Saturday, June 6, 2015

Is it steampunk; is it fantasy? Your call.

Travelling for work put my schedule a little behind again. I feel that this year I am constantly apologizing for being late on a post. Well, it is also unfortunately meaning that I am egregiously behind on my to-read list. The plus side--the books I have read lately have been worth falling behind. Released this week is the first in a series of books that I can't quite fit onto any one shelf, an excellent quality in a book.

The Shadow Revolution by Clay Griffith

I came to this ARC in a search for male leads. I realized the other week that I have been binged out on female protagonists. It seems a sad direction for my reading and the general publishing world. Where did all the non-sparkly males go? Do I have to read some form of military novel or other such violent story to find a male character that is not swooning over life and little lily-livered? Fortunately not with this novel.

The husband-wife duo managed to create an interesting fantasy with a man leading the show. There is also alchemy, magic, supernaturals, and a strong female. There was actual balance to this novel, from the characters to the genre bending.

The magics used are interesting and I look forward to seeing their development through the rest of the trilogy. The druidic mysticism just built Simon's character of male cockiness and intrigue. I really do look forward to more runes and their natural interaction with our own human abilities. Alchemy is always good and very welcome in a fantasy that sits on the steampunk line; a very welcome addition to the traditional druid magic. The authors were very authentic with the feel of scientific endeavor and inquisitiveness instinctual to the ever searching nerd type. The whole science added a natural strength to Kate's character of will.

There are no automatons or dirigibles from your usual steampunk and the magic-supernatural creatures combo is a little more than traditional fantasy. I will say again that this book just had an excellent balance to the old genre traditions and the newer tastes of modern readers. My favorite were the homunculi, though. Creepy. So very creepy. But a subject I have been drawn towards since I watched Fullmetal Alchemist. I was glad to see them present in a fantasy novel.

The action moves along at quite a clip and there really are no dull moments. Witty dialogue keeps the plot moving when steampunk motorcycles and rocket launchers aren't carrying away the show. All the characters have depth and interaction in ways to connect to most every reader type. There really are few things to notice wrong with the story.

I will highly recommend this story to all. It is now on sale. Head out to your local indie retailer or hit up a digital copy for your e-reader. The even better part? The second and third novels will be releasing within quick succession!

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