Tag Archives: steam punk

#SciFiMonth – The Mechanical (The Alchemy Wars #1) – Book Review

Published Date: March 10, 2015

Publishing Co.: Orbit

Pages: 440

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars

Three different antagonists take on the Dutch, in secret, to bring down their empire of mechanical servitude.

The Dutch empire rules much of the world. They invented mechanical slaves called Clakkers, and use them to control everything. They use them for household service, they make up much of the military and others yet, are used to subdue anyone violating the laws.

One thing the empire cannot abide to let the public become aware of is, rogue Clakkers. Clakkers granted Free Will. They are to be hunted down and destroyed at all costs. Their enemies cannot know that their Clakkers have any kind of soul, it would unravel all they have built if people knew that these weren’t just mindless robots.

Jax is a rogue. Accidentally granted Free Will in a mishap, Jax flees before his secret is found out. Unfortunately for Jax, other Clakkers can sense his difference if he slips up even a little. One command ingrained in all Clakkers, is to do everything to take out a rogue when detected. He’ll need the help of humans if he’s to get out of the Dutch grasp.

Only one country resists the Dutch, they’ve been at war for years and recently had a cease fire. New France. Their draw is precarious. One wrong step and war can begin again in an instant. Berenice is in the business of knowing everything about the enemy. When given a chance to study the inside of a military Clakker, she will risk everything to unwind the Dutch’s secrets. She’ll even risk the King’s wrath if he finds out she went against his wishes.

Pastor Visser works in secret through the church. He’s apart of a network of people working to bring about the destruction of the Dutch, free Clakkers that they believe are sentient and bring back the Catholic church, currently outlawed as heresy. He’s willing to martyr himself to do so but the price may be more than he expected, for the Dutch are especially cruel.

This was a decent read for ¾ of the book. I wasn’t really connecting with any of the characters but the premise was interesting enough. It began to really come together in the last quarter when a couple of the antagonists joined forces.

My lingering question is, how can robots taste or smell? It was mentioned briefly in the beginning of the book and I’m left wondering if it was a mistake. Or, are these sciences really THAT advanced?

I’m on the fence about continuing the series.

#SpooktasticReads: Soulless (Parasol Protectorate #1) – Book Review

Published Date: October 1, 2009

Publishing Co: Orbit

Pages: 357

Goodreads Synopsis.

Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Miss Tarabotti was not one of life’s milk-water misses—in fact, quite the opposite. Many gentlemen had likened his first meeting with her to downing a very strong cognac when one was expecting to imbibe fruit juice – that is to say, startling and apt to leave one with a distinct burning sensation.”

Earlier this month, when I was yearning for a good werewolf story, I should have picked this up instead of the one I did. But what matters, is that I finally read this, having owned the ebook for a number of years.

Alexia Tarabotti is one of those female main characters that I love. Smart, rebellious, and incorrigible. Considered a spinster at the rough ol’ age of 26, Alexia is mostly a pain to her family. She’s apt to embarrass them at dinners, talking to scientists and aristocrats, about……gulp….intellectual subjects. Not to mention, she’s half Italian and her tan skin is an offense to their delicate pale senses. Her nose is just slightly too large and they will probably never find someone to marry her off to.

Lord Maccon is a werewolf and the head of BUR, essentially the police of supernatural creatures. Currently humanity knows of the existence of werewolves, vampires and ghosts. There may be a few others creeping about that they have no idea exist, like Miss Tarabotti herself. Lord Maccon is forced to endure several encounters with Miss Tarabotti after she is attacked by a rogue vampire. More perplexing still, every new mystery seems to happen in Miss Tarabotti’s presence. Lone werewolves and vampires are missing, and new ones appearing with no idea of what they are or the rules they must now live by. Every time he turns his back, another incident involving Alexia occurs.

Being the curious sort, Alexia begins gathering information after each incident and uses her contacts to find out more. If the police can’t figure this out, why, she will.

Love it or not, Lord Maccon can either work with Miss Tarabotti or……lock her up? That might be the only way to keep her out of it.

The woman is frustratingly intriguing.

This was just a wallop of fun. Steampunk, mystery, romance, strong characters and adventure. I could binge read the whole series in one go.