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Bronze Gods: An Apparatus Infernum Novel (Apparatus Infernum 1) Paperback – 4 Oct 2013


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Product details

  • Paperback: 384 pages
  • Publisher: Titan Books (4 Oct 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781169497
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781169490
  • Product Dimensions: 13.1 x 2.6 x 19.9 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 3.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (2 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 996,117 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Review

"Steampunk novels are especially fascinating and steampunk mixed with fantasy is the double hit. Throw in some murder most frighteningly horrid and we have the makings of a really good time." --The Book Bag

"An excellent read for anyone wanting a bit of mystery and fantasy." Juicy Books

"Bronze Gods is a wondrous first book in an exciting new cross-genre series, full of imagination and heart; definitely one to watch out for." --Bookshelf Butterfly

"A thriller novel at its heart, the fantasy elements add an unusual twist... an engaging read and I am eagerly anticipating the next instalment of the series." --FrightFest

"The writing style is so free flowing that it almost feels lyrical in places. It flows from scene to scene with such skill that you can't help but get drawn in to the world that the author has created and end up just losing yourself in the story. It's a cliched term to use but this really is a page turner of the highest order." ----Curiosity of a Social Misfit

"If the increasing drama powered the page flicking in Bronze Gods then it was the character development that made it all worthwhile... This is a partnership that could easily carry a series of novels... You don t need to be a fantasy or a steampunk fan to enjoy Bronze Gods." --Geek Native

"The characters speak volumes, the world is imaginative... It works on a great many levels and when you add cracking prose to the mix...then all round I was a more than happy reader. Great stuff and definitely something that I ll be adding to quite a few people s Christmas Gift baskets." ----Falcata Times

"An excellent read for anyone wanting a bit of mystery and fantasy." Juicy Books

"Bronze Gods is a wondrous first book in an exciting new cross-genre series, full of imagination and heart; definitely one to watch out for." --Bookshelf Butterfly

About the Author

A.A. Aguirre is the pseudonym for Ann & Andres Aguirre, a husband-wife writing team. Ann Aguirre has written over twenty books, including the Sirathan Jax series, the Corine Solomon Series, the Razorland Trilogy, the Skin Series and the Dread Queen Series. Notable awards include RITA Award, Top 10 Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers, and YALSA Best of 2011.

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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By David Paul Jebb on 6 Oct 2013
Format: Paperback
Janus Mikani and Celeste Ritsuko are inspectors in the Criminal Investigation Division in the city of Dorstaad and are assigned to the case of a missing aristocrat. As they investigate they unravel ancient mysteries that go back further than either of them could imagine.

This series kick-off by husband and wife team A A Aguirre introduces us to the land of Hy Breasil, a fairyworld once ruled by the fae-like Ferishers but that humans from our world eventually took over when they found themselves transported there centuries ago. We begin when this society has reached an industrial age not unlike our own, but with a touch of magic, mad science and steampunk esthetic. The writers obviously had a ball creating this playground, crafting the inhabitants, their jobs, social structures and even the different feels to the various districts of Dorstaad. This is the part that kept me reading: exploring the city, learning about its history. In fact, Dorstaad itself is the strongest character in the book.

The protagonists, Mikani and Ritsuko, are both likeable, but I was disappointed that their relationship teetered on the romantic. Ritsuko, the first female inspector ever to be appointed in Dorstaad, is built up to be a no-nonsense, independent woman, but is robbed of her strength when she entertains her romantic feelings for Mikani. These two are set up in a 'buddy movie' way, but buddies can't get together without ruining it.

This is an enjoyable read, if a little slow at times, and I do think I'll read the follow-up next year.
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0 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Gareth Wilson - Falcata Times Blog TOP 500 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 8 Nov 2013
Format: Kindle Edition
Ann was an author I first got to grips with when she originally released Grimspace. I fell in love with her characterisation; they jumped from the page into the readers imagination and helped make the pages fly by. They felt real, they had nuances and of course many facets that the reader couldn't help but fall in love with.

So when I learned that she was writing an Urban Fantasy Steampunk title I couldn't wait to see if the skills that she presented with her debut would carry on in this new title. Not only did this happen but as an author she has grown learning new skills with each new release so much so that I felt that there was nothing that I could really pick any problems with between the pages.

As with her original novel, here, the characters speak volumes, the world is imaginative, has humans with fae powers and of course brings a kick ass murder mystery to the fore for the principle players to delve into. It works on a great many levels and when you add cracking prose, to the mix alongside an author writing style that's instantly identifiable as an Ann Aguirre, then all round I was a more than happy reader. Great stuff and definitely something that I'll be adding to quite a few people's Christmas Gift baskets.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on Amazon.com (beta)

Amazon.com: 56 reviews
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
A perfect steampunk adventure 30 April 2013
By Maja (The Nocturnal Library) - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Hmm, let's see: steampunk noir, fantastic worldbuilding, characters I fell in love with almost instantly, crime scenes worthy of Patricia Cornwell, clockwork, LOTS of sexual tension and a heart-stopping conclusion. All in a single book, my friends.

Centuries ago in a land called Hy Breasil, native Ferishers and strayed humans saw marriage as a way to stop the war between their two races. Sons and daughters of the two great Courts married the conquerors in an attempt to save themselves from annihilation. Today, very little Fey blood remains and the gifts it offers are often both unwelcome and dangerous.

In the great city of Dorstaad, two Criminal Investigation Division inspectors, Celeste Ritsuko and Janus Mikani, do excellent work despite the hostility they occasionally face. They are each other's exact opposites: she, measured, well organized and precise, excellent at drawing conclusions from evidence she pedantically collects; and he, a charmer who mostly runs on intuition and solves cases using gifts his Fey blood provides.

Ritsuko and Mikani begin as co-workers and friends and they remain friends. It is a wonderful thing they have, a purely platonic relationship built on trust and mutual understanding. There is attraction of course, but neither of them is willing to risk what they already have for something that may or may not work... probably not, considering Mikani's track record. Neither of them admits, even to themselves, that they might be moving towards something more, a different kind of relationship, no longer safe, but risky and exciting at the same time. Theirs is a subtle, tentative dance, a slow-burning romance at its finest and one that will leave you desperate to know if and when they'll take the plunge.

(You WILL be jumping up and down in your seat, chanting "Do it! Do it! Go for it! Kiss her, you moron! Kiss her!")

Their characterization is superb. I find that I often use the words `astonishingly good' to describe Aguirre's work, but I can't help it when they always apply. Bronze Gods and its characters didn't sprout over night, they're the result of a decade-long work, which is obvious on every page. I've read my fair share of crime novels and seen enough crime shows that I'm not easily impressed. I think we are all desensitized as readers and viewers, and yet these crime scenes gave me the chills. Each included a different mysterious, inexplicable device, the purpose of which was entirely unclear to Ritsuko and Mikani.

I am, as I'm sure you all know, a bit demanding when it comes to steampunk. I want well-defined worlds, age-appropriate language and at least a few creative gadgets. Ann and Andres Aguirre gave me all that and more. I need book 2 more than I need air... or bread.... or...well, maybe not blueberry muffins. But close.

I rest my case.
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
Can't wait for more of Mikani and Ritsuko 5 May 2013
By melindeeloo - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
There weren't a great deal of steampunk elements in this initial foray into the alternate Victorian Bronze Gods world, as the leads Inspectors Janus Mikani and Celeste Ritsuko search for the a murderer who is killing young women from prominent Ferisher (Fae) Houses.

I enjoyed watching Mikani and Ritsuko pound the pavement to solve the high profile case, and that, as they pursue the leads together and individually, there were enough clues that I was able to figure out the 'who done it' along with them. While the investigation of the crime perpetrated using magical technology was interesting, it is Mikani and Ritsuko themselves who really make this book shine. They are a fabulous pair, and they work together so well that despite the fact that they are polar opposites - she's human, thorough and diplomatic and he's part Ferisher, intuitive and not much for social niceties - it is almost like they have a mental connection.

So, I thoroughly enjoyed this first joint effort from the Aguirres (Ann and Andres) - steampunk, mystery, and magic with with a very intriguing starring pair (and just a hint of romance to come) - I am already looking forward to their next book.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Another Home Run 7 May 2013
By Veronica L. Gonzalez - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Ann Aguirre (writing this time with her husband, Andres) has done it again, created characters with whom I really, really want to spend more time. The world building is interesting and the mystery, though I did figure it out before the end, was still engaging. This book had a very steampunk noir feeling to it and I think the authors pulled it off quite well. Told in third person I sometimes found myself confused as to who was saying a line at any given point but ultimately this was not a significant stumbling block for me and certainly didn't inhibit my overall enjoyment.

The highlight though for me was the lead pairing of Janus Mikani and Celeste Ritsuko. Inspectors for the Criminal Investigation Division, they've been partners on the job for three years and though they come at the world from very different places - he's a rumpled mess who can't hang onto a relationship to save his life and she's the elegant and always put-together woman who has had to fight her way into a man's world - they work together like a well oiled machine. I got Mulder and Scully vibes which, in my book, can only ever be a good thing. Romance isn't the mainstay of this story but the increasingly flirtatious banter between Mikani and Ritsuko is a definite plus and has me eager to see how or if things will develop in the follow-up book due next year.
16 of 22 people found the following review helpful
A bit slow.... 31 May 2013
By OpenBookSociety dot com - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Brought to you by OBS reviewer Sammy

This is a very well written story, that had the potential to be amazing, but for me it dragged and was very slow all the way to the end. I think it suffers from the first book in a series syndrome with to much information making the story convoluted in a confusing way.

I so wanted the heroine to be a strong kick butt, take no prisoners kind of gal and the synopsis makes it seem like she will be, however, shortly into the book she comes across as soft and femininely needy several times. The "romance" aspect of the story was plain and simply uncomfortable.

The word `partner' was used so many times I wanted to scream, seriously we know they are partners not only was it used in a chummy Benson and Stabler way, but good lord it was said so often in a way to make them set boundaries between themselves. arrggg

One other thing that for me personally was very distracting were the names Mikani and Ritsuko during most of the book the characters first names are not used so using the last names even though they are lovely out of the ordinary names there was no feminine and masculine flavor to the names. Which for me made it so I had to concentrate on who was who when the dialog went back and forth. Again, a flow issue for me.

I know this book got many 5 star ratings and folks are gushing how wonderful it is, but I thought it was almost boring in parts and had to make myself pick it up several times after putting it down. It was written well, just missed the mark for me.

I'm not sure who I would recommend this to....before I'd recommend to anyone I would need to read the next book in the series, to see if it was the 1st book in a series information dump and slow confusing pace or the style of writing.

This review and more at openbooksociety dot com
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
The second half barely made up for the first half. 20 Nov 2013
By S. Dawson - Published on Amazon.com
Format: Kindle Edition
I’m a big fan of Ann Aguirre, steampunk, and fae, so I was super excited to read Bronze Gods. It had all the making of a knock out read.

Up until about 55%, I was seriously questioning the book. I was confused by the plot, the world, and the quickly changing POVs. I was lamenting that this series might be an adventure I did not go on with the Aguirre writing team.

At 60%, something amazing happened. Suddenly the plot stabilized, things came together, it was easier to understand which POV I was in and what was going on with the investigation. The plot started making sense and I was able to relate to the two of the three main characters. Where I struggled to get through the first half, I enjoyed the last 40% of the book.

I’m interested in the world and in the two detectives. I like their burgeoning relationship as more than partners. I like Mikani’s powers and what it costs him to use them. I like that he enjoys a good fight and standing up for people he cares about. I like Ritsuko’s drive for details and her struggle against working in a male dominated world.

I’m not as interested in Aurelia, but enough of the story was devoted to her that I’ll feel a little put out if there’s not a follow up on her in the next book, even though I have zero interest in her character.

At the end, I knew I would read the next book in the series, but I’m left feeling uneasy about Bronze Gods. I feel like I should reread the book to fully wrap my head around what all was happening in the first part, but I have absolutely no desire to do so.

All around, I thought this one was a missed the mark, but it left me interested enough to give the next book a chance to redeem the series.
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