A Book Review of Terra Mechanica: A Steampunk Anthology
Terra Mechanica is a lush, diverse journey through strange, yet familiar histories, full of intrigue, airships, pirates, villains, clockwork machinery, and emotional nuances. Each story opens a distinct world, and sails you through a fascinating expedition of wonder and beguiling characters. While most of the roads you explore are straightforward, with few twists, they are all pleasant, enjoyable and a delight to explore.
The anthology is devised of nine stories, all built around the same theme: a world journey. The settings are varied, from an across Europe trek, airship flights in Russia and the South Pacific, a chase from France to Morocco, Indochina and Quebec, voyages to Western America, and to India and beyond. Each story holds a different point of view, while keeping the feel and aesthetics essential to steampunk.
As with all anthologies, I enjoyed some stories more than I did others, although I can’t say there was one I truly didn't like. I preferred the ones with more emotional and reflective style, finding Dr. Pax's Great Unsinkable Bird by J. R. Potter, Seven-year Itch by Rie Sheridan Rose and Priority Passage by S. D. Simper as highlights of the book, but I also enjoyed Dots, Dashes, and Deceit by Jay Barnson as a delightful adventure romp. However, the showpiece of the entire book, for me, was The Promise by Michael Cross. I loved the way that story shifted through vignette glimpses of lives, weaving a captivating patchwork whole, but still leaving pieces to the imagination of the reader. If there was one story that I found slightly disappointing, it was Ripper Bound by TC Phillips. While I found it well written and a good read, the plot, to me, seemed a bit predictable in its direction. And to be fair, I may have been a bit more critical with this one, as it falls very close to the horror genre.
Overall, Terra Mechanica: A Steampunk Anthology is a charming, and entertaining book, with shades of stories running from dark to light. I highly recommend it.
Terra Mechanica: A Steampunk Anthology is available at Amazon
You can find other retail links through the publisher's website, Xchyler Publishing.
And here's the very cool book trailer: