Tag Archives: steampunk

5 Stars for Ravenhearth by Lotus Oakes #MM #Fantasy

1.5

Title: Ravenhearth
Author Name & Publisher: Lotus Oakes (Less Than Three Press)
Publication Date & Length: February 17, 2016

Synopsis

In a world covered by a deadly miasma, humans survive by way of the protection of powerful mages known as Keepers. In the town of Ravenhearth, the Keeper requests a companion from the village every ten years. What happens to them after those ten years, no one knows, for none has ever returned.

Ash is a young orphan who dreams of learning magic. When the newest request for a companion arrives, he volunteers. But when he arrives, he finds a place nothing like the fearful whispers shared around the village. Instead, he slowly grows to be a part of the close-knit family of the Keeper’s castle—and falling for Giles, the butler of Ravenhearth, instead of the Keeper he’s been sent there to attend.

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Review

FiveStars

Ash was a orphan after his mother dies leaving him in a new town all alone. He has been dreaming about volunteering to be a companion to the keeper for awhile now and as soon as the opportunity comes he jumps on the chance. He is so nervous and shy so when he gets there he has a hard time with some of the people at the castle. But then there was Giles who is the steward of the castle who takes him under his wing.

Okay I have to be honest a say I figured out who was who pretty early on in this story but I think that the way Ash really had no clue made this this story so much sweeter! I really loved some of the characters in this story, well everyone but the twins because they were really mean and I was not a huge fan of theirs. But my favorite character was Ash because he was so sweet and shy but at the same time strong at the end when he went after who he loved and cared for.

I loved this world this author created and this story! Also loved the way this author wrote these characters. You get so much sweet with this story and a little bit of angst and steam. I really loved the way everything came together in this book and I honestly did not want this story to end.

All together I loved this story!
I would recommend this book!

Kara

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4 Stars for Spark of Thought by Lucie Lukacovicova

1.5

Title: Spark of Thought
Author Name & Publisher: Lucie Lukacovicova (Less Than Three Press)
Publication Date: February 3, 2016

Synopsis

In the midst of the steampunk era, the City of Prague is at the heart of the Holy Inquisition, which is determined to wipe out the witches and heretics endangering the world. A young scientist is accused of witchcraft and ends up coming to the attention of Ignatius, the High Inquisitor.

An unexpected attraction complicates an already dangerous situation—a situation that many are happy to exploit, from other authorities within the church to city leaders. Ignatius will have to choose between the life he’s always led or the warlock he shouldn’t love—if they survive long enough to have any choice at all.

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Review

FourStars

So I will admit while I did like this world this author created in this book.. Parts of this book I was really confused on what was going on and some of this story felt a little rushed to me to be honest.

But I did really like where this author was going with this story. There was really no steam between these two men in this book but you did feel the attraction one of these MC’s had for the other man.

With this Novella you will get Ignatius who is a high Inquisitor that has been watching a man who he is attracted to but at the same time thinks he is a witch which means he must lock him up.

So all together I really liked this story but for me this felt so rushed and I was really confused by some of this story.

Kara

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5 and 4 Stars for A Matter of Disagreement (Mechanical Universe #1) by E.E. Ottoman #MM #Trans @acosmistmachine @LT3Press

1.5

Title: A Matter of Disagreement (Mechanical Universe #1)
Author Name & Publisher: E.E. Ottoman (Less Than Three Press)
Publication Date & Length: March 26, 2014 – 74 pgs

Synopsis

The rise of mechanical animation, and its popularity at court, is threatening to end Andrea’s scholarly pursuits of spell craft and literature—and force him to let go of his assistants, who depend on him to support their families In retaliation against the field that is ruining his life, Andrea begins to campaign against it. The efforts gain him notoriety, but do not solve his financial dilemmas.

When he is dragged to a party by his brother, he comes face to face with the man who pioneered mechanical animation: Leon Gregory de la Marche VI, Marquis de la Marche. And he is not at all what Andrea expected.

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Review

FiveStars

One of my favorite literary tropes is enemies to lovers, and this was a classic and wonderful example of that theme. It’s set in a world where older style magic and mechanics are in some degree of competition for public use and preference, which I thought was a delightful metaphor.

Andrea is a scholar who opposes widespread use of mechanics; Gregory is a pioneer in the field of mechanics. They spend a good deal of the book arguing, neither of them wanting to give in on their position. However, they are also (possibly inexplicably) drawn to each other. Both are smart and stubborn, and their banter is terrific. It was obvious fairly quickly that they also were both reluctant to admit that they were enjoying the sparring rather than simply being angry.

The resolution to their circumstances is terrific, but I won’t spoil it here. This is a fun story with many layers, and it’s worth reading more than once to pick up on the finer points—particularly the jabs at our own modern-day, non-magical social conventions. Mx. Ottoman is a wonderful writer, and I look forward to reading more of zeir work.

Amy M.

FourStars

This story was interesting, but for me was simply too set in the historical period for me to really get into. I didn’t understand a lot of what the tension and arguments were about as this isn’t a genre I read a whole lot. However, that being said, I did enjoy the way the characters stood to their guns even when met with opposition.
Sort of an enemies to lovers story that was quite sweet and intriguing.
It was easy to read even though parts of the subject matter was over my head and I was still able to feel and connect to both the main characters.
Renee

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4 stars for Circus Escape by Lilliana Rose @LillianaRose2 @LT3Press #FF #Steampunk #Robots

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Title: Circus Escape
Author Name & Publisher: Lilliana Rose — Less Than Three Press
Publication Date & Length: April 2, 2014 — 60 pages

Synopsis

Nessie dreams of escaping her sheltered life to become a mechanical engineer with mechas. But wanting and doing are two very different things, and outer confidence hides inner fears—until she meets Joy.

Joy is tough and self-reliant, used to be looking out for no one but herself. As her job keeps her always on the move, keeping to herself is the best way to survive. The very last person she expects to break her solitude is the prim and proper Nessie.

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FourStars

This is the second short story of Lilliana Rose’s that I’ve read, and I could definitely tell this one was written prior to the last, which is a great thing. It means her writing is vastly improving. This story would have been four and half star rating had the writing been a lot smoother and less choppy.

 

That said, the plot of this fantastic little short was highly entertaining. The damsel in distress was not so damsely, which I love. On top of that, a woman in overalls with grease is about as sexy as they get! I loved the innovation with the mechas and how each was different, the fighting and how it was “improper” for a woman yet each Operator was a woman.

 

It’s a contrast within a contrast. The two worlds colliding in one where equality seems to be just out of grasp until the end. Overall a very innovative story, where the hero wins out in a great steampunk world.

 

~AJ

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3 Stars for The Winter Garden (The Ingenious Mechanical Devices #2) by Kara Jorgensen #MM #Steampunk @AuthorKaraJ

0.2

Title: The Winter Garden (The Ingenious Mechanical Devices #2)
Author Name: Kara Jorgensen
Publication Date & Length: March 11, 2015 –  302 pgs

Synopsis

Can death be conquered?
When Immanuel Winter set off to the banks of the Thames, he never thought his life would be changed forever. Emmeline Jardine, a young Spiritualist medium, drowns, but the potion given to Immanuel by his mother brings her back from the dead and irrevocably intertwines their souls.
But Emmeline and Immanuel aren’t the only ones aware of his ancestors’ legacy. Understanding the potential of such an elixir, the ruthlessly ambitious Alastair Rose knows securing the mysteries of death will get him everything he desires: power, a title, but more importantly, dominion over the dead and the living.
Unaware of what the dashing madman is capable of, Emmeline follows him deeper into a world of corrupt mediums, unscrupulous scientists, and murder. All that stands between Lord Rose and his prize is the boy who refuses to die, but both men know the key to stopping him lies within the girl who shares Immanuel’s soul.

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Review

ThreeStar

Immanuel Winter and Emmeline Jardine are the heroes of this book. Two people connected by Fate and an ancient elixir. Life and death is in their hands. Unfortunately, of course, someone is looking to crack the secret of death. It’s a conspiracy that goes all the way back to the Queen herself.
This is Victorian(ish) steampunk paranormal stuff. If that appeals it’s a good representation of the genre. Anachronistic and places, which can be handwaved a bit as “steampunk,” and any little details to wonder about are quickly swallowed up by the story and the atmosphere, which are captivating.
If you’re concerned that the leads are a man and a woman, don’t be. Theirs is rivalry and contentious friendship. Immanuel’s heart belongs to a man. And it’s quite lovely that young love between lads that blossoms in the face of murder, intrigue, and homophobia.
Immanuel is likeable. Emmeline, unfortunately, is not, though she’s sympathetic. Fans of the genre will enjoy their story. I’m not big on it and I wasn’t completely sold. The story kept me interested all the way through. Kara Jorgensen is a competent writer and her characters are all striking. I just don’t know how long they’ll linger with me now that I’m through.
This is book Two of the Ingenious Mechanical Devices series. It is not necessary to read the first book in the series.
C.E. Case

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4 stars for The Clockwork Heart by Lilliana Rose @LT3Press @LillianaRose2 #FF #Steampunk

clockwork heart

Title: The Clockwork Heart
Author Name: Lilliana Rose
Publication Date & Length: March 18, 2015 — 38 pages

Synopsis

Haunted by a past lover and left with scars so deep Libby gave up her life as an explorer, she spends her days trying to avoid bad memories by training ruthlessly with Helen, the woman she hired to teach her self-defense. Helen is beautiful, appealing, and could be what Libby needs to climb out of her past once and for all.

Until the past returns and threatens to destroy Libby, and all that she holds dear, once and for all.

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Review

FourStars
This is a quick read that brings out the world it’s set it. It’s steampunk, which I don’t think I’ve ever read s proper steampunk story before.

I loved the creativity with the plot in the reasons behind why things happen, in other words the steampunk element. The plot line itself has been done before. The tension between the two main characters is palatable, but I their interactions had been flushed out more on the non-romancey parts. Those seemed stilted and awkward in ways they shouldn’t have been.

Overall, this was a good and quick read even though the writing was a bit immature for the pace of the short. Not bad immature just choppy in places and without proper pacing.

Oh, and if anyone is a fan of the show Sanctuary, you should read this. If only because it’s Magnus’ double from when she was much younger. Loved that aspect!

~AJ

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AuthorBio

Lilliana is a creative writer and poet. She enjoys pulling levers and turning cogs in steampunks worlds. With over 40 poems published her poetry and stories are spreading wings, extending out to various magazines and journals around the world. ‘Change of Heart’ is a steamy steampunk romance published with Rogue Phoenix Press (2014). ‘The Clockwork Heart’ is a sweet steampunk romance published with Less Than Three Press.

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5 Stars for Cinder & the Smoke by @geonncannon #FF #historical #crime @Supposedcrimes

cinderfinal

Title: Cinder and the Smoke
Author Name: Geonn Cannon
Publication Date & Length: March 1, 2015 — 201 pages

Synopsis

In nineteenth century New York, safes aren’t living up to their name. A thief so wily, so impossible to capture the police call her “the Smoke,” has been targeting the wealthy. In reality, the Smoke is a woman named Kezia Cyr, a woman born in prison, stolen from her mother, and raised by runaways and pickpockets. When her emotions cause a job to blow up in her face, Kezia’s adoptive family scatters, and she is left to avenge those she’s lost.

The Smoke may finally meet her match in Pinkerton Agent Shelby Button, who earned the moniker “Cinder” for running into a burning building to capture a criminal. Button finds Kezia’s trail and refuses to let her prey go without a fight.

With a decade-old murder to avenge, Kezia will stop at nothing to correct her past mistakes, and Agent Button is willing to trek across the country to bring the phantom Smoke to justice once and for all.

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Review

FiveStars

This very dark novel begins by portraying the brutality of the age, the huge differences in living standards between rich and poor and it has an ominous foreboding for ever lurking in the background.
Kezia from early childhood is faced with growing cruelty and difficult living conditions, she has to learn to be creative, even violent in order to survive. The author conveys this in such a way that despite everything we have sympathy for her and maybe even be in awe of her.
Throughout the novel sexuality is questioned, both by Kezia and by those she comes into contact with. There is a growing feeling of an inevitable escalation of violence and corruption.The introduction of the “Cinder” only confirms the growing uneasiness with the final outcome.
Although not a novel I enjoyed it was a novel that kept me engrossed, the detailed descriptions, the believable characters, the constant fear of what would happen next was very absorbing. The author has obviously researched this era extensively.
My only apprehension was when words such as “nigger” and negroes were used to describe a certain situation and I felt this was not necessary for the otherwise very readable story line.

~Chris

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AuthorBio

Geonn Cannon was born in a barn and raised to know better than that. He was born and raised in Oklahoma where he’s been enslaved by a series of cats, dogs, two birds and one unexpected turtle. He’s spent his entire life creating stories but only became serious about it when he realized it was a talent that could impress girls. Learning to write well was easier than learning to juggle, so a career was underway. His high school years were spent writing stories among a small group of friends and reading whatever books he could get his hands on.

Geonn was inspired to create the fictional Squire’s Isle after a 2004 trip to San Juan Island in Washington State. His first novel set on the island, On the Air, was written almost as a side project to another story he wanted to tell. Reception to the story was so strong that the original story was put on the back burner to deal with the world created in On the Air. His second novel set in the same universe, Gemini, was also very well received and went on to win the Golden Crown Literary Society Award for Best Novel, Dramatic/General Fiction. Geonn was the first male author to receive the honor.

While some of his novels haven’t focused as heavily on Squire’s Isle, the vast majority of Geonn’s works take place in the same universe and have connections back to the island and its cast of characters (the exception being the Riley Parra series). In addition to writing more novels based on the inhabitants of Squire’s Isle, Geonn hopes to one day move to the real-life equivalent to inspire further stories.

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