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Railroad! Volume One:Rodger Dodger (a steampunk western) [Kindle Edition]

Tonia Brown , Stephanie Kincaid , David Naughton-Shires
4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)

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  • Length: 95 pages (estimated)
  • Collection: Railroad! (Book 1)
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Book Description

Railroad is a fast pace steampunk story of gadgetry, gunplay and grit.

Join us as we follow the strange stand-alone train known as the Sleipnir (pronounced Schlipnear); eight cars of free traveling steam powered might. Able to lay her own tracks, as well as pick them up again, the train is a marvelous feat of engineering, and as an unbound entity she can travel anywhere her master desires. The only trouble is the trouble she attracts. Her owner and creator, one Professor Hieronymus J. Dittmeyer, can’t seem to help but catch the attention of all manner of odd characters, including an undead conductor and a ghostly guardian. But even the most well intending ghost just isn't enough to keep trouble from the tracks. From run of the mill outlaws, to world-class super villains, the crew of the Sleipnir needs hands-on protecting and they need it fast!

Enter Rodger Dodger, dead-eye marksman and all around vexed soul. Dodger finds he is inexplicably drawn to the Sleipnir and her crazy crew, though he is reluctant to return to the work of a gunslinger after a dreadful history of bloodshed and violence. At the request of a restless spirit, Dodger takes on the work, straps on the biggest guns this side of the Mississippi and soon finds his life will never be the same again. (Which is just fine with him because he didn't like the one he had anyways.)

On a train that can go anywhere, anything is bound to happen!


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 267 KB
  • Print Length: 95 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B0059HC0IO
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 4.5 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (4 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #308,408 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Board the train and let the adventure begin! 20 Dec. 2011
Format:Kindle Edition
Railroad! Volume One: Rodger Dodger by Tonia Brown is a unique steampunk western serial novel that will keep you coming back for more. The reader is introduced to Rodger Dodger, a man with a past that he can't wait to forget. In an attempt to leave his old life behind, he decides to apply for a security job. Upon arriving to the Sleipnir, Rodger starts to question if he should take the job when he is confronted by the man who placed the help wanted ad, characters that aren't as they appear, and the majestic Sleipnir.

Hieronymus J. Dittmeyer is not only eccentric but the creator of the extraordinary Sleipnir - a steam powered train that does not need tracks to run because she has the ability to lay her own tracks. With an invention so unique, there are several people that would love to have the Sleipnir for their own and Hieronymus will do anything to protect her.

Add one of a kind characters such as Mr. Torque and Ched, and the Sleipnir is a guaranteed wild ride. If you love westerns, especially with steampunk elements, do yourself a favor and lose yourself in the western world that Tonia Brown has created. If you aren't familiar with steampunk, be sure to read Railroad! first as Tonia Brown will instill the love of steampunk in your heart forever. Board the train and let the adventure begin!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Quite Short Introduction 26 Feb. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
As a novella it worked pretty well, and at least it's nice to read something not set in Victorian London.

Nice little plot twists, certainly enough that I'll give the next one the benefit of the doubt - and there's only doubt because this was so short that it's difficult to tell how a full length novel will come out.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Steampunk rules 7 April 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Was not sure if steampunk would appeal to me and tried this as an experiment. As fiction of any kind this stands up. Characterisation is good, plot is intriguing and pace is just right. I fully intend to read the whole series.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Steampunk central! 10 Aug. 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This was a fun steampunk starter to the series. I enjoyed it, indeed I read it in an afternoon, but it gets 4* as I didn't love it. I realise this is subjective, but hey if you're into weird west mixed with steampunk then this is the read for you. It is fast-paced and well-written.
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Amazon.com: 4.0 out of 5 stars  29 reviews
10 of 11 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A clever introduction to the series 25 July 2011
By Chantal Boudreau - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
I'm not a big fan of steampunk. I enjoy well written stories in this genre and I have read some very good ones, but I value excellent characterization and an exciting plot over attention to detail and environment. Since it is historical accuracy and technological and fashion detail which are the keystones to the genre, the things I value are sometimes overlooked. That doesn't mean I'm not willing to take a chance on a writer I know I like. That's why I agreed to review Railroad!

Enter Dodger, our leading man, looking for a job. When opportunity presents itself, or rather forces itself upon him, he embarks on the adventure of playing professional gunman for train security.

Rairoad! does have the attention to detail characteristic of steampunk. There is a vivid description of the train, Sleipnir, in the intro chapter, and similar description continues throughout the tale, but the characterization is appealing also. Dodger (aka Mr. Carpenter) is a well-developed protagonist. He is bold, quirky and interesting. Mr. Torque, the clockwork man, is an effective contrast with his stiff and regulated ways, Ched, the chief engineer is oddly frightening, and the professor is on the extreme end of eccentric, making Dodger seem more like the typical everyman despite his quirks.

The western theme interwoven into the plot gives the story spirit, and keeps it fun amongst the fiddly technological references (which the average steampunk fan loves, but I don't enjoy as much.) It plays out in the storyline and the dialogue, and gives the tale some buoyancy. Dodger brings with him his own set of problems, which leads to gunfights, chases and other action-filled excitement. Once the spooky aspect is thrown in, along with a ghost and a romantic interest, I was definitely taken with this.

All in all, I think this is a very clever introduction to the series and its outlandish main character. I also find it amusing that the railroad reference applies to the train itself. It's steampunk stories like this one, that doesn't take itself too seriously, which keep me interested in revisiting the genre. Five stars from me.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not Enough Bang for a Buck 28 May 2012
By Keith Otis Edwards - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
All science fiction demands a suspension of disbelief on the part of the reader. Be it time travel or encounters with aliens in another galaxy, the author must supply an explanation that the best minds of science have been unable to figure out. If the explanation is not scientifically accurate or precise, it must at least be plausible.

Unfortunately, the premise of this novel is a train which lays its own tracks. That's difficult to imagine, because railroads are called so, because they depend on a smooth, solid, almost level roadbed to support the rails. Without such a roadbed, trains -- even those with their own rails -- would get stuck in the first ditch or gully or bolder they encountered. Tanks can travel pretty much wherever they wish because of their wide, articulated treads and short wheelbase, but a train on skinny rails following the earth's contours through sand, mud and creeks? I don't think so. Even the cover illustration doesn't attempt to depict such an unlikely contrivance.

The novel's other premise is also too much to swallow: that genetic engineering in the nineteenth century has enabled the dead to be brought to life, until they're killed afresh, at which point they turn into guacamole. But the author seems to delight in zombies, and it's her book, so I shouldn't complain.

On the plus side of the ledger, Ms. Brown writes beautifully. She's exceptionally skilled with words, and she doesn't allow the story to meander off track as do many novelists. Even the dialogue is not bad at all.

Potential customers for this item should be warned, however, that this is not a complete novel or even a story. 99¢ gets you only the opening pages of the novel, and if you are so engrossed by the plot that you can't rest until you find out what happens next, it'll cost you another 99¢.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rodger Dodger Is Rollicking 4 May 2012
By Wag The Fox - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Steampunk is a genre that for the last few years I have found especially intriguing, at least on the esthetic level. I haven't read nearly enough to hop on the steam-powered bandwagon, but I count myself as a prospective fan. For me, I just want a rollicking good time, and in the case of Tonia Brown's Railroad, I got just that.

This novella is the opening salvo in what promises to be an especially weird western. Rodger Dodger introduces us to the title character as he answers an open call for a security officer on board a train called the Sleipnir. For a gunslinger on the run from his past, a job on a train might sound downright cozy, but when he meets its eccentric owner--and inventor--Professor Hieronymus J. Dittmeyer, and discovers the train navigates across the wild west without using conventional railroads, Dodger wonders if he's bitten off more than he can chew.

Dodger on his own didn't strike me as all that compelling a character, but that's mainly because there's so little about him that's revealed in the first half of the book. He's a quiet, no-nonsense sort with a bit of charm and a lot of history in his wake that revisits him later in the book, but there wasn't quite enough to make him stand out as the star of the story. The absence of a hook there is compensated with a trio of strange and comical characters aboard the Sleipnir. There's the professor who seems a tad out of touch with polite society, having spent much of his time in recent years aboard his train, and seemingly evading unsavory characters. There's his robotic butler-of-sorts, Mr. Torque, a clockwork servant with a dry wit and resigned tolerance for his bewildering boss. And then there's the chief engineer, Ched, who gave me the impression that he's a zombie, thought that's never said outright. I just assume as much given his appearance--and odor.

The book definitely feels like the introduction to a series, and I often enjoy the setup of a wayward antihero joining forces with a band of misfits. The book offered enough excitement and enough characterization to pull me in, but made it plain that the real chills and spills will come later in the series, as evidenced by a band of outlaws who cross paths with the train and its crew. I was effectively charmed by what Tonia has got here and I am certainly going to need to make room on my reading pile for the second volume of Railroad, Dogs of War.
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Board the train and let the adventure begin! 20 Dec. 2011
By Jaidis Shaw - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
Railroad! Volume One: Rodger Dodger by Tonia Brown is a unique steampunk western serial novel that will keep you coming back for more. The reader is introduced to Rodger Dodger, a man with a past that he can't wait to forget. In an attempt to leave his old life behind, he decides to apply for a security job. Upon arriving to the Sleipnir, Rodger starts to question if he should take the job when he is confronted by the man who placed the help wanted ad, characters that aren't as they appear, and the majestic Sleipnir.

Hieronymus J. Dittmeyer is not only eccentric but the creator of the extraordinary Sleipnir - a steam powered train that does not need tracks to run because she has the ability to lay her own tracks. With an invention so unique, there are several people that would love to have the Sleipnir for their own and Hieronymus will do anything to protect her.

Add one of a kind characters such as Mr. Torque and Ched, and the Sleipnir is a guaranteed wild ride. If you love westerns, especially with steampunk elements, do yourself a favor and lose yourself in the western world that Tonia Brown has created. If you aren't familiar with steampunk, be sure to read Railroad! first as Tonia Brown will instill the love of steampunk in your heart forever. Board the train and let the adventure begin!
1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Railroad! Volume One:Rodger Dodger 26 July 2011
By Lorif - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
This little diddy by Tonia Brown was well written, nicely edited and a very easy read. I read a lot and when I found another offering by this young lady, I jumped without looking. Her first book was exactly what I expected, a little erotica with the dead. This one caught me off guard. Very good! To sum up my review, I will read anything Tonia Brown writes!!!
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