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Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Book Review: Dreamspell Steampunk Anthology

Four satisfying Steampunk stories worth the very fair price!

Dreamspell Steampunk Volume 1 (Dreamspell Steampunk Anthology) 
  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 221 KB
  • Publisher: L&L Dreamspell (May 24, 2011)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0052MOABG
    Genre: Steampunk
    My Rating: Overall 4.25

Product Description:
Enjoy four Steampunk stories:

Steam Time by Pauline B Jones

The man formerly known as Tobias Smith hadn’t planned to ride along with Dr. Everly and his Medicine Show. Grifters gave him a pain their elixirs couldn’t heal. But he was headed to Marfa, too. And Everly’s son turned out to be a really a fine looking damsel—one in distress when the ghost lights of Marfa bump them into an alternate reality complete with an automaton gang and airships. Could he be the good guy? Be the hero, save the day and get the girl?

The Prometheus Engine by Chris Samson

When an airship is shot down over the desolate Kashmir landscape, seven survivors of disparate backgrounds must band together to escape. As a swarm of marauders approaches, the survivors’ only hope lies in the untested Prometheus Engine.

Steambot Rampage by Heather Massey

On the eve of the 1893 World’s Columbian Exposition, a no-nonsense secretary and an intrepid reporter join forces to battle a bizarre automaton on a rampage.

Angelina by Linda Houle

Valerie is fascinated with an antique ruby and diamond pendant. Where did it come from and why was it hidden in a makeshift wall safe? An old log cabin on her new husband’s ranch holds the answers and a lot more, but once Val goes through a secret door will she ever find her way back home.
Review: I have been trying to read more steampunk because I really like the feel of it with the older time settings and the different mechanical elements. This is a collection that I really enjoyed.  Each story has its own twists and surprises.

In Steam Time, Tobias Smith, "Joe", meets up with Dr. Everly and his quiet son.  It doesn’t take long for Joe to realize that the young fellow is really a girl, Analisse, trapped by her father’s life. Ani dubs him "Chance" because chance brought him into her life. They see in each other an escape into a new life... and that is more true than Ani realizes. Chance and Ani head into town together but mid-way there is a shift in the world around them. Chance has been here before and tells Ani - “we aren’t where we were.” Then Chance and Ani have to face down an evil Dr. Smith and a crew of automatons if they want a chance to be together in whatever time it might be. The characters are warm and the story complete with mystery, conflict and romance even though it is just a short story.  I particularly liked this one because Tobias Smith is a character from The Key and Girl Gone Nova which are two other stories of Pauline's that I really like. Rating: 4.5

The Prometheus Engine is non-stop action. The seven survivors of a downed airship each have unique responses as the are led by Veronica, a scientist’s daughter and inventor herself. They are racing to escape the marauder’s attack and the battle doesn’t go as I expected. I liked how the author was able to define each character in the short tale. One is a silent giant, one an old campaigner, one blatantly courageous, one reluctantly brave, another determined, one is surprisingly resourceful and one is a bragging coward. This short story made me want to read more adventure by Mr. Samson. Rating 4.5

Steambot Rampage has the definite feel of an older Superman crossed with an older James Bond. The intrepid reporter, Jack, is a sneak and a flirt, trying to spy information off of the desk of the mayor’s prim secretary.  An esteemed scientist is showcasing his iron man dubbed the ‘Soldier of the Future.’ Unfortunately the robot goes haywire and the Doctor/inventor is more intent on documenting the success than stopping the terror. Jack and Sophie have to risk injury to stop the rampaging monster. Can they save the community and each other?  Rating 4.0

Angelina is a light, fun drop through time. Valerie is fascinated by an antique ruby that was  found in the wall of her vampire husband, Andrew.  As Andrew sleeps away the day, Val sets out to explore an old cabin on the property.  There she finds a room jammed full of clocks and gadgets. She stumbles upon a hidden closet and an automated fortune teller that promises her a wish. Without consciously realizing it Val wishes that she knew the story of the ruby pendant. The next thing she knows her world is in a spin and she is a gypsy fortune teller in the same room but a time when the cabin was new.  In a surprising twist she does learn the history of the pendant but will she be able to return to her time and her beloved?  Rating 4.0

This anthology introduced me to three ‘new-to-me’ authors and I got to read another wonderful story by Pauline Baird Jones whose books are favorites of mine. If you haven't tried Steampunk genre I recommend this anthology as a good one to get a feel for it. If you are a fan of Steampunk then don't miss this fun read.
A copy of this eBook was provided for an unbiased review by Pauline Baird Jones.
Please learn more about Pauline in today’s Blogoversary Author Spotlight. You earn extra entries for commenting on this review.

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