1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 3 September 2012
This short follows Aldora Fiske, a wealthy woman from London who finds herself thrust right in to the middle of a struggle involving airship-based sky pirates and the bombardment of the city of London. The adventure takes her to France and even America before returning to London for a dramatic, if anticipated, climatic finish.
The short is well written and develops quickly from the start; the characters however are quite thin and underdeveloped. Other than Fiske a few other characters pop up, including two historical figures in Tesla and Edison, but for the most part have very little background. The story is very much an action adventure and rushes between battles and action scenes spending much less time on developing the story, background or characters. An implausibly quick return trip to America adds to the sense that the story could comfortably be a few thousand words longer, but it is still very readable and an enjoyable way to spend a little time.
0 of 1 people found the following review helpful
on 1 October 2012
Disclaimer: I received a free copy of this book from the publisher/author through the LibraryThing.com Members Giveaway program. I was asked to post an honest review (though not necessarily a favourable one). The opinions expressed are strictly my own.
When I saw the summary for this book on Member Giveaways I was completely floored and, being quite a fan of steampunk, I knew I had to have it. I threw myself into the reading and I was sorely disappointed.
First of all, it is very, very short and, consequently, any good ideas and themes hinted at in the novella could not be developed.
The story feels rushed, with abrupt changes of scenery and sketchy characters. Tesla himself appears for a few paragraphs and seems completely wasted.
The heroine, probably due to lack of development, seems too perfect to be true: prim, composed, brave, badass and impeccably dressed even in the weirdest situations. This, combined with the fact that she single-handedly manages to resolve the situation without seemingly breaking a sweat, give the impression that she is well on the way of becoming a Mary Sue.
The villain is revealed in a very cliche'-ed fashion and tends to rant and rave and ticks most of the checkboxes in the Evil Overlord List of Things not to do in front of the hero/ine. The fact that the villain is defeated in a very curb-stomp fashion also does not help.
Finally, the political ambiguity of the plot, heavy on upper-class hate against the working class and snobbery, irked me to no end.
The writing style is pleasant, but the form cannot, in my opinion, rescue all the defects in this novella.