Posts Tagged ‘genre:steampunk’

Four worthy free reads

Like London buses, you wait ages for a review from me, then four of them come along at once 😉

These were among the recent free offering from Smashwords. Two were out and out excellent, the other two well worth your time.

And I am happy by R. Cooper is a gorgeous little steampunk/Edwardianish story about an ex-kept boy turned valet, and his disabled war hero mster who is now in Parliament, though still struggling with the effects of the war, lost chances for love, and his amputated leg and arm. Wonderful angst yearning, and tenderness, and kudos for a maimed hero who is given dignity and agency, without being a vehicle for able-bodied pity.
Rating: 10/10 ★★★★★★★★★★ 

Butterflies (The Secret Casebook of Simon Feximal) by K J Charles is Victorian detective/horror pastiche done with the skill and panache this author demonstrated so devastatingly in A Charm of Magpies. A proper yet blisteringly angry narrator is forced to work with the man he thinks has spurned him, on a case as menacing as it is dangerous. A side story to The Caldwell Ghost, a novel unfortunately published by Torquere Press, it nonetheless stands alone, and if you want to see more of Ms Charles’s work out, well, let me not dissuade you.
Rating: 10/10 ★★★★★★★★★★ 

Right Hand Red by Danni Keane follows two boys from the age of four to young adulthood, through their friendship, their difficulties, and their sexual awakening. Sweet but not without angst, and I may have grown a bity teary-eyed at one or two points.
Rating: 8/10 ★★★★★★★★☆☆ 

Stag: a Story by Ben Monopoli is not romance but instead an all too realistic window on the world of a thirteen-year-old gay boy, going to his first school formal, and trying to avoid the whole issue of a partner. Nice writing, and may tempt you to seek more out by this author.
Rating: 7.5/10 ★★★★★★★½☆☆ 

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All the Paths of Shadow by Frank Tuttle

Rating: 7/10 ★★★★★★★☆☆☆ 
Title: All the Paths of Shadow
Author: Frank Tuttle
Genre: Fantasy/steampunk
URL: Cool Well Press
Price: US $9.99 for digital version
Other Information/warnings: none
Summary [from the publisher]:
Walk warily, walk swiftly, walk away.

The king’s orders were clear enough. “Move the tower’s shadow,” he bellowed. “I refuse to deliver my commencement speech from the dark.”

As the newly appointed mage to the Crown of Tirlin, Meralda Ovis has no choice but to undertake King Yvin’s ill-conceived task. Tirlin’s first female mage, and the youngest person to ever don the robes of office, Meralda is determined to prove once and for all that she deserves the title. The Tower, though, holds ancient secrets all its own. Secrets that will soon spell destruction for all of Tirlin—unless Meralda can unravel a monstrous curse laid by a legendary villain seven centuries before she was born.

An ancient curse. A haunted tower. A clamorous gathering of nobles, mages, and kings from the Five Realms come together in Tirlin for the fifth-year Accords. Meralda finds herself facing far darker foes than any mere shadow of the tower.

My review: Continue reading →

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Wings of Equity by Sean Kennedy

Rating: 6/10 ★★★★★★☆☆☆☆ 
Title: Wings of Equity
Author: Sean Kennedy
Genre: Steampunk
URL: Dreamspinner Press
Price: US$6.99
Other Information/warnings: Violence, explicit m/m
Summary [from the publisher]:

Ezra Kneebone is most at home in the skies, piloting his airship with his best friend Jazz, even if it doesn’t quite pay the bills or warm Ezra’s empty bed. Those same skies are also the territory of a man known as Icarus, who uses his metal wings to steal from the rich and feed the poor. Icarus and Ezra could be soul mates but for one thing: Icarus has a bounty on his head, and Ezra is desperate for money.

Against the wishes of Jazz and her partner, the formidable Lady Bart, Ezra is determined to get his man… in more ways than one. But when Icarus saves Ezra’s life, Ezra realizes he would be betraying a hero—and his heart—if he turned Icarus in. Unfortunately, the bounty is tempting more than one hunter, and Ezra will find that loving a fugitive may mean becoming one too.

My review: Continue reading →

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