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The Sauder Diaries - By Any Other Name
 
 

The Sauder Diaries - By Any Other Name [Kindle Edition]

Michel Vaillancourt
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description

Product Description

A pirate-infused steampunk world, rooted in the historical fabric of Victorian Europe, in which the Crimean War ended with a stalemate and not a victory. Airships and clockwork mechanisms are the technology of the future, mad scientists and engine-driven dragons run rampant, and Russia stands tall as the supermenace overshadowing the world.

Living amidst this vivid, turbulent clockwork world is Hans Sauder, a gentleman's son and German expat. While en route to University to study engineering, his airship is waylaid by the nefarious pirate ship The Bloody Rose. Confronted with a choice to either join the crew or be tossed overboard into the most volatile wilds of Europe, Hans reluctantly steps into the role of a pirate.

As he is given the kind of education no university could have prepared him for, Hans finds himself at the center of a paradoxical world, where the Captain conducts piracy with a gentleman's keen business sense, the most lethal crew members are the women, and the dark underbelly of a "peaceful" Europe is exposed at every turn.

As the story unfolds, Hans' new life is further complicated by the romantic advances of the leader of the ship's gunner-marines, a ruthless and no-nonsense woman with a chip on her shoulder. As well, Hans is perpetually dogged by a deep conflict between his sense of morals and duty to his family, and the challenges and adventure of this new life he has discovered.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 595 KB
  • Print Length: 320 pages
  • Publisher: Avenger Press Services; 2 edition (11 Jun 2012)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B008AP8VJE
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #655,798 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Format:Kindle Edition
My Expectations
I must say the cover and the blurb created a certain atmosphere. I expected a fast paced adventure with steam driven technology, airship battles and pirate life in a world which goes far beyond the borders of Victorian England.

The Delivery
The 253 pages of the story are divided into 14 named chapters introduced by diary entries and an epilogue.

Follow me back in time to the year 1888. Follow me to a world which differs from the world of 1888 we know from our history books. In the world of the Sauder Diaries the Crimean War ended with a stalemate. A result of the war is a zone called Scorch Land and peoples are afraid of remains of war in form of dragons Galvanotaurs. These dragons have nothing to do with your imagination of a dragon. The dragons in the Sauder Diaries are war marauding 90,000 pounds war machines directed by an autonomous analog differential analyzer. Galvanotaurs are hand-built human war machines which means the consist of flesh, nuts and bolts.
The dominant means of transportation and in Europe, Middle East and Africa is the airship. Of course there are also military airships.
Airships dive the sky like advanced sailing vessels. And like on the sea merchant airships are the preferred prey of pirates, air pirates.
airships are driven by steam and some use advanced engines.

The Sauder Diaries tell the story of Hans Sauder. The Sauder family left Bremen in Germany and emigrated to England. It is important to emphasize that England in the Sauder Diaries represents a lot of what we know from Victorian England when it comes to society.
Hans is a well educated man who appreciate the Victorian society.
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Amazon.com: 4.6 out of 5 stars  13 reviews
8 of 8 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Absolute Gem - Worth More Than the Asking Price 2 Jan 2012
By Angela Goff - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I've tried the steampunk genre before, but couldn't find anything that really drew me into the whole steampunk mindset. All that changed when I downloaded The Sauder Diaries on a whim and devoured it over Christmas - as in, stayed-up-till-4am-and-lost-precious-sleep-because-the-book-wouldn't-let-me-go, kind of devouring. Michel's pirate-infused steampunk world is rooted in the historical fabric of Victorian Europe, but with his own distinct slant on how love, war, espionage and life would have continued in a world where airships and clockwork mechanisms are the wave of the future, and Russia the supermenace overshadowing the world.

The protagonist, Hans Sauder, is a gentleman's son who is on his way to university when his airship is waylaid by the nefarious pirate ship The Bloody Rose. Confronted with a decision to join the crew or be tossed overboard into the most volatile wilds of Europe, Hans reluctantly steps into the role of a pirate. As he is given the kind of education no university could have prepared him for, Hans finds himself at the center of a paradoxical world, where the Captain conducts piracy with a gentleman's keen business sense, the most lethal crew members are the women, and the dark underbelly of a "peaceful" Europe is exposed at every turn. No shallow, cardboard characters populate this story; every pirate - from Italian Ethiope beauty Arietta to the seemingly indestructible Blauchuk - is a multilayered soul with peculiar backhistories that feed the plot throughout, and drop curious hints for the series to come.

Being a history teacher myself, I am notoriously picky when it comes to the books I read. The Sauder Diaries defied my skepticsm at every turn - and won the duel, hands down. Romance, warfare, intrigue, humor, and espionage were all interwoven with meticulous attention. Historical and mechanical detail nails down every scene with credible believability, yet is never off-putting for those who might not be history buffs, or of a mechanical mind.

If I had known at the outset what a gem of a book this would be, I would have gladly paid more than the current asking price. This tale is an absolute gem, and I look forward to the promised sequel with school-girlish impatience. Highly recommend it!
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Adventures worthy of praise 27 Dec 2011
By Chantal Boudreau - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition
I read this first novel in The Sauder Diaries series chapter by chapter, before it had been published in ebook form, and despite not being a usual reader of steampunk, I truly enjoyed the adventures of Mr. Sauder and told Mr. Vaillancourt that he should seriously consider having his book published. The story is well thought out, his writing style is both comfortable and nevertheless gripping, and his characters are multi-dimensional, realistically flawed, and delightful.

The story follows our hero who finds himself on an airship, somewhat involuntarily recruited to its crew after he has recovered from injuries. He starts making friends and allies on the ship, such as his supervisor, Arietta, whom he also finds attractive, and the doctor who helped restore him to health. He also starts learning the ship politics and what is needed to fit in. Then, he faces his first exposure to battle.

Mr. Sauder has a very noble and gentlemanly outlook on life, which affects his interaction with others, particularly the ladies. As time goes on his relationships deepen, he becomes immersed in the life on the ship and he eventually becomes torn between the life he has built there versus his duty to his family and his need to return to them.

I liked the format and even the extensive description - Mr. Vaillancourt is masterful at capturing a scene, although my tastes are for a story with more sparse description so that you never lose sight of the plot. With the exception of a couple of spots where I found my attention waning a little because of overly detailed description of fashion or engineering, no doubt to make sure the story appealed to avid steampunk fans who thrive on that part of the genre, the descriptions rarely distracted much from the tale.

I particularly liked his characterization. The protagonist is immediately both interesting and likeable. I also particularly enjoyed the doctor and the protagonist's female counterparts. They are quirky and amusing - nobody could suggest that the characters in this novel are flat. They strike me as intricate, multi-faceted and well-developed.

This book has already received several five star reviews and it is certainly deserving of them. I'm thankful to hear that Mr. Vaillancourt is currently working on a sequel.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A great read. 21 Dec 2011
By Britt O. - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
From the first page, the writing captured my attention. The imagery, the characters, the situations and technology...it all seemed so real, as though this world could have really existed. Even though it is set in the past, the characters and culture don't have the feeling of being outdated or out of touch. It's an excellent book; I absolutely recommend it.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, Riveting, and Intellectual 4 Oct 2012
By Melissa Ann Conroy - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Mr. Vaillancourt is set to become one of the leading names in steampunk fiction today. "The Sauder Diaries - By Any Other Name" is a lush, vivid, and gripping tale that draws you deeply into the lives and minds of the multifaceted characters who populate the pages. Hans, the main character, grapples endlessly with a struggle between his morals and desires and is forced to face a reality where black and white have merged into a sea of gray and no decision is either right or easy.

While some steampunk authors pay scant homage to the actual workings of the airships and steam-powered mechanisms in their stories, Mr. Vaillancourt presents a narrative schematics of the runnings of his airship "The Bloody Rose" as he unfolds his tale, helping the reader imagine himself actually walking the decks of the airship and partaking of the action. Plenty of danger, intrigue, and excitement unfold in the story, but there is an abundance of intellectual fodder to stimulate the mind as well as the imagination.

I am eagerly awaiting "A Bloodier Rose" and expect many more excellent books from Mr. Vaillancourt!
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Superb steampunk adventure 3 Sep 2012
By Jenny Schwartz - Published on Amazon.com
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Utterly absorbing. A story of honour and adventure.

Stylistically, works brilliantly that each chapter begins with an extract from Hans's diary, followed by the rollicking adventures.

It's a fine line to balance the harsh consequences of actions with hope and mercy. "By Any Other Name" does this well.

It's part coming-of-age, part quest ... and opens the door to a series that I hope we get many more of. The characters are complicated and appealing. The world is vivid.
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