Friday, April 9, 2010

Steamed by Katie MacAlister

I hadn't heard of this book until my lovely friend Red over at Texas Red Books reviewed it. Steampunk has hovered at the edges of my sci-fi interest for several years, but I'd never really made a foray into the genre until recently. During my trip to DragonCon last fall, there were quite a few people dressed in Steampunk gear. The most amazing, awesome Steampunk gear was someone who had kitted out his wheelchair! It was so well-done.

My dad was caught up in the Steampunk trend and since getting back home has made his own Steampunk jewelry. I'm glad that he's found a new hobby, and I keep hassling him to get his things up on Etsy. Once he finally does, I'll post a link for all those who might be interested. I think he does a great job, and I hope everyone else does, too!

Anyway! The book! I love the cover art to begin with. It's so well done! I feel like it really captured the essence of Steampunk. I was expecting a book that was set completely in an alternate Steampunk universe, but this book wasn't. Two of the main characters were catapulted into the Steampunk universe through an accident of nanotechnology.

I found the point of view rather confusing. MacAlister used first person and switched between telling the story from the girl's point of view to the guy's point of view. It was hard to keep track of who was telling the story sometimes.

I also ended up feeling like MacAlister was advocating the advantages of living in our universe as opposed to a Steampunk universe. I don't feel like that was true to the Steampunk "code," so to speak. If I read Steampunk or dress Steampunk or write Steampunk, I believe in Steampunk. I believe that it is better than the way we live. That wasn't the feeling I got from MacAlister.

I got a sort of deux ex machina feeling from the book as well. The heroine always knew just the right person in order to pull their bacon out of the frying pan each time. It felt just a little too contrived for me.

Overall, I did enjoy the book, even though I had some criticisms. I enjoyed the foray into the Steampunk world, I enjoyed the romance, and I hope that MacAlister is going to continue to tell the story of the Steampunk universe she has created.

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