weighs pros and cons of any given situation she finds herself in and doesn’t just let her empty stomach lead her around.

The plot sucked me right in and was entertaining and detailed. The mystery was intriguing and I wanted to find out what was actually going on as much as Maeko.

The steampunk and language were spot on and well written into the story without being overpowering or overwhelming. McCormack is a genius with world building and writing a good story.

This novel was published by Entangled: Teen on September 2nd, 2014 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 5.0

Links for more information:

Goodreads

Twitter

Nikki McCormack’s Website

Master of Machines (The Antigone’s Wrath Series Book 2) by Starla Huchton

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Master of Machines (The Antigone’s Wrath Series Book 2) by Starla Huchton

A Steampunk-Adventure Novel published by Amazon Digital Services, Inc. (02/16/16)

Summary:

“Regrets are the realm of humanity, capitaine, not of machines.” (Kindle Location 3331).

The crew of the Antigone’s Wrath is almost all new, all with deep seated hate for the Brotherhood. All who are left are the Captain Rachel Sterling, Danton the Master at Arms, and one other sailor. To pick up this story, Rachel will need to get help from Silas Jensen again. It isn’t for her that she needs Silas, or is it?

Keywords:

Ship, Magic, Ship, Female Captain, Strength, Fighting, Ring, Gear Head, Lover, Danger, Killing, Technology, Secret Sect, Steampunk, Manipulation, Race, Romance

My Review:

Captain Rachel Sterling was as strong as ever in this second book, but she doesn’t always know herself. I love the way she was commanding as a leader, a true pirate, and able to use every resource available to her to get what she wanted (even wearing a corset!).

This is a steampunk story that doesn’t throw difficult language in your face or too much in the way technically/scientifically. This is a steampunk story for everybody. It truly has a story because the Antigone’s Wrath must race time to get what they want and there are plenty of obstacles in the way!

I appreciated how Huchton acknowledges the shortcomings of the culture while still staying true to the world that we’re familiar with and showing an ideal female role model and how we would like our world to be even if it is not. For example, Captain Sterling says, “The world is filled with misogyny. I find it’s more useful to appreciate and reward kindness than acknowledge and battle every insult.” (Kindle Locations 898-899).

This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services, Inc. on February 16th, 2016 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 4.50

Links for more information:

Starla Huchton’s Website

Goodreads

Book Review: The GearMaker’s Locket by Shannon L. Reagan

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The GearMaker’s Locket by Shannon L. Reagan

A Clockpunk/Steampunk Adventure Novel published by Amazon Digital Services(03/31/14)

Summary:

“Lace, chains and sophistication.” (Page 14).

MIT student Copper Rose has always been gifted when it comes to machines and anything with gears and a motor, but when she finds her late grandmother’s locket, it doesn’t make sense to her. Its gears work on their own, without any battery and when she opens it to try to figure out more she is thrust into a different world, where clocks and gears prevail. In this new city everything is made of metal, even some of the people and she is infamous in this world, known as a GearMaker. Copper Rose must find her family and a way out as she gets caught between a GearMade’s demand for her to build machines that come to life and a life she never knew could exist for her.

Keywords:

Clocks, Gears, GearMaker, Mechanical, Good with Hands, Female Protagonist, Cliffhanger, Portal, Locket, Family, Loyalty, Machines, Life, Evil Leader, Power, Air Ship

My Review:

I liked the idea and premise of the story. It was like the author combined the idea of creating real life figures such as in Pinocchio with a Terminator type outcome. Combine this with gears and all the fun stuff of Steampunk and you have a compelling book just based on the details.

However, the plot points and plot arc were not as sophisticated as the book’s central idea and details. This novel went back and forth between capture and escape and the pattern become tired. I wanted an ending or something different. The ending I got was – read on to find out. The cliffhanger was not much of a cliffhanger because it could have ended with any one of Copper Rose’s escapes and the final one was almost no different. There was a twist at the end, but because the author didn’t give me any other possibilities, it was easy to guess. If you read this book I’m sure you’ll figure it out too.

I liked the characters more than the plot. Copper Rose, what a lovely name, was smart but not too smart. She was good with her hands but didn’t figure things out immediately. Alum was probably my favorite character because he is the underdog and I really enjoyed the romance in this book.

This novel was published by Amazon Digital Services on March 31st, 2014 and is available on Amazon here.

TL;DR Star Rating: 3.50

Links for more information:

Shannon Reagan’s Website

Goodreads

Twitter