Tag Archives: Fantasy

Boom Time by Michelle E. Lowe

Boom TimeBoom Time by Michelle E. Lowe

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I got a review copy of Ms. Lowe’s first novel of her Legacy series and quickly ran through the other five in just over a month (I sort of did have other reading on my plate!) Through a smattering of snippet correspondence with her over some questions and feedback, I learned she’d written the six in succession over a year and a half. And she sent me a copy of this with a kind inscription, “To Jim, I’m glad our paths have crossed {smiley face} Enjoy Boom Time!” Between a December vacation, holidays, a bout of flu, and just life, not to mention finishing a few other reading projects, I didn’t get back to this until the end of January. And of course, I got interrupted… Continue reading

Guns of Liberty by Jamie Mauchline

Guns of LibertyGuns of Liberty by Jamie Mauchline

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received a review copy of this from Book Sirens.

I find the older I get, the less forgiving I am of fantasies that take a long time, if they ever do, to provide the context and framework of the universes in which the fantasies take place. That’s one reason I still have not finished Neuromancer…(that and sometimes neologisms annoy me.) Despite the breakneck pace of this debut novel, the pretty much nonstop action needed quite a bit of description, but Mauchline doesn’t really provide that framework and context of that universe. Hints are teased and spread over that action. Just what is an Inquisitor in this world? What is the religion, and the dynamic of the Liberty Empire? Oh, some things are clear – flintlocks (and revolvers), cannons, airships, and…radio? Airships captained like a Hornblower novel or a Sabatini novel, with excellent sailing details that are nonetheless a wee distorted because …well, no ocean. Mauchline has a grasp of what it takes to man a cannon, and the damage balls can do, but the (anti)hero ship gets repaired rather quickly.

I don’t think the characters develop enough, nor that world. Nor the backstory, but… it is still quite engaging and I understand there will be at least another book. I look forward to more background next time, and appreciate the opportunity to read a review copy of this one.

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Legacy: Bounty Hunter by Michelle_E_Lowe

Legacy: Bounty Hunter (Legacy, #4)Legacy: Bounty Hunter by Michelle E. Lowe

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Foiled again by the partial review “save” demon…losing everything to, maybe this time, the void. So…reconstructing…life and a holiday interrupted the reading of this – it’s an easy read and the differential from start to finish dates doesn’t reflect that. I got a review copy of the first in this series (Legacy), after seeing in the description “Steampunk, Fantasy” and I did not think it had much of either, but the author told me that she added more as the series progressed. And that she did. Ramped up the steampunk and the fantasy in this one. Half a world away from the origins of the stories allows some creative turns.

When we last saw our protagonist, he was leaving merry old Europe for a new life in Hawaii with a new wife and an old family (read the stories…I’m not spoiling). We pick up the story as they stop in Sonora, Mexico…but not the Sonora of 1843 that we know. As I said, Ms. Lowe ramps up… probably more appropriate to say gears up … the steampunk element. At the same time, the fantasy takes yet another turn (again…read the stories… or someone’s synopsis if you’re of the TLDR sort) or three.

Side adventures abound; plot twists evoking a 1930s cliffhanger serial vibe at times to me; more hints as to the primary title in the series – but only hints…must needs read the rest to find out everything, I’m guessing.

Warning to parents: along with the steampunk and fantasy ramping, the quite adult content of a few small passages is also ramped. Minimal, but present.

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Legacy by Michelle E. Lowe

LegacyLegacy by Michelle E. Lowe

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

I received an electronic review copy of this from the publisher through Book Sirens in exchange for a review. Disclosure: I like visual steampunk – creations of a largely amateur following (though there are some that are quite professional in their imagining), and haven’t been too moved by movies or shows that purport to be steampunk. I’ve listened to and acquired some of a taste for the aural incarnations of genre. What I find lacking is written forms that I can enjoy. So I requested this because the description called it “An unforgettable steampunk fantasy novel set in Victorian England.” Well… I must have missed something because there were only slight hints at steampunk. Fantasy? Yes. Steampunk? Not really.

I did not know this was published in 2016, but that’s the copyright on my review copy, though on Goodreads, there is a note of “first published March 16th 2015”. When I logged it, I saw “The Legacy #1”. Turns out there are five more in the series (so far?) This is good because I found this one to be a little light. Light on the fantasy, though better than average on the story. And I thought it was light on development and backstory. At times it seemed as though I’d missed a first book, but that would be this, so that wasn’t it. [As a rule, I don’t like to summarize fiction in my reviews because I don’t want to spoil for any potential reader. There are usually plenty of plot summaries out there is one is so inclined.] The villain is over the top without that backstory, and the fantasy elements are few. Some are so vague – I expect those to be resolved in the sequels, but if a reader didn’t want to continue? There was a surprise that was completely unanticipated…I’ll leave it for the reader to learn when it appears.

[Edit: I forgot to mention…]…there are some alternate history items that are interesting to me. Enough said there.

So…not what I expected, not as advertised (I do not know if that was publisher blurb or some reviewer who really doesn’t know steampunk), but intriguing and engaging enough that I will check out the next. I appreciate the opportunity to review.

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