The Tinkerer’s Daughter

I purchased this novel through a free offer in Bookbub and I have subsequently purchased the other two novels in the series. I am looking forward to reading them over the holidays—preferably curled up on the couch with a cup of eggnog-flavored latte by my side. This series is a mixture of the fantasy and steampunk genres. It is appropriate for YA readers.

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Dead Magic by Kara Jorgensen

Dead Magic is the fourth novel in Jorgensen’s Ingenious Mechanical Devices series and is the second novel to feature the characters of Emmeline and Immanuel. Although Dead Magic is a sequel, it is not necessary to read The Winter Garden first. (Although you absolutely should read all of the novels in this series! They are excellent.) Jorgensen provides enough details in the narrative to catch a reader up to the plot line of the new novel.

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Book Review: Hunting for Spring by Katherine McIntyre

Hunters are a lonely breed, and Conor is no exception, until the day he meets Brenna. Even though she slinks in unannounced and kills the wight he was hunting down, the girl’s a mystery and he can’t get that blinding smile or those gorgeous curves off his mind. Since they’re both after the same caster who’s unleashing these monsters, he suggests teaming up, and despite her initial reluctance, the hungry way she scans him down promises something powerful.

However, her secrets have repercussions, and faster than Conor can lift his Glock, he’s drawn into the web of kidnappings and Unseelie mischief, all concealing the machinations of a darker foe—one that plans to bring Philly to ruin.

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Pale Highway by Nicholas Conley

Pale Highway, by Nicholas Conley, is a science fiction novel with touches of mystery, horror, and fantasy. The main character, Gabriel Schist, is a Nobel Prize winning scientist who in his youth invented the cure for AIDS. Now in his seventies, he has Alzheimer’s disease and is living in a nursing home. When one of his nursing home friends catches a virus that leaves the patient in a horrific living-death state, Gabriel realizes that he is the only one who can cure it: But he is in a race against the quickly spreading virus and his own deteriorating mind. Although the main plot focuses on a worldwide plague that threatens humanity, this is not a disaster-centered narrative. This is a story of human survival, of morality, of loyalty, of family, of sacrifice–of doing anything necessary to help those you love.

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Neil Gaiman’s Tribute to Lovecraft & Sherlock Holmes

In the preface to the collection, Gaiman (2006) explains that he found this to be a unique challenge because the two styles are very much polar opposites. The character of Sherlock Holmes is logical, scientific, and rational. The focus is on solving mysteries and presenting celebrated solutions. Lovecraft’s works proceed on a different basis. Many of his creations were deeply illogical and maintaining the mysteries helped keep humanity sane. “If I was going to tell a story that combined both elements,” Gaiman (2006, pp. 4-5) writes, “There had to be an interesting way to do it that played fair with both Lovecraft and with the creations of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.”

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Mechanica: Book Review

Mechanica, by Betsy Cornwell, is a young adult steampunk retelling of the Cinderella tale.   Mechanica, like other modern fairy tale adaptations (Wicked, Maleficent, Frozen) present a strong female character in Nicolette, who is derisively named “Mechanica” by her stepsisters. Like other versions of the Cinderella tale, the mother dies, the father remarries, and then he…

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Review: Redshirts & Metafiction

Redshirts: A Novel with Three Codas, by John Scalzi*, focuses on new crew members aboard the Universal Union flagship Intrepid who begin to notice alarming patterns that determine how long they will survive. The story follows Ensign Andrew Dahl, newly assigned junior scientist, and his friends. They slowly come to realize that there is a…

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Review: The Best of Spanish Steampunk

I received this anthology as a gift and opened it with a great deal of anticipation. Short, speculative fiction has been my favorite genre for many years and reading an entire anthology of steampunk stories would be a treat on a cold winter day. But as I read, I found myself to be puzzled: there were ghost stories, gaslight romances, alternate histories, and references to Victorian authors and their creations, but very few elements that reflect the steampunk aesthetic.

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Agent Darcy and Ninja Steve in . . . Tiger Trouble!

This is a terrific adventure story with a sense of whimsy and fantasy. Nominally written for kids, the humor and action are genuinely good for all ages.

The kids in the story are believable. They may go to special schools where they train to be Ninjas or Secret Agents, but they have regular life concerns.

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Review of Swollen Identity

No “Spoilers” Review of Swollen Identity

I really enjoy Rich Leder’s style of writing: It is the perfect blend of mystery, humor, action, and quick-witted comments. Leder does a wonderful job at keeping the tone light. The humor comes from the writing—the subtle way the sentences are crafted—and from the characters themselves.

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Soul Solution By Kathryn McIntyre

I enjoyed this novel quite a bit. Paranormal romance is not something I usually read, but I was intrigued by the author’s description of the characters. This did not feature vampires, werewolves, or zombies, but grim reapers: Romance with death incarnate is fascinating to say the least!

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Review: For The Memory of Dragons

For the Memory of Dragons by Julie Wentzel When I first picked up this book, I didn’t know much about the author or the story. It was a fantasy, mystery, and romance; those elements were enough to intrigue me. The fact that there were dragons (one of my favorite fantasy creatures) was an added benefit.…

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Review: The Caelimane Operation by Chris Pavesic

Another terrific review of The Caelimane Operation. Thank you to Ky Grabowski for taking the time to read and review my novel. This type of feedback is wonderful for all authors!

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Review: Onyx City by P.J. Thorndyke

He brought to light the awful reality of the sweatshops where tailors stitched clothing for fourteen hours a day; dulling their eyesight, clogging up their lungs with stuffy air and cloth fibers, denied even the shortest of breaks so that their targets were met. Wives must bring them tea and bread and drop it down their throats while they continued to work. He spoke of the match girl’s strike of July, of their exposure to the terrible white phosphorus that rotted their jaws. The speaker even touched on the poor women who were so desperate that they must sell their bodies on the street and face murder at the hands of the demented individual who stalked Whitechapel by night.

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Midnight Burning by Karissa Laurel

Midnight Burning, by Karissa Laurel, focuses on Solina Mundy’s search to find out more information about her twin brother’s murder. Solina and Mani grew up in a small town in the continental U.S., but he left to have a life of adventure in Alaska while she remained at home and worked in their family bakery. After a wolf-like beast apparently kills Mani, Solina heads out on her own adventure to learn the truth about his death. Is it an accident where an animal chooses man as its prey, or is it a murder in disguise?

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Stolen Petals by Katherine McIntyre

SPOILERS AHEAD I enjoyed this novelette quite a bit. It is set in Victorian Era London and has a few touches of a steampunk world, including airships, innovative weapons, and small, brass globes that freeze when squeezed. The heroine, Viola, uses these globes while bartending to chill drinks without diluting the alcohol. Of course, bartending…

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Spire City: A New Infection

Spire City: A New Infection (Season One: Infected Book 1) is the first book in Daniel Ausema’s serialized steampunk fantasy creation. Ausema’s elegant writing style, cleverly executed plotline, and thought-provoking ideas about the issues that face humanity when living in a totalitarian society—greed, chance, courage, perseverance, the sanctity of friends and family, and a desire…

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Book Review: Golden Heart by PJ Thorndyke

The Golden Heart, by PJ Thorndyke, is the first book in the Lazarus Longman Chronicles. This is a gripping steampunk adventure set during the time of the American Civil War. Lazarus Longman is an archeologist working for the British Empire. By order of the government, he is searching for the Seven Golden Cities of Cibola.…

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Review: Beasts of Tabat by Cat Rambo

Beasts of Tabat focuses on the intertwining tales of Teo, a young boy who has been sold to the Temple by his parents in order to save his younger sister’s life, and Bella Kanto, a gladiator who represents the force of winter in Tabat’s arenas. Teo’s objections to his slavery are understandable. He is a…

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The Winter Garden by Kara Jorgensen

The Winter Garden, by Kara Jorgensen, is book Two of the Ingenious Mechanical Devices series. It is not necessary to read the first book in the series before enjoying this novel. **Possible Spoilers Ahead** The Winter Garden is a neo-Victorian style novel. Immanuel Winter, a student at Oxford, rescues a young woman, Emmeline Jardine, after…

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Book Review: Nemo’s World: The Substrate Wars 2

There is an interesting line in Jeb Kinnison’s new novel, Nemo’s World: The Substrate Wars 2: “The reward for succeeding is more work.” Kinnison wrote a terrific sci-fi dystopian novel, The Red Queen. His reward for this success was writing the next novel in the series, Nemo’s World. Kinninson’s hard work paid off in the form of a…

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Book Review: Juggler, Porn Star, Monkey Wrench

I was already a fan of Rich Leder’s work after reading his humorous mystery novel, Workman’s Complication, when I picked up Juggler, Porn Star, Monkey Wrench: A Romantic Hollywood Sex Comedy. (You can read my review of Workman’s Complication  HERE. This book has a dry and sometimes dark/ironic humor. (Think of the type of humor…

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5 Minutes with Rich Leder

This is a chance to learn a bit more about Rich Leder, whose novel, McCall & Company: Workman’s Complication, was published in September 2014 by Laugh Riot Press. Click Here to See Rich Leder’s  Website  Blog  Facebook  Twitter  Pinterest  Goodreads  Amazon.com About the Author What I love most about writing . . . is the…

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Book Review: Workman’s Complication

I knew that I would like this novel from the very first line: “It was harder to sing with the vampire teeth than I thought it would be.” This is a very evocative image, especially given the number of television shows and movies that have featured vampires in the last decade. I often wondered how…

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