In the meantime, the Lady Mechanika comics really got me back into a steampunk mood so I started the reading frenzy off with the last installment in the "Magnificent Devices" series.
Fields of Gold by Shelley Adina
I started reading this with excitement and trepidation. I knew this was going to be the last in the series (even though the author has promised some spin offs, this will be the end for the major characters we have grown accustomed to) and that brings it own sadness to the book. But I was determined to enjoy the conclusion and see how everything turned out for the gang.
I feel like some of the strings were more hastily tied then others, though. As usual the hi-jinks are high and the risks grand, which keeps the story moving and action-packed, but the actual development of characters and story were rushed in parts while dragging through some tedious scenery in others.
The foreshadowing was pretty heavy and obvious of where the story would be ending and I was guessed right on all accounts. It turns out the fields were not made of gold for me. Again, I was disappointed by an author trying to be modern and the book ended up a little too preachy for my tastes.
I am aware this is a story about war and rebellion and finding peace amongst all that violence and chaos. There are going to be some strong opinions and these have always been characters of strong (and often loud) character -- you wouldn't have the tension that makes reading worth anything otherwise -- but the soapbox was full and loud this go around.
I won't be recommending this trilogy of the series to anyone, but I will recommend readers enjoy the Lady of Devices and her Mopsies. They are a bright spot in steampunk. I might even still consider the spin off series that is mentioned at the very end, where we finally get to find out who Dutch is, but I have to admit I am very unsure if I will or won't at this time.