Tag Archives: steampunk

Book Review: The Cogsmith’s Daughter (Desertera #1) by Kate M. Colby

Boxthorn Press Published Oct. 15, 2015 306 Pages
Boxthorn Press
Published Oct. 15, 2015
306 Pages

200 years ago a flood destroyed most of the world. Survivors settled around a steamship named Desertera and believe that the flood was caused by a pissed off goddess and to appease her the monarchs demand the execution of anyone who commits adultery (Random, right?)

Present time, King Archon traps his wives into adultery and then executes them to move on to the next woman. As long as he does not bother their women, Nobles have turned a blind eye to this but when Lord Varick’s daughter is caught in this trap, Varick vows revenge in the form of a young woman named Aya Cogsmith. 

Aya, barley making it by after, King Archon executed her father for treason, agrees to Varick plan to seduce the King, although it may risk her life. 

I wasn’t expecting much of this book. And I am happy to say that I was pleasantly surprised throughout most of it. But there were issues. What bothered me the most throughout the entire book was how did this civilization come to the conclusion that adultery was the reason why the flood happened. I would have loved to have more of a backstory/history lesson in this book.

I liked Aya for the most part. She bite off a lot than she can chew. I was hoping she would be stronger even towards the end. She showed how naive she was more than a few times and she had my eyes rolling. I loved the pace of the novel and how honest it was. The author didn’t shy away from things and it wasn’t distasteful. I liked that.

There was an obvious wall that was hit about half way through the book but it was quickly settled. Another issue I had with this book was the ending. I feel that the author was trying to not give the ending that we all wanted but I also feel that it wasn’t the best choice especially since the second book isn’t focused on Aya but her friend.

I also believe that the ending was a prime example of Aya being naive and I would say selfish. I was disappointed.

Overall, I want to read more but I am not sure if I am going to read book two.


3 Pickles

Book Review: Treasure, Darkly (Treasure Chronicles #1) by Jordan Elizabeth Mierek

Curiosity Quills Press Published Feb. 15, 2015 289 Pages
Curiosity Quills Press
Published Feb. 15, 2015
289 Pages

Clark Treasure assumes that the drink he stills out the pockets of a Captain is absinthe; something his mother would never allow him to drink. But the drink turns out to be chemicals that give him the ability to wake the dead.

On the run from the army, Clark turns to his father, a man he has never met, for help. Surprisingly, the family he never knew, opens their arms to him and now Clark will do anything to protect them.

When his half-sister, Amethyst is shot in the heart, he saves her unhesitatingly but that is when the real troubles begin. 

I loved the cover. It gives off a sci-fi feel; like Cowboys verses Aliens type of feel. Therefore, I was a bit excited to read this book.

However, Amethyst was such a shallow ass, that I couldn’t believe she was the leading lady in this story. From the very beginning, you are so instantly turned off and you think she will get better in personality but no she doesn’t. She is a spoiled brat that only lets up very little throughout the book.

Clark wasn’t the best character either. Something about him didn’t actually make me believe he was a boy/man that had it rough. Let me clarify that; he wasn’t believable and that as rough to swallow because I needed a break from Amethyst.

The surrounding characters, however, played their part well and I couldn’t complain so it wasn’t an issue of writing that messed up the two mains but it was just a bad choice. I enjoyed the range of emotions within the surrounding characters. Like Clark, I was surprised with how open his father and step-mother were to having him there. But I didn’t think it was a bad look either.

Although I picked up the book and was pleased with the summary, I wasn’t too happy with the story. It was predictable. The author made the shocking secret too obvious by displaying a form of romance or interest from the very beginning. I feel that this story could have been cleaned up a lot better even though it followed very well and provided some kind of excitement.

Overall, I didn’t enjoy this read.

1 Pickle

NetGalley Review: Lumière (The Illumination Paradox #1) by Jacqueline Garlick

Amazemo Books Published Oct. 26, 2013 335 Pages
Amazemo Books
Published Oct. 26, 2013
335 Pages

Eyelet Elsworth is determined to right the wrong. After her father’s death she becomes obsessed with finding the Illuminator, her father’s invention. By finding this machine, she can finally stop the seizures she has been experiencing since she was a child. But this is only if she finds it before her father’s enemy, Professor Smut who would love to see Eyelet is an asylum.

While on the run from Smut, Eyelet sees the Illuminator being stolen and follows the thief to an unknown part of town that is full of deadly creatures and criminals. No choice but to trust the stranger, Eyelet learns the Illuminator is much more than for her.

Love the cover.

Short Review*

This book started off really well. You get a brief look into the past before all crap hits the fan. I loved it. But as quickly as things started was as quickly as things died down.

Eyelet is in an interesting character in the sense that she feels entitled while also having no idea what she is doing. She puts herself in a situation that she really cannot get out of but not because she couldn’t figure something out but because she just doesn’t do anything. This bothered me so much. She rather throw herself into someone’s else business instead of handling her own.

The fact that the relationship with Eyelet and the stranger leads to romance is crazy because it doesn’t feel genuine. The stranger has a bit of a bipolar complex and I don’t mean that in a light way. His on and off switch is rapidly moving.

Another issue that bothered me about this book is that neither one of them try to actually get to know each other. They assumptions or ignore each other. So you have to understand why I am confused about their emotions.

Overall, the book was boring which was sad since it started off well enough. It was a hard read that I constantly picked up and put down.

1 Pickle

Book Review: Etiquette & Espionage (Finishing School, #1) by Gail Carriger

Little, Brown Books for Young Readers Published Feb. 5, 2013 307 Pages
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
Published Feb. 5, 2013
307 Pages

Sophronia has always been a lot to handle as a baby but at 14 years old she becomes too much to bare. Her mother, at her the end of her wits, enrolls Sophronia in the Mademoiselle Geraldine’s Finishing Academy for Young Ladies of Quality. Here Sophronia is to learn how to become a proper lady.

Quickly Sophronia learns that this isn’t an ordinary school and that learning how to dance, dress and eat is part of the course but not the main focus. Soon Sophronia finds that her curious ways is needed in the field of espionage. 

Cute. That is the first thing that comes to mind when I was reading this book. Sophronia is an active girl both mentally and physically. She loves mechanics and figuring things out which makes her perfect for the school.

What I like about Sophronia is she is not just book smart. She has common sense and she isn’t drawn into herself. She is friendly and really nice girl. Overall just a very likable character.

I loved the pace of the novel. When you meet Sophronia she is in her element and things just move really well after the first introduction. However, my biggest issue with the book is there wasn’t much going on. Yes, there is a bigger picture and a mission Sophronia takes upon herself but leading up to these points there is no thrill, passion or intensity. Although I was in love with Sophronia and the surrounding characters, the lack of emotion provided a difficult read. Difficult in the sense that I didn’t feel the need to keep reading the book. I wasn’t curious enough about the school nor was I curious enough about what happens to Sophronia.  There wasn’t enough emotion but most importantly engagement.

But there is nothing in me that believes this book is bad. I enjoyed it. I enjoyed Sophronia, the surround characters and the pace. I just wanted more for the actual story. I wanted to be sucked in and sadly I wasn’t.

This story gets points for originality.

3 Pickles.










































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































































NetGalley Review: Ticker by Lisa Mantchev

Skyscape Published Dec. 1, 2014 273 Pages
Published Dec. 1, 2014
273 Pages

Penny Farthing is near death when surgeon Calvin Warwick is able to successfully swap out Penny’s bad heart with a brass ticker. But the moment when it is found that Warwick killed people in order to save Penny with an updated Ticker, Penny isn’t so happy that she was saved.

During Warwick’s last day of trial, the Farthing factory was bombed, their house was broken into and Penny and her brother Nic receive a ransom notice, demanding their parent’s secret information in order to have their parents back unharmed.  

With the help of Penny’s best friend Violet, a gentleman around the town (whatever that means) Sebastian and a young army general Marcus, Penny and Nic go on the search for their parents and the truth about Penny’s ticker.

The first pretty cover of the year!!!!!

This book was a dry read. The plot, the characters everything seemed un-lifelike which is crazy considering that the topic of life centralizes the entire book. Penny  lacked development and character. She did what she wanted and how she wanted.  She had little regard for her own life, which again is crazy!

The storyline didn’t really provide enough to keep me interested in the story. As much as I love when books start off in a really great scene, there is a way to do it right and the author did not provide enough of a griping point in order for me to understand why things were moving the way they were. Yes, do you get that information but the vagueness of what happened to her, her sister and the man who gave her a new heart last for way too long for me to enjoy the book.

Also the author added a very unnecessary element to a world of science; paranormal. It was thrown in there without any type of back-story or anything leading up to it to make me believe that the paranormal topic should be there.

What I did like about this story was the steampunk aspect of it. It was detailed and creative and there was a lot of though behind it.

Overall, the book was okay. Nothing spectacular.

2 Pickles


Quick Five© with A.L. Davroe

Name: A.L. Davroe

Who is A.L.? A wife, with a love of steampunk, cosplay, cats and corsets.

Books: Salvation Station, The Alchemist Perfect Instrument (City Steam #!), The Krie Seekers (City Steam #2), and For Your Heart (Hill Dweller-Retellings #1)

Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction & Fantasy and Romance

It is Motif Ink’s honor to present our readers with an interview with A.L. Davroe author of the City Steam series. Interviewd by Tania Lasenburg, Davroe explains her love of all things steampunk, how she is able to balance YA with adult maturity and what the difference between Steampunk and Cosplay is. Her books can be found on Amazon. ———————————————————————————————————————————————————————

Courtesy of A.L. Davroe
Courtesy of A.L. Davroe

What is it about Steampunk that drew you in? Is it the vintage aspect of it or is it because Steampunk seems to be a growing theme in the literature world?

My initial interest in Steampunk dovetailed off of an interest that I had in Gothic Neo-Victorian costuming.  I’ve always been a fan of the Victorian Era and it was the costuming aspect of Steampunk that initially drew my attention.  I loved how Steampunk redefined Victorian style and sensibilities while somehow managing to retain the positive aspects of that era.  It was like Neo-Victorian costuming in many ways, only way cooler.  Once I became interested in Steampunk, I started reading Steampunk literature and becoming heavily involved in the Steampunk community.  So, long story short, it was the vintage aspect that drew me in first.

What is your thought process when writing a book that is influenced by Steampunk? Are you interacting with those heavily involved with Steampunk and that lifestyle so to speak?

Steampunk is a new genre and it’s difficult to define.  I think that, in many ways, it will never be easily defined because the “punk” ideology that makes Steampunk what it is allows for Steampunk to remain fluid.  I’m very involved with the Steampunk community.  I have lots of friends who are writers or costumers and we go to Steampunk conventions all the time.  When asked to define Steampunk, each one of us will probably tell you something different.  Yet, we still all somehow manage to look and write something that retains that Steampunk feel.  For me, Steampunk has to have a punk or challenging aspect paired with a heavy Victorian Era background.  You can add an invention or fashion from another era; however, you have to have a good explanation for why it’s there and you need to make sure that mostly everything else around it (or about it) rings true to Victorian.  To me, Steampunk’s not about slapping gears or steam power into any ear that you please, it’s about redefining and working within the confines of the Victorian Age.  In my case when I started working on the City Steam series, the Empire retained the bulk of British colonial aspects but then I gave them Alchemistry which provided for the development of unique weaponry.  I also took the chance to revamp the women’s social movement by putting a female on a throne that controlled all these newfangled airships and chemical weapons.

   Tease Publishing LLC   Published Sept. 15, 2011        Ebook 13 Pages
         Tease Publishing LLC              Published Sept. 15, 2011
Ebook 13 Pages

On your website you state you enjoy cosplay, how does that compare to Steampunk? Are there differences that can be spotted in your novels or are they similar?

To me, Steampunk costuming is a subset of cosplay.  Cosplay (literally “costume play”) is all about dressing to represent a character or idea from popular media.  I suppose a lot of people only think of cosplay as dressing like a specific person from a comic or a book, but dressing to a literary theme is also acceptable to me because…what else would you call it?  It’s certainly not historic reenactment. As for the differences between Steampunk and cosplay in my novels, in my Steampunk work, the characters in Dormorn are actually living that life, so how they dress in the book is literally their everyday wear.  Someone in our current era (like, for example, Jeanette from my YA book FOR YOUR HEART could choose to dress like they are from Dormorn or choose to play one of my characters when they go to a convention and that would be cosplay.

There seems to be a bit of a fine line between the two and most adult now a days are comfortable reading YA books because there is a bit of a mature adult in them. How are you able to satisfy that reader who wants a YA book but with maturity.

Well, my YA books tend to be for upper YA readers.  Like Maggie Stiefvater and Melissa Marr, I push the envelope a little bit with what I allow my characters to do.  There is sex and violence in my books, so that automatically tends to draw adult readers.  I also think I tend to write more complex books that often touch on politics, religion, and deep mythologies, so that’s also a draw for older readers.  I don’t mind putting these things into books because I think we grossly underestimate how intelligent our children can be.  They get things.  I’m also not naive enough to believe that kids aren’t doing these things in high school (or even middle school for that matter).  I don’t think it’s wise to sweep it under the rug and not talk about some of the darker issues teens face.  Because even if they aren’t facing it, they know someone who is and even adults can relate to that.  But, in order to make it appropriate for my younger readers, I try to write without too much of the detail and I try to really explore the initial feelings and consequences for certain actions.

Finally, what made you want to become a writer?
I have no clue. Seriously. I used to do my writing assignments in school and sometimes my mom would read what I’d written and say, “This is really good,” but I never really thought about becoming a writer.  I didn’t even know that I enjoyed writing until I got to high school and one of my anime fan friends convinced me to start a fanfic (fan fiction) with her.  She liked what I wrote and I liked writing it.  A few weeks later, I finished my first Tamora Pierce book.  I was waiting to get picked up from school and it wasn’t my turn to write in the fanfic (fan fiction), but I really wanted to write something like Pierce’s book.  So, I just started writing my own story.  I worked on that series throughout high school and part of college.  I still hope to one day get it published, but it needs a lot of work, I’ve grown a lot as a writer since then.  When I was a sophomore in college, I got the idea for the first Dark Covenant book.  I spent the next five years writing the book and by the last year, the need to write it possessed me so fully that I had to quit one my jobs so that I could focus on it.  Once it was written, I had this overwhelming desire to share this amazing concept with other people.  That’s when I decided that I’d try to get it published and started trying to find an agent.  Since the completion of the first Dark Covenant book, I’ve finished six other books.  Every day I’m more and more driven to put stories to paper and my stories want to be told.  I think that’s what makes a real writer, someone who is possessed by the story; not the other way around.  I can’t even think of myself as anything but a writer now.

To know more about A.L. Davroe and her books there are a few things you can do:

Follow her Goodreads here

Follow her Twitter here or

Her website here

If you are interested in having your book reviewed or having a Quick Five© with Tania, please email her at wordpress174@gmail.com