Tag Archives: steampunk

Review – Rotten Magic by Jeffrey Bardwell @twigboat

Book & Author Details:

Rotten Magic by Jeffrey Bardwell
Publication date: August 9th 2017
Genres: Steampunk, Dark Fantasy

Rotten MagicDevin will do anything to win. Even resort to magic.

Devin competes to become the best artificer in the mage phobic Iron Empire. Who needs magic when you can master the art of machinery? The other apprentices envy his genius and skills . . . especially Benson. Every apprentice hones their craft building and fighting in crude prototypes of powered armor. Some add frills, others barbs or horns. When Devin transforms himself into a mechanical dragon to slaughter the competition, Benson steps into the role of dragon slayer.

But Devin harbors a secret as he claws his way to the top of the Artificer’s Guild: he’s a mage. These new abilities are thrilling and frightening, and the voices more so. How long can Devin be content wearing a steel dragon mask when the seductive promise of true arcane power whispers in his ear?

Experience the novella prequel to the Artifice Mage Saga: a fantasy steampunk brawl of metal vs. magic where sorcery is bloody, science is greasy, and nobody’s hands are clean.

review

Although this is described as a novella prequel to the Artifice Mage series, I didn’t find it particularly illuminating  as the start to a series.  And, as it appears that this addition to the series was released after Book 1, I’m not entirely sure that it was intended to be the series starter.

I confess that I found myself confused for much of this book.  There wasn’t much in the way of back story or explanation for the voices or the game or, well, anything.  As a result, it was a slow read and felt longer than 126 pages.

I didn’t particularly connect with any of the characters, and found some of their behaviours and reactions to be somewhat inconsistent.

Sadly, although I can see the promise in the plot line, I’m afraid that the delivery didn’t sell it for me.

I voluntarily reviewed an advanced reader copy of this book.

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purchase links

Amazon (Universal Link)

About the author

Jeffrey Bardwell is an ecologist with a Ph.D. who loves fantasy, amphibians, and reptiles. The author devours fantasy and science fiction novels, is most comfortable basking near a warm wood stove, and has eaten a bug or two. The author populates his own novels with realistic, fire breathing lizards. These dragons are affected by the self-inflicted charred remains of their environment, must contend with the paradox of allometric scaling, and can actually get eaten themselves.

The author lives on a farm, is perhaps overfond of puns and alliterations, and is a gigantic ham. When not in use, he keeps his degrees skinned and mounted on the back wall of his office. Email at: jhbardwell@gmail.com

author links

Website | Facebook | Twitter

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Blitz & #giveaway – Steamsworn by Eric R Asher @ericrasher @xpressoreads

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Book & Author Details:

Steamsworn by Eric R. Asher
(The Steamborn Series #3)
Publication date: April 5th 2016
Genres: Steampunk, Young Adult

Steamsworn.jpgSynopsis:

The world dies in war only to be reborn. It is the way of things, and always will be.

Forged in the Deadlands crucible, and armed with the knowledge of their true enemy, Jacob, Alice, and their allies bring the fight back to Ancora. They’ll liberate their homeland, or die trying.

The wounds cut deep in their darkest hour, but in the end, vengeance will light their path.

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excerpt

“Whoa,” she said, jumping away from the burst of heat and flame. “That went up a little faster than I expected.” She reached the edge of the rack with her toe and forced it beneath the boiler.

Another rumble and crack echoed from the corridor behind them. Jacob turned around in time to see Drakkar come running back into the station, his cloak rising in the breeze behind him.

“Scythe Beetles!”

Jacob swung the air cannon off his back and racked the slide.

“Jacob, Alice!” Samuel’s voice rang with authority. “Fall back with Smith. If you need to use the cannon, use it at the last second. You don’t want to injure a Scythe Beetle. You want to kill it.”

Drakkar’s arm snapped out to the side, and his sword unfolded with a rapid series of clicks.

There was a calamity behind the Cave Guardian, and it grew louder with every second. Jacob and Alice scrambled off the railcar. Jacob paused and then ran to the pump to turn it off. The last thing they needed was wet fuel bars.

Alice made it to Smith ten steps before Jacob did. Samuel and Drakkar set up a loose line between the railcar and a steeper section of the shattered wall.

Smith spoke into his transmitter. “Mary! Get the chaingun down here now!

Her static-laced reply came back in an incoherent burst.

“Chaingun! Now!”

Mary cursed and began shouting orders before she stopped transmitting.

Drakkar had the best view of the corridor, and everyone tensed when he said, “Here they come.”

The iron gate in the stone hall collapsed at the first impact. The metal rattled and screeched as it was twisted and trampled. The creatures were not very fast, but once they were moving, nothing seemed to stop them.

They ran on three-toed claws, the spikes on their legs tearing through stone and rending metal as they crashed onto the platform. Jacob watched in awe and horror as the front most beetle paused, and its back split open. A pair of leathery wings extended from beneath the carapace and gleamed in the rising moonlight.

purchase links

 

 Amazon US | B&N | Amazon UK

 

About the author

EricEric is a former bookseller, guitarist, and comic seller currently living in Saint Louis, Missouri. A lifelong enthusiast of books, music, toys, and games, he discovered a love for the written word after being dragged to the library by his parents at a young age. When he is not writing, you can usually find him reading, gaming, or buried beneath a small avalanche of Transformers.

 

author links

Website | Facebook | Goodreads | Twitter

giveaway

Enter the giveaway HERE

Review – Dream of Me by A Star @DianthaJones @xpressoreads @xpressotours

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Book details:

Dream of Me by A. Star
(The Djinn Order #2)
Publication date: January 19th 2016
Genres: Adult, Fantasy, Romance, Steampunk

DreamofMe.jpgSynopsis:

Glory St. Pierre never thought so many lies could hold so much truth, especially when her entire life has been one of those lies. Now that she knows who she really is, she must find a way to come to terms with it before the Djinn sorcerer Rasputin and his steel army descend down upon the human and Djinn realms, wielding magic so dark even her own Djinn lover, Irving, is wary of it.

Their only hope to save the realms are a couple of hunters and the Lords of the Djinn Order, four powerful Djinn who have remained elusive for centuries. Armed with her only granted wish, a fabulous airship, and the Djinn she loves by her side, Glory will embark on a quest to find the four lords and enlist their help. But there is a reason the lords have been in hiding, and once this tiny band of adventurers awakens them from their slumber, they will set off a chain of events that has been in the making since the beginning of time.

There is no turning back now.

review

I have a problem with this book.  It’s too short – I wanted more!

That aside, this novel was all about developing the relationships.  But secrets and lies permeate those relationships, causing them to be tested.  And, when there is a lack of communication, there is potential for misunderstanding.

The story-telling kept me on edge, waiting for the other shoe to drop.  And, for me at least, it felt as though Glory’s mother’s feelings were the ones that were bleeding through the narrative and colouring Glory’s interactions.

Looking forward to book 3.

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purchase links

(Book 1 – Wish For Me – will be 99¢ the week of the tour!)

Book 1 buy links:

Amazon US | B&N | Amazon UK

Book 2 buy links:

Amazon US | Amazon UK

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About the author

AStarAuthorA Star is a fan of dirty passion. She loves to read it, and she damn sure loves to write it. She is the author of the Mythos: Gods & Lovers series and the Djinn Order series. She is a night-owl and a coffee junkie, and the only sneaker she would be caught dead wearing are Converses.

author links

Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter