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4.2 out of 5 stars
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4.2 out of 5 stars
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on 3 November 2014
This book is well written. The main character's personality is very clear. The world in as much we learn about it, is well conceived and the descriptions of places and events make for a flowing story.

On the other hand this book is also naive, implausible and frustrating!

One of my biggest frustrations is with the construction of a plane. The timescale for such an event is ridiculously short. You can't go from never having constructed anything, to constructing a glider, to constructing a plane in under a season. Especially when you only have two people working on it and one of them doesn't at the start have any basic understanding of metallurgy, mechanics or anything else. To then power the plane by clockwork demonstrates a complete misunderstanding of basic physics.

I'd love to recommend this book and author but at times when reading this story I wanted to tear my hair out. People who can forget about any links with reality will enjoy it.
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on 11 November 2014
I think this book is probably more for teenagers and young adults as it was a bit
"simplistic" in places.

Breeze is half human and half elf (though only her pointed ears give her away). When her
human father is called to war, he leaves Breeze with a Tinkerer - someone who is clever at
inventing machines, hand grenades and finally a plane. This was when people only had
horses as transport!

Not being mechanical I didn't understand the workings of the plane, but I doubt if it would have
flown. However, this is a fantasy book, so I just accepted it. Elves mature much quicker than
humans, so 4 year old Breeze grew enough in a few months to help Tinker with his machines.

Later she contributes greatly to trying to make a peace between elves and humans, who have
been at war for 2,000 years.

I liked the characters of Breeze and Tinker, but the rest of the cast were not given any depth.

This is a stand alone book (I hate "cliff hangers"), though her adventures continue in the next 2 books.
This book was an o.k. light read, but I won't bother with the rest of the series.
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on 27 September 2014
Don't quite know why I bothered finishing it. A naive story with nothing but a frantic pace to its credit. We don't have to give credence to the fantasy elements but those in human scope also lack anything like a note of truth; there's no logic to hang onto to allow the fantasy elements to be believed.
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on 5 August 2011
I started reading this book just before bedtime and found myself unable to put it down.I finished it at 2 o'clock and was happy ,despite how tired I was.The characters were fully formed and engaging.The story was captivating and had many different threads that were neatly tied off.Another book soon Author.
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on 22 September 2014
Almost good...too naive in parts, too emotional, too huggy-touchy-feely....once the threading-water episodes of weeping and regretting are over, the story marches along at a clipping pace, with a feel of war-correspondent reporting of surface activities...one enemy defeated, another shows up....ho hum....but delightful story for pre-teen girls, who need heroines...
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on 20 June 2016
***Spoilers*** get that the first book in a series has a lot of ground to cover, but she is a bit of a Mary Jane. She goes from small child to fighter pilot in less than a year; I get it, elvs age fast, but you just wouldn't learn that much do fast, and then have a bunch of farm children flying bombing runs after a quick hour of circuits and bumps.

That said, its a pleasant yarn but should have been stretched out a bit more. A touch too much "because elves and magic" for my liking. It has promise; now the scene is set I'm keen to know where it goes.
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TOP 500 REVIEWERon 25 October 2016
I'm calling this one a YA fantasy although I am sure some adults will enjoy it too. Plot holes and lack of depth remove the tale from being a developed adult read. I loved the first third with a young half-elven girl being left with an old tinker by her father, who has to go to war. Very descriptive, ingenious, different.

After this the girl has it too easy. People who have been at war with elves for centuries dislike her on sight, calling her an abomination, then decide she's nice after all. If it was that easy we'd see an end to civil rights struggles. Maybe the author is trying to set a good example, which is fine. I like that our heroine is not, at this point, forbidden to do anything because she's a girl. An early plane gets off the ground first time - no repeated engineering of wings, trying biplanes or jumping off cliffs. And think of the weight of the coal and cast iron furnace. Hmmm. Chalk that one up to magic.

The war comes of course, and seems to be based on the games Spellforce and Dungeon Siege. Great games. A general would not speak to anyone, least of all a complete stranger, against a royal family member. This would mark him as treasonous or a conspirator with another royal or both. He would be hanged as an example. The land is at war. After this I was unable to take anything seriously.

Read and enjoy, a different perspective is always good.
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on 25 January 2015
I was really impressed by Mr Sedgwick's book. I read a ton of steampunk as I researched my own books and this was of the better ones I read. The main character, Steam, is really well drawn and creates a lot of empathy throughout. The 'Tinkerer', whilst reminding me of the Spider-Man villain of the same name, was actually much cooler (and creepier at times) and I could tell that the author had put a lot of effort into making his steamy designs original. Overall I was very impressed by the plot and the writing. Recommended!
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An enjoyable well-written story, which is a curious mix of magic, technology and a medieval feel.

I liked Breeze, a strong and compassionate character who finds herself living with Tinker after her father is called to war.

Her half-breed status gives rise to hatred and suspicion and yet soon is at the centre of a long-standing war.

The twists and turns and ups and downs of Breeze's life are engaging, making this a compelling read.

Recommended.
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on 24 July 2016
I enjoyed this book a lot, but it did have issues. The hero is something of a Mary Sue; she is just a bit too perfect and manages to accomplish in a few weeks what no one has done in hundreds of years. The other characters are a bit shallow - you are in no doubt who is "good" and who is "bad" here - and the coincidences are just too many to remain credible (people turning out to be royality or to know her parents). Nevertheless, a good read.
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