[Epic announcer voice] In a world where I view reading time as one of my all-too-infrequent reprieves from a life lived in front of a screen [/End epic announcer voice], books on my Kindle app tend to languish unread indefinitely. So while I did at one point or another grab an e-copy of a certain retelling of Shakespeare’s classic “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” with gears on it, I had yet to get around to reading it before I recently found myself on the editing team for the novel’s second edition.
(Yeah, I’m totes an assistant editor with Xchyler Publishing now, didn’t you know? :D)
“Oh, you helped edit the book?” says some guy lurking in the back. “Bah. Biased opinions.”
Not so, sir! …Madam? *peers past the blog stage lights* I can’t quite tell. No matter. I’m perfectly capable of disliking a piece of writing, whether I’m entitled to a piece of the profits or not. So be assured that my review to follow is as honest as I ever am in public.
“And just how honest is that?”
You’ll never know.
The Book: “A Midsummer Night’s Steampunk” (second edition!) by Scott E. Tarbet
Genre: Steampunk (surprise!)
Blurb: Pauline Spiegel, a master artificer like her mother before her, wants just one thing: to wed the love of her life, Alexander MacIntyre, a lowly undersecretary of the Royal Household. However, a long-term pact between her parents, and a noble House, stands between her and her happily ever after.
When a priceless mechanoid of unfathomable power is stolen, Pauline finds herself entangled in skullduggery and international intrigue, upon which the fate of nations rest.
Only with the help of her friends, and a brilliant scientist with a swarm of micromechanical insects, can Pauline survive the dark forces determined to destroy her. But will her betrothed and his rag-tag band of semi-mechanical soldiers reveal Alexander’s secrets as well?
Immerse yourself in this Steampunk retelling of Shakespeare’s classic, replete with the newfound wizardry of alternative Victorian technology, mistaken identities, love triangles, and deadly peril, set against the backdrop of a world bracing itself for war, and Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.
My Thoughts: On the whole, I much enjoyed the story. The plot was rather politics-heavy, for my tastes, so I’d have preferred that a number of the characters’ sermons about international policy and the course of history and whatnot wrap up sooner than they did. Nonetheless, it was a breath-bating adventure. Even going in with the assumption that all would end well enough (the novel is based upon one of Shakespeare’s comedies, after all, not a tragedy), my heart thumped fretfully over the thought of the good guys coming to grievous harm. That “rag-tag band of semi-mechanical soldiers” amused me no end, silly fellows that they were. And I will admit to developing something of a crush on the antagonist’s formidable second-in-command, somewhere along the way. (#TeamShaka)
HSYRT? (Hey, Should You Read This?): Come for the clockwork, stay for the puckish shenanigans, say I!
And now, marvel at the book’s revamped cover.