Michelle’s Paper Garden Presents Clockwork Fairy Tales: A Collection of Steampunk Fables

Title: Clockwork Fairy Tales: A Collection of Steampunk Fables

Author(s): Stephen L. AntczakJames C. Bassett,Pip BallantineK.W. JeterJay LakeKat RichardsonPaul Di FilippoSteven HarperNancy A. CollinsG.K. Hayes,Gregory NicollPhilippa Ballantine  

Publisher: Roc Trade

Year: 2013

Number of Pages: 336 pages

Type: Paperback

Genre: Science Fiction, Steampunk, Short Stories, Fairy Tales Retellings, Fantasy

Summary: Combining the timeless fairy tales that we all read as children with the out-of-time technological wizardry that is steampunk, this collection of stories blends the old and the new in ways sure to engage every fantasy reader.…

Inspired by Hans Christian Andersen’s “The Red Shoes”, New York Timesbestselling author K. W. Jeter’s “La Valse” forges a fable about love, the decadence of technology, and a gala dance that becomes the obsession of a young engineer—and the doom of those who partake in it.…

In “You Will Attend Until Beauty Awakens”, national bestselling author and John W. Campbell Award winner Jay Lake tells the story of Sleeping Beauty—and how the princess was conceived in deception, raised in danger, and rescued by a prince who may be less than valiant.

The tale of “The Tinderbox” takes a turn into the surreal when a damaged young soldier comes into possession of an intricate, treacherous treasure and is drawn into a mission of mercy in national bestselling author Kat Richardson’s “The Hollow Hounds”.

In “The Kings of Mount Golden”, Hugo and World Fantasy Award nominee Paul Di Filippo tells the story of a young man’s search for his heritage and a mechanical marvel that lies at the heart of a sinister pact in this fascinating take on “The King of the Golden Mountain”.

ALSO INCLUDES STORIES FROM
Steven Harper
Nancy A. Collins
G. K. Hayes
Gregory Nicoll
Pip Ballantine

[http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/15810153-clockwork-fairy-tales?ac=1]

My Rant:

Alright so I have not begun to read this book yet, but I am very excited for it. I saw the cover and just had to pick it up. Also, I love fairy tales. If I could just read fairy tales for a living, I would. I have actually never heard of some of the stories that are retold in this anthology, which only added to my excitement. I also hope that this book’s steampunk theme will make up for all the bad steampunk I have read in the past few months. I want airships, automatons, gadgets, and goggles! Is that so much to ask? Well we will find out once I sit down and read through the stories. I highly doubt that I will read them all at once, so my next review may just be on one or two of them.

Goodreads readers gave the book a 3.57/5, which isn’t too bad and to be perfectly honest, the readers on Goodreads and I don’t always see eye-to-eye on books. Most of them thought the Time Machine was a good book.

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Meli’s Nostalgic Tales : The Iron Wyrm Affair

Title: The Iron Wyrm Affair
Publisher: Orbit
Author: Lilith Saintcrow
Type of Book: Soft cover
Genre: science fiction, steampunk, fantasy, magic.

In a tale of magic, mystery, bad ass characters and scary creatures, Lilith Saintcrow’s The Iron Wyrm Affair was meant to be my summer read. And it was…only it didn’t leave me breathless and grappling for the next page. Although, the writing style was fundamental, the description vivid and characters so charming (in their own way) I still wouldn’t put it as my top.

This is what went wrong for me:

Emma Bannon, forensic sorceress in the service of the Empire, has a mission: to protect Archibald Clare, a failed, unregistered mentath. His skills of deduction are legendary, and her own sorcery is not inconsiderable. It doesn’t help much that they barely tolerate each other, or that Bannon’s Shield, Mikal, might just be a traitor himself. Or that the conspiracy killing registered mentaths and sorcerers alike will just as likely kill them as seduce them into treachery toward their Queen.
-Summary by Goodreads

By reading this summary, the whole book has already been unraveled. I was promised two characters who couldn’t be worse off to be partnered up, but the whole time it was Emma Bannon who was presenting all the hostility. I actually felt pity for Archibald Clare, a suffering mentath (a sort of genius at deductions is what I took away from all this, there was no encyclopaedia to help me here -.-) who has been off the grid.Their duo-ness was very flat. There was no excitement, most of the time they spent it apart doing their own thing. Emma Bannon was always shouting off orders and god forbid you’d disagree..pshhh…just because you’re Prime honey doesn’t mean you should act like you’re the center of everything.

I just didn’t like Emma, she’s this complex character with a dark past with A LOT of enemies. She’s got a weird rollercoaster-like relationship with her bodyguard which gets some development but you are still unsure of what it truly is. Bloody exhausting. The plot was basically about the young queen of the country having her advisers trying to off-her from the throne, the sorceress she hires to uncover the conspiracy and the building of this grand machine which could destroy everything! Didn’t even faze me.

It’s just so hard to find a good steampunk book and this wasn’t it. While I mention before her action scenes were fantastic and distribution of magic grand and her wording was nothing that I have witness before. Those were the redeeming qualities. Also, if one of you lovely followers do end up reading this book, please PLEASE tell me what in potbuckets is a Hansom!!!??? Good gravy it kept popping up and maybe I missed the definition in the book, either way I’m bothered and would like answers.

Grading : 3/5

Meli <3

Michelle’s Paper Garden: The Friday Society by Adrienne Kress

Title: The Friday Society
Author: Adrienne Kress
Publisher: Dial
Year: 2012
Type: Hardcover
Number of Pages: 440 pages
Genre: young adult, steampunk, mystery, historical fiction, fantasy

Summary: An action-packed tale of gowns, guys, guns –and the heroines who use them all.

Set in turn of the century London, The Friday Society follows the stories of three very intelligent and talented young women, all of whom are assistants to powerful men: Cora, lab assistant; Michiko, Japanese fight assistant; and Nellie, magician’s assistant. The three young women’s lives become inexorably intertwined after a chance meeting at a ball that ends with the discovery of a murdered mystery man.

It’s up to these three, in their own charming but bold way, to solve the murder–and the crimes they believe may be connected to it–without calling too much attention to themselves.

Set in the past but with a modern irreverent flare, this Steampunk whodunit introduces three unforgettable and very ladylike–well, relatively ladylike–heroines poised for more dangerous adventures.

[http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/5623269-the-friday-society]

Review:

I was really excited about this book when I first came across it on Goodreads. I was so excited that I stopped reading A Clash of King just to read this. I figured it would be League of Extraordinary Gentlemen minus the gentlemen and Batman-esque gadgets. So far, I have none of the above and it makes me very sad.I haven’t even finished this book yet and I don’t think that I will finish it. Firstly, it is supposed to be steampunk. Where is my steampunk?! They sort of mention airships and steamcabs in passing; it doesn’t feel like a steampunk book.

Secondly, I am not a big fan of the main characters. The three main girls were ridiculously beautiful, intelligent, and more than capable of handling things on their own… sort of. Cora falls in love at first glance, Nellie causes men to fall all over her reminding me of Alisha from Misfits, and Michiko is constantly pitying herself. I was hoping for awesome female leads and instead I get them. I am not against flawed characters and anyone who tries to argue against that should take a look at the other books I have reviewed because I am all about tormented antiheroes. These girls felt like young adult cliches.

Thirdly, the dialogue and narration was terrible and I think this is the biggest reason I probably won’t finish it. I really get into books when I read them. I slip out of reality and fall into the world the author has created. The way this author writes bothered me. This was supposed to be a HISTORICAL fiction, but the author uses modern slang like smokin’ hot and crush. It threw me off and pulled me out of the book world. It is making reading this thing a whole lot harder. The modern slang feels wrong so it sort of ruins the book for me.

So in conclusion, I am probably not gonna finish this book.

So far I give it a 2/5.

Michelle’s Paper Garden: The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

Title: The Girl in the Steel Corset (Steampunk Chronicles #1)

Author: Kady Cross

Publisher: Harlequin Teen

Year: 2011

Type: Hardcover

Number of pages: 473 pages

Genre: science fiction, steampunk, young adult, historical fiction, mystery

Summary: In 1897 England, sixteen-year-old Finley Jayne has no one…except the “thing” inside her.When a young lord tries to take advantage of Finley, she fights back. And wins. But no “normal” Victorian girl has a darker side that makes her capable of knocking out a full-grown man with one punch….

Only Griffin King sees the magical darkness inside her that says she’s special, says she’s one of “them.” The orphaned duke takes her in from the gaslit streets against the wishes of his band of misfits: Emily, who has her own special abilities and an unrequited love for Sam, who is part robot; and Jasper, an American cowboy with a shadowy secret.

Griffin’s investigating a criminal called The Machinist, the mastermind behind several recent crimes by automatons. Finley thinks she can help–and finally be a part of something, finally fit in.

But The Machinist wants to tear Griff’s little company of strays apart, and it isn’t long before trust is tested on all sides. At least Finley knows whose side she’s on–even if it seems no one believes her.

[http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/9166877-the-girl-in-the-steel-corset]

Review:

I was so excited about a steampunk murder mystery story with a badass heroine that as soon as I got this book for Christmas, I dropped my schoolwork and the other book I was reading to dive into this tale. Then I started reading the thing and it held my attention for the most part. I was a little annoyed with the love at first sight thing because I am so very tired of that idiotic concept. Griffin King, the super rich and handsome hero, accidently runs over Finley Jane, the supposedly badass heroine mentioned above, and just like that they are attracted to one another. Bleh. Oh, and then there is a love triangle that includes a devilishly handsome criminal mastermind who is very obviously a nobleman as he gains and loses his cockney accent. He also falls in love with her very quickly.

To top it all off, there is an almost second love triangle going on between three secondary characters, who are honestly more dynamic and interesting than those mentioned in the previous paragraph. The attraction is more believable and sweet than the instantaneous love experienced by the others.

Enough with the mushy stuff and on to the murder mystery! The mystery is kind of lame. Now, I may have been slightly ruined after reading A Game of Thrones and trying to wrap my head around that complex web of a plot, but the twists in this book were pretty easy to solve. It took one or two clues before I guessed the whole evil plot and before I guessed most of the supposedly shocking twists about the characters, as every single one of them has a twist. Maybe others will find the mystery more challenging, but I thought it could have been concealed a little better.

The actions scenes were interesting. The main characters have powers and these powers make for some really cool fight scenes; they were usually well described fight scenes too that most likely involved at least one murderous automaton. On the topic of automatons, the steampunk theme was well done; it was always present, though sometimes the machines were only mentioned in passing.

Overall, I liked the book. They explained most of the mysteries that popped up throughout the book and for the most part the characters were interesting. The main character was a butt-kicking, abnormally strong girl, which was a nice reprieve. However, now this might just be me, but I think the author could have finished it all up nicely in one book. There is no reason for not one, but two sequels. I will read the sequels because I want to know why she is dragging on the story for another two books, but my expectations are not too high

3.5/5

I’d recommend it, but don’t expect too much. It’s a young adult mystery novel, not Sherlock Holmes, so it may be very easy to figure out.