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review 2017-08-19 21:36
Lady Mechanika - Vol. 1
Lady Mechanika, Volume 1: The Mystery of the Mechanical Corpse - Joe Benitez

[I received a copy of this book through NetGalley.]

Set in an alternate Victorian (circa 1879) England, this comics deals with Lady Mechanika, a private investigator/adventuress whose limbs are actually mechanical, and who’d like nothing more than to find out who made her like that and where she comes from; all the while being pitted against the sinister Blackpool Armaments Co. and both its shady employer and soldiers. In this arc, Mechanika investigates the death of a mysterious young woman with mechanical arms similar to her own, only to realise that a lot more players are involved, including Commander Winter and a circus full of characters each with their own secrets.

The drawing style itself is, in general, well-balanced and elegant, and the colours match the mood of the various panels and situations. It’s probably a little overkill on the steampunk aesthetics (in that at some point, there’s going to be a lot of leather and corsets and goggles on top hats etc.), so depending on one’s mood about that, it may not be a selling point. On the other hand, there’s a lot of attention to details, which makes it a joy to look for those in panels, and even if they’re of the, well, aesthetic persuasion in spite of usefulness, there’s plenty to keep your eyes busy. (I usually tends to like steampunk aesthetics, so count me in the second category, even though I tend to criticise lightly. ^^)

Not bonus points on the boobs, though, and some of the extreme ‘female body poses’ that I see in a lot of comics. Eye candy and all that, I get it. It’s just... it detracts from the overall badassness of the characters. (And large boobs are seriously not convenient, especially since they easily hurt during stunts. Whatever.)

The characters as a lot were likeable enough: from Mechanika herself, with her doubts but also her resourcefulness and her desire to do what’s right, to Lewis the inventor whose bottle problems hint at dark events in his past. And the little Alexandra, with her gimmick ‘you’re an impostor’atttitude, which made her quibs with Mechanika quite funny—apparently some authors in the comics write stories about M, and the kid thinks these are the truth. There seems to be a current of underlying relationships that beg to be developed in later issues, creating a sense of an over-plot that will be gradually revealed (which I sure hope will happen in later issues because if it doesn’t, I’ll be disappointed). So far I’m not too happy with the two enemy women apparently becoming enemies because of a man (as it’s a pretty boring reason), but it may still turn out to be something slightly different, so we’ll see. I could do with a little less wordiness, though—it doesn’t fare too well in some panels, making pages difficult to focus on—yet I’m also torn about that because some of that dialogue was of the banter kind, and I think this fits well with Victorian/steampunk themes in general.

Conclusion: 3.5 stars, going on 4.Quite an enjoyable comics in spite of the (typical?) eye-candy. I still liked the artwork and additional covers no matter what, as well as the story and its slight cliffhanger/ominous tones at the end.

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review 2017-08-13 15:22
Audio Book Review: Steampunk Is Dead
Steampunk is Dead (The Feedback Loop) (V... Steampunk is Dead (The Feedback Loop) (Volume 2) - Harmon Cooper

*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.


I enjoy listening to Jeff. He really makes the story feel like a full cast of people. Jeff does extras as he's narrating to go with what the characters are doing. One example is a slightly different sound to the air when talking to someone on a phone. All these small extras and the voices creates a world and people for us. Jeff is not only talented in voice, but portraying emotions felt in these characters. Good grief does he make it lively and fun to listen too!

From the first paragraph we see that Quantum is struggling with living in the real world. He was in the digital world fighting for so long, that those habits have stuck. Living style and slang from the noir fantasy he was in are still what's fresh in his mind, so we still get the sassy one liners. Quantum seems to find a balance in his trigger happiness and jobs, though this doesn't happen right away. It's, actually, kind of brutal for all around him until he does. lol. But, eventually it seems like there is a balance, when he finally goes to one place where he feels at home.

Quantum still has his sense of humor with living people, though they don't seem to react as creative with him as the characters in the feedback loop do. He toys with people all the time. lol.

I was excited to get into this book. I enjoy steampunk! With Quantum's humor and view of things around him, I thought it'd be interesting to see him in a steam punk world. Seriously! The weapons that could be crafted here...imagination run wild with ideas for weapons... Is it terrible that I got excited when we got to a big weapons cache? lol.

Just like in video games, there is always trouble when you least expect it and from people you may not expect too. This, along with Quantum always attacking everyone, is what keeps the story moving with action.

I thoroughly enjoy the way these storylines are written in the gaming world. I know we are in a video type game, but Quantum and Frances interact as though they were associating with other people. The worlds are different but a pleasure to visit. It's like a treat when we get to dive into The Loop.

The title of the book. I'm shocked! It'll all make sense when you read/listen to the book. It's totally cool and the best title!

This story is a fun listen for me. It's full of action and off hand comments and sayings from Quantum. Quantum makes it fun with his trigger happy feel to kill anyone that tells him no or questions him and his snarky remarks.

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review 2017-07-27 21:59
The Girl in The Steel Corset
The Girl in the Steel Corset - Kady Cross

Not a lot to say besides I really liked this book. I thought it mixed together the elements of steampunk and the Victorian Age very well. I loved the characters, and I loved how Cross added in Gothic elements as well by using inspiration from some stories we all know and love (Frankenstein--well I hated that; Jekyll and Hyde--ditto) and threw some twists in.

 

"The Girl in the Steel Corset" included a nice little backstory to the character of Finley Jayne. From there it goes into the longer story that has Finley meeting other characters I assume we are to follow for the rest of this series. 


Finley's backstory gave us enough of a glimpse to know there is something about her. You don't know what. But at times she feels like she is two people trapped in one body. The short story that began before it included the longer story was so good. I loved it and wish we had followed up with characters introduced in that. When we catch up with Finley again, she ends up fighting off a young lord of the manor who thinks he can take her and do what he wills. When she flees after injuring him, she runs into Griffin King and his friends who are doing what they can to defend the country (England) against outside enemies.

 

Besides Finley and Griffin, we also have Emily, Sam, Jasper, and a young man called Jack Dandy. We quickly find out that Griffin and his friends (Emily, Sam, and Jasper) are out to capture a man/woman called The Machinist who is behind several crimes that took place involving automatons. However, suspicions turns towards Finley for maybe being involved with the Machinist when things start happening that shows that the criminal is out to get them. 

 

Even though this is a Young Adult book (and yeah I had no idea when I borrowed it from the library) this book reads much older. I didn't even realize the characters are teenagers until I saw someone's age mentioned. That's not a knock against Cross either, it was delightful to read young adults who actually for the most part had sense and thank goodness two love triangles reared their heads, but one was absolutely resolved and I think the other one is too for what it's worth. 

 

The only complaint I will say that I really did have is that this book was a bit too long. I know that Cross had to set up the other characters and do world building though so it's to be expected in the first book in a series. I just honestly didn't need the story to be swinging back to much to Sam. He got tiresome after a while. I do wish we had spent more time with Griffin's aunt on her adventures though.


The setting of a Victorian age with steampunk (think automatons walking around, things people cannot see that are little machines that can repair, people having eyes replaced, etc.) really hit the sweet spot for me.


The ending leaves things in the air for some people. I am definitely going to continue this series to see where it goes. 

 

 

Kindle edition: 473 pages

$10.00

Total: $ Balance: $189

 

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review 2017-07-27 12:42
Lady of Devices: A steampunk adventure novel (Magnificent Devices Book 1)
Lady of Devices - Shelley Adina

From Amazon's book page:

 

Lady of Devices: A steampunk adventure novel (Magnificent Devices, Book 1):

London, 1889. Victoria is Queen. Charles Darwin’s son is Prime Minister. And steam is the power that runs the world.

At 17, Claire Trevelyan, daughter of Viscount St. Ives, was expected to do nothing more than pour an elegant cup of tea, sew a fine seam, and catch a rich husband. Unfortunately, Claire’s talents lie not in the ballroom, but in the chemistry lab, where things have a regrettable habit of blowing up. When her father gambles the estate on the combustion engine and loses, Claire finds herself down and out on the mean streets of London. But being a young woman of resources and intellect, she turns fortune on its head. It’s not long before a new leader rises in the underworld, known only as the Lady of Devices.

When she meets Andrew Malvern, a member of the Royal Society of Engineers, she realizes her talents may encompass more than the invention of explosive devices. They may help her realize her dreams and his . . . but sometimes the closest friendships can trigger the greatest betrayals . . .

I just finished reading this free e-book, and I must say I was positively surprised. Since I bought my Kindle Touch I have downloaded and started reading so many free books and most of them weren't good enough to finish. This turned out to be among the few that was well worth reading to the end. My main complaint is that the story is a little too short and seems to end sort of in the middle - not quite - there is a resolution of sorts - but it comes rather quickly and feels a bit sudden. Normally, I wouldn't buy the next book when the author leaves the reader hanging, but in this case, I might make an exception. As I mentioned above, there is a sort of ending, even if it's too sudden for my taste.

Claire is a likeable character. As the book progresses we get to know more likable characters, mainly young women. There are of course a few men - one sympathetic and another less so. Time will tell how they will develop. When the story begins Claire belongs to the upper class and is miserable that her mother won't consider letting her go to university. She is passionate about engineering and loves to drive a steam driven car, even though it's not considered 'ladylike'. Soon her circumstances change dramatically. Being a resourceful young woman, she handles her situation well and manages to save herself.

 

If this sounds like your kind of thing, visit Amazon as soon as you can. The book is still available for free if you hurry.

Source: www.amazon.com/Lady-Devices-steampunk-adventure-Magnificent-ebook/dp/B0053CYXS0/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1501145280&sr=1-1&keywords=lady+of+devices
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text 2017-07-27 03:04
Reading progress update: I've read 100%.
The Girl in the Steel Corset - Kady Cross

When I get a chance I'll try to go back to this series. I really enjoyed the steampunk elements and loved it being set in the Victorian age in England. My main criticism is that it was a little overly long. 

 

Kindle edition: 473 pages

$10.00

Total: $ Balance: $189

 

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