Category Archives: Steampunk

The Flight of the Darkstar Dragon by Benedict Patrick – Review

Next up on David’s Book Blurg is The Flight of the Darkstar Dragon by Benedict Patrick

Here’s the blurb

Genre: – Fantasy/Steampunk

Lost with her ship and crew in an unfamiliar land, Min’s first command could be her last.

Nothing here behaves the way it should:

The magic that powers her skyship has been drained, rendering it immobile.

The sky is an endless twilight, lit by the luminous fish that swim in it.

Off starboard, there’s also the country-sized dragon that is looking particularly hungry.

It will take all of Min’s training and experience to get her people safely back home, but as the truth about the Darkstar Dimension begins to be revealed, Min will have to prove to her crew – and to herself – that she is still the best person for the job.

Review

The Flight of the Darkstar Dragon is the newest offering from Benedict Patrick. I’ve been a fan of the author for a while after being sucked into his work with his rather unique imagination. The style of writing always keeps me engaged and its impossible to put his books down.

In the latest offering we are following Min.. Captain of the Melodious Narwhal.. well I say Captain but she’s not really and the rest of the crew have no issues with letting their commanding officer know what they think of her and her fancy academy training.

When we first meet the crew they are in danger as their ship plummets to the ground.. the issue is no one knows what’s went wrong..or even where they are..

Now it wouldn’t be much of a story if they died in chapter one so it won’t shock you to know they make it.. just.. it’s then they realise things aren’t quite right and it slowly becomes apparent this isn’t their home.

Slowly drifting towards and island they notice they aren’t alone and this is where we meet the wonderful Brightest..this old man has a lot of tricks up his sleeve and the biggest is the fact the island isn’t quite an island.. I’ll say no more on that J

We soon learn from Brightest that the Darkstar Dimension sucks all sorts of things into it from other worlds.. including them..the issue is the ship is broken and they have no way to get home.

A moment of hope is given when Brightest explains these rifts that open into the Darkstar Dimension sometimes have a pattern to their movements and Min’s homeworld will reappear.. in three years!

Faced with that bombshell the crew have mixed feelings.. There must be a way home..and what price are they willing to pay to get there?

Min is pitted against some of the crew in a battle that will test her resolve.. she’s strong willed and wants to uphold the values set by her people.. but not everyone agrees.

While Min tries to keep her crew in check Brightest takes her on a trip through a rift in search of food supplies.. while there who will keep the crew in check?

What happens next is full on heart stopping! The Darkstar Dragon is hungry.. and the one thing keeping them safe is also their one chance of making it home but can Min convince the crew the price is too high? As the suspense builds so does the excitement!

There’s so many wonderful characters in this book and the plot was just exceptional.. I don’t know where the author’s ideas come from but he continues to amazing me.

The only word I can think of the describe the book is “exceptional”

The pace of the tale is slow at first.. so many questions waiting to be answered but the author has put you right in Min’s shoes.. you learn as she does and this perspective just adds to the suspense of the unknown.

There seems like endless possibilities in this world that’s been created so I do hope more is on the way 🙂

Full 5/5 Stars from me for the author who continues to offer fun, exciting and gripping tales.. I almost feel bad that I burn through his books so fast but they are just so damn good!

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads

The Watson Letters Volume 1: Something Wicker This Way Comes by Colin Garrow – Review

Today I’m going to share my thoughts on The Watson Letters Volume 1: Something Wicker This Way Comes by Colin Garrow.

Here’s the blurb :-

Genre – Historical Mysteries

In a not quite Post-Victorian, steampunk parallel universe, Holmes and Watson continue their fight against crime.
Based on the infamous Blog of the same name, this indecorous take on the Holmes and Watson stories pitch the detecting duo into Whitechapel, the Western Isles and the Village of the Damned. Adult humour throughout.

THE WATSON LETTERS is book #1 in this Victorian comedy adventure series.

Review

I chanced upon Colin Garrow while on Twitter.. I’m nosy so had a look at the books he’s written..Sherlock Holmes? YES PLEASE!.

Sherlock has always been a favourite of mine, his humour dark as well as the subjects he explores.

This collection is written from Watson’s viewpoint as he chronicles the cases he and Sherlock examine. More often than not Holmes leaves Watson in the dark and this is where the adult humour really comes in. The relationship between the two was so much fun.. humorous..witty..

I really enjoyed the short sharp style diary entries which made it easy to read. It was exciting and riveting, a thoroughly enjoyable read!

It can’t be easy writing a story based on a well-known figure..how can you live up to expectations? For me Garrow got it spot on and I immediately felt at home with the tale and I loved it from the first page to the last!

Why did I choose to read this book you might wonder? Well I read a lot and sometimes I need a change of pace or an easy quick read. At under 150 pages this filled my needs for a quick read..but what I got was so much more than I could have expected and I’m so glad I took the time to enjoy this beauty of a book.

My rating – 5/5 Stars!

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads

Free-Wrench by Joseph Lallo (@jrlallo)- Review

Title – Free-Wrench
Author – Joseph Lallo
Genre – Science Fiction, Steampunk
Length – 153 Pages
Publication – July 2014
My Rating –5/5 Stars

Synopsis

The islands of Caldara are a shining jewel in a rather bleak world. A terrible calamity in the past had blanketed much of the world with a toxic “fug.” Those who survived were forced to take to the mountains and the skies in wondrous airships. Life has since been a struggle, with only the most ruthless and crafty able to survive. To spare themselves the same fate, the Calderans erected a battery of guns to fend off the airships of the mainland. They isolated themselves from the madness of the world, choosing instead to focus on the pursuits of art and creativity. Few believe the technologically advanced but socially barbarous outsiders have anything to offer. Amanita Graus, though, is hoping that they do.

Nita’s mother has lost her livelihood and perhaps soon her life to a terrible disease. Already the black sheep of the family for embracing engineering rather than art, Nita resolves to leave the safety of her home and do whatever it takes to find a cure. For a price, the bizarre crew of an airship called The Wind Breaker are willing to grant her a meeting with their mysterious benefactors, and thus a chance to procure the one thing with a chance to save her mother.

Free-Wrench follows Nita’s adventures in a steampunk world of airships and lunatics. Helping her in her journey are an eccentric crew of smugglers; the gruff Cap’n Mack, the simple but enthusiastic Lil and Coop, the arrogant marksman Gunner, the surly surgeon Butch, and the irritable mascot Wink. To survive and find what she seeks she’ll need to earn their trust, follow their rules, and meet face to face with the people who pull the strings of their society.

Review

I’ve had this book on my TBR list for a while and I thought it was about time I gave the author my attention. I’m very glad I did.

Free-Wrench follows Nita, she’s good with machines..I think she could probably fix anything given the time.

The book starts off giving a little background to Nita’s life..  she works in the steamworks which is a very demanding job and we quickly learn how good she is.

A couple of events happen that conspire to change her life forever. Her mother has an illness which can’t be cured and by chance see gets to meet some smugglers.. these smugglers know a lot about the world and know a cure is out there..but it will be a high price if they can get it for her at all.

Nita is happy to pay the price but doesn’t trust the smugglers so adds her services to the bargain in order to keep an eye on things.. this is when things quickly escalate.

Loyalties are tested, relationships forged in the heat of battle and secrets are revealed..It appears those who pull strings hold all the cards..but for how long?

This was a very enjoyable tale with airships and gun battles and one very interesting/fun and nosy lead character.

What made the tale even better was the crew of the airship, the Wind Breaker. Each have their own reason for being on board and we learn a little about each throughout the tale. The interactions between the characters is really what made me enjoy the book, fun at times then at others deathly serious.

This is a great introduction to a series which I fully intend to keep reading. I can only say I’m sorry it took me so long 🙂

It’s a fast paced, well written, easy flowing, wild ride of a tale suitable for young adults up and at 153 pages it won’t take you long to be hooked in.

Best of all you can pick the book up on Amazon for free!

Have a look and tell me what you make of it. Please do let me know if you’ve read the other books in the series, I’d love to know what you think of them.

To find out more head to Amazon or Goodreads.