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Shanghai Sparrow (Gears of Empire) Paperback – 8 May 2014

4.2 out of 5 stars 5 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 416 pages
  • Publisher: Solaris (8 May 2014)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1781081840
  • ISBN-13: 978-1781081846
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 2 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (5 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 714,441 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

About the Author

Gaie Sebold works for a charity, reads obsessively, gardens amateurishly, and sometimes runs around in woods hitting people with latex weapons. She has won awards for her poetry and has published short storiesand two novels in her fantasy series, Babylon Steel, for Solaris. This is her first Steampunk/SF novel and marks a new high for this emerging writer


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By Nick Brett TOP 1000 REVIEWERVINE VOICE on 27 Sept. 2016
Format: Mass Market Paperback Verified Purchase
Enjoyed this, good Fantasy/Steampunk fun. It borders the edge of YA and adult reading, but can be easily enjoyed by both.
In a Victorian type Britain a young thief has to face her past and survive while not knowing who to trust. This is a world of airships and weird mechanical machines and the remains of "the Folk", fairy types that sort of co-exist with humans. Our young thief is a gutsy young thing trying hard to protect herself while being introduced to things and wonders she could previously have only imagined. She is being trained as a spy while her knowledge of sonic influences is being tested. And she may be asked to develop a weapon that could destroy everything.

Like the author's previous books, it has strong female leads, and a sense of pace and fun. I hope there are more in the series.
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Format: Kindle Edition
15-year-old Evvie Duchen is a survivor. She has to be. An orphan who escaped the house of an uncaring uncle who wished to marry her off to a paedophile, she’s been forced to fend for herself. Fortunately, her pick-pocketing and con skills drew the attention and protection of Ma Pether, who sets her to work scouting out houses for burglary. But Evvie’s luck runs out when she meets Mr Holmforth, a dedicated servant of Her Majesty’s Empire who thinks that Evvie has what it takes to preserve the Empire and, coincidentally, further his own career aspirations.

Evvie’s sent to a school for spies run by the cold and unforgiving Miss Caingrim. Competition is stiff and Evvie’s low status makes it difficult to make friends but Holmforth has prescribed a vigorous curriculum for her, including Cantonese lessons and scientific research that will take Evvie to the darkest corners of Shanghai where her actions will change the world and beyond …

Gaie Sebold’s third novel is a delightful steampunk adventure (the first of a new series) that explores the Empire’s dark underbelly both in London and through its territories in China. What I particularly enjoyed about this book is that it’s a romance free zone – Evvie has a tough life and while it touches at times on melodrama, Sebold leaves you in no doubt as to the emotional impact it has on her. Holmforth is also an interesting antagonist – acting in what he sees as the best interests of the Empire and yet also torn by the fact that as a bi-racial man he will never be accepted by those he serves. Sebold marries her industrial steampunk world with a parallel tale of faerie that has a lot of potential and which I would have enjoyed seeing more of here.
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By Ch on 12 Sept. 2016
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
To set the scene think that episode of Dr Who where the Tardis lands in a slightly altered Victorian London...even if this is not your normal genre stick with it as the sights and sounds (and smells) of Victorian London come to life on the page.

The heroine, Evvie Duchen, is independent and resourceful, but not without compassion, morality and humour. A true role model... even if she is also an accomplished thief and trickster!

A great story and a real page turner. I'm already looking forward to the next instalment...
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Format: Paperback
This is a wonderful book which will delight teens and adults alike. I can't wait for the further adventures of Eveline. This mystical/steampunk take, on an England so nearly recognisable as our own, is beautifully drawn as a kind of fairy-tale Dickensian romantic world which is both wondrous and dangerous at the same time. In my opinion this is Gaie's best book so far, though I've enjoyed all of them.
Readers of young adult, fantasy, steampunk and urban fantasy will all find themselves at home here. I highly recommend it.
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Format: Paperback
This one zips along at a good pace (so much so that it felt short) and in Eveline Duchen we have a character that we can all root for while being aware of her weaknesses. The alt-history setting of Victorian era Empire convinces, the plot is tight and antagonist Holmfirth is sufficiently nasty without being a caricature.
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