Thursday, 12 June 2014

A Stellar Voyage: A Review of Terra Mechanica: A Steampunk Anthology

Here's something I haven't done in a while, posted a book review. The following are my musings on Terra Mechanica: A Steampunk Anthology...

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:


Unknown said...

Thanks for posting your review! Will it appear on Amazon or Goodreads also?

A. F. Stewart said...

Already posted on Amazons US and Canada, and Goodreads, plus Barnes and Noble.

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