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Thursday, April 30, 2015

Blog Tour Book Review Plus Giveaway: The Brass Giant: A Chroniker City Story by Brooke Johnson

This story has wonderful steampunk elements.
The Brass Giant: A Chroniker City Story
by Brooke Johnson
  • File Size: 1155 KB
  • Print Length: 236 pages
  • Publisher: Harper Voyager Impulse (May 5, 2015)
  • Sold by: HarperCollins Publishers
  • ASIN: B00M719Z06
Genre: Steampunk, YA
My Rating:  3.75 of 5.0

Book Description
Publication Date: May 5, 2015
Sometimes, even the most unlikely person can change the world

Seventeen-year-old Petra Wade, self-taught clockwork engineer, wants nothing more than to become a certified member of the Guild, an impossible dream for a lowly shop girl. Still, she refuses to give up, tinkering with any machine she can get her hands on, in between working and babysitting her foster siblings.

When Emmerich Goss--handsome, privileged, and newly recruited into the Guild--needs help designing a new clockwork system for a top-secret automaton, it seems Petra has finally found the opportunity she's been waiting for. But if her involvement on the project is discovered, Emmerich will be marked for treason, and a far more dire fate would await Petra.

Working together in secret, they build the clockwork giant, but as the deadline for its completion nears, Petra discovers a sinister conspiracy from within the Guild council ... and their automaton is just the beginning.

Petra is an orphan who works as a shop girl in a poorer section of Chroniker City. The good thing about her work is that she gets to help fix clock mechanisms under the guidance of a kind expert. Petra has always dreamed of entering the Guild University to study and become a certified engineer. She tries to sneak in disguised as a boy but is rejected because she has no background school and no money for tuition.

Some of the young students are passing the shop and one of the young men has an automaton following him. Petra is fascinated but challenges the mechanism. Emmerich, who created the remote controls, recognizes the look of awe and intensity in Petra’s eyes. He pursues her and asks her to help him build a special project for the Guild. Not only is the project highly secret but if it is discovered that Emmerich allowed Petra to work on it they would both be in danger of charges of treason leading to execution. Although reluctant and fearful, Petra cannot resist the opportunity to truly work in the Guild.

Their first prototype is well received by the council leaders who move up the deadline for the final project. Petra and Emmerich grow closer as they work late at night to build the clockwork giant until Petra tries to walk away when she realizes the danger her involvement poses to Emmerich.

An attack by Luddites, who hate the machines, brings a fire to the University causing Petra to rush to Emmerich. The incident brings back memories of the night her parents died in a similar fire. Now Petra has even more reason to fight to be a part of the Guild. She returns to help Emmerich finish the project only to discover that the purpose of the machine has been twisted by a conspiracy of leaders seeking their own agenda. Petra is caught and accused of treason and she feels completely betrayed by Emmerich.

The story is set in 1881 and the steampunk world is wonderfully developed. I really enjoyed the rich descriptions of sights, smells and sounds. The steampunk world had much in common with other steampunk stories I have read. Still, I found the focus on the mechanics engaging and the development of the young friendship enjoyable for about two thirds of the book. Then the young adult angst and the gushing romance became too much. Plus Petra repeatedly made stupid, childish decisions that put her in danger. I suppose the effusive romance and the impetuous, rash behaviors are consistent for young adult but these issues broke my engagement with the otherwise good story.  The scenes to wrap up this book seemed a bit forced and the story ends intentionally with problems remaining to be addressed in the next book.

I liked the steampunk aspects of the book enough to still give this a pretty positive rating. I do think this book would be enjoyed by young adults and those who like steampunk as long as they are prepared for YA romance too.

I received this through Edelweiss for Pump Up Your Book Blog Tour.

To Purchase The Brass Giant
Barnes & Noble
Add to Goodreads

Brooke is a stay-at-home mom, amateur seamstress, RPG enthusiast, and art hobbyist, in addition to all that book writing. As the jack-of-all-trades bard of the family, she adventures through life with her fiercely-bearded paladin of a husband, their daughter the sticky-fingered rogue, and their cowardly wizard of a dog, with only a sleep spell in his spellbook.
They currently reside in Northwest Arkansas, but once they earn enough loot and experience, they’ll build a proper castle somewhere and defend against all manner of dragons and goblins, and whatever else dares take them on.
Visit Brooke at her website

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Brooke and Harper Voyage Impulse are giving away a $25 Gift Card!

Terms & Conditions:
  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive one $25 Gift Certificate to the e-retailer of your choice
  • This giveaway begins April 27 and ends on May 15.
  • Winners will be contacted via email on May 17.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Thank you for the kind review! Now that the book is available for purchase, would you mind leaving your review on Amazon and the other ebook retailers?


    Barnes & Noble:


    Thank you!


Your comments are always appreciated!


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