Tag Archives: Steampunk

Top Ten Tuesday-“Gateway” Books and Random Reads April 4/1/14


This week The Broke and the Bookish are asking about our Gateway Books/Authors. These are books that sparked some new interest. Maybe the lead us to a genre we never expected to love or a similar new author. Either way, this it were things all began…

1. Uglies by Scott Westerfeld. This was one of the first YA Science Fiction books that I ever read. I chose it for a class while I was working on my MLIS. I loved it and have been a devoted fan ever since. With the exception of Extras, the man can do no wrong.


2. Fables: Legends in Exile by Bill Willingham. My first adventures with graphic novels! Love, love, love.


3. Airborn by Kenneth Oppel. This was my introduction to Steampunk.


4. Sarah Addison Allen taught me that contemporary women’s fiction can be magical.

garden spells sugar queen peach keeper lost lake

5. Song Fire and Ice by George R.R. Martin. The gateway to high fantasy. It was so far out of character for me to read these books. My love for them was quite shocking. I hardly recognize myself anymore!

game of thrones

6. Harry Potter series by J.K. Rowling. This was the first time I was able to bond with both my mother and much younger brother (13 years separate us) over books.

harry potter7. Stephen King was my introduction to adult reading. In my mind and memories I went from Nancy Drew to Stephen King. I really have no memory of what I was reading in grades 5-7. I am pretty sure I was 11 or 12 when I started reading King. By the time I started high school I was a steady diet of Stephen King, Anne Rice, and John Irving.


8. Crime and Punishment by Fyodor Dostoevsky. This was my self-prescribed intro to Russian literature and my first step towards plugging gaps in my education. Honestly, I abandoned that task ages ago. I did however, enjoy this one and a few others.

crime and punishment

9.  The Forest of Hands and Teeth by Carrie Ryan. The gateway to all things zombie. I admit that my love of zombies has waned a bit, but this will always remain my first and favorite undead book.

forest of hands and teeth original

 10. Bloody Jack by L.A. Meyer. This series opened so many doors for me. First, it reminded me that historical fiction can be so much fun. Second, I learned just how much the reader of an audiobook impacts the listening experience. I was new audio user and Katherine Kellgren made it all worth while. Also, this series reminded me to read more pirate books!

bloody jack

random reads

In short, Random Reads is a meme where we pick a random book from our shelf to read within the month. Feel free to do more than one per month, but since a lot of people have a lot of books to read each month, only one is “required” for the meme. I’m on Goodreads so I use my To Read list and Random.org to pick the book I’m going to read.

Last month’s Random Read was Out of the Easy by Ruta Sepetys. I LOVED it! Be sure to check out my review!

In April I will be reading #15 on my TBR list: The Traitor in the Tunnel (The Agency #3) by Y.S. Lee. I added this to the list on September 3, 2011. It’s time to get caught up with this charming YA Victorian-era mystery series, especially since I think there is a new one coming out this year!

traitor in the tunnel

Happy Reading!



Camelot Burning by Kathryn Rose-Reviewed by Sarah 3/27/14

Hello! I am so excited to have a guest reviewer here today. Sarah is an MLIS student at Kent State. She has been working on her practicum with me and I have been trying to keep her busy with all sorts of library and bookish activities. This book is coming out soon and is on-order for the library.
camelot burning
Camelot Burning (A Metal & Lace Novel #1) by Kathryn Rose
May 8, 2014
Paperback, 409 pages
What it’s about:
Vivienne is a lady-in-waiting for Guinevere, the future queen of Camelot by day; at night, however, she works as a secret apprentice to Merlin (who hides away in the clock tower battling as a recovering magic addict). An intelligent, curious eighteen-year old, she feels confined by conventional life in Camelot, and being stuck as a handmaiden, and wishes that she was free to study science and alchemy without fear of punishment or worse. As Merlin uses his new-found discovery of alchemy and the “mechanical arts” to create steampunk-esque contraptions, Arthur’s sister Morgan La Fay returns to Camelot to exact revenge on the kingdom by declaring war. And in the midst of it all Vivienne meets (and falls in love with) Marcus, a young man who will one day become a knight of Arthur’s round table.
Why you might like it:
If you’re a fan of the King Arthur story and Steampunk, but you’ve never thought about how the two could possibly work together, you’ll want to read this. If you’re a fan of the TV show Merlin, just imagine those characters (slightly older) and throw in some steampunk mixed with a little alchemy to make things even more interesting. And if you like independent, strong female leads who are not afraid to be downright sassy at times, you’ll love Vivienne. She has a great personality that mixes really well with the other characters in the story (especially Merlin) – and her love interest, Marcus, is pretty easy on the (figurative) eyes, too! If you’re a history buff, you’ll appreciate the effort that went into making this historically accurate mixed with just the right amount of fantasy to keep you on your toes. It’s definitely a good debut novel that kept me interested enough to want to see what happens in the next book!
Want more like this?
For more steampunk and fantasy goodness, I’d recommend the Leviathan series by Scott Westerfeld, The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross, and Blood in the Skies by G.D. Falksen.
Did you say sassy heroine and steampunk? I’m sold! Thanks Sarah for a great review. I will be watching for this one.
Happy Reading!
∼Megan and Sarah

The Trilogy is Complete: Leviathan, Behemoth, and Goliath by Scott Westerfeld Review

At the end of November I wrote this:

In a desperate attempt to make up for the recent lack of book reviews, I now present you with a three-in-one! Waaaay back in October I finished Goliath, the third book in the Leviathan trilogy by Scott Westerfeld.

So, yeah. Um. Ok, fine. Sometimes things get really busy at work and sometimes I have time management problems that compound the problem of busy at work. Whatever. These books aren’t going anywhere. They don’t expire. So better late than never, right? Right.

You will want to start at the beginning with Leviathan. Here’s the scoop:

The year is 1914, and Europe is on the verge of a war. Prince Alek, heir to the Austro-Hungarian throne is on the run from the Clanker Army. Deryn Sharp, a girl disguised as a boy, is an airman for the British Air Force learning to fly the genetically engineered air beast, the Leviathan. The two form an uneasy alliance as they struggle to protect their secrets and stay alive.

Why you should read it:
1. It’s Scott Westerfeld. That should be reason enough, but if you need more I will oblige.
2. It is alternate reality history with cool fabricated beasties and clankers.
3. Deryn is HILARIOUS.
4. Steampunk rules.
5. It is gorgeously illustrated.
6. The audio is also fantastic. Alan Cumming is the narrator and he is a genius.

Naturally you will want to continue on with Behemoth. Why wouldn’t you? This is good stuff here. Why?

WAIT! This may be a teeny tiny bit spoilery. It really doesn’t say more than the book jacket, but if you like surprises you may want to stop. In fact, you may ask yourself why you bother to read book reviews. But that’s a thought for another time. Proceed. Or don’t. It’s up to you.

In this second book, The Darwinists and The Clankers are at war. Midshipman Dylan Sharp and Prince Alek find themselves alone in enemy territory. Alek joins a group of revolutionaries determined to overthrow the sultan, and Dylan is sent on a secret sabotage mission. Both are determined to prevent the Ottoman Empire from joining war between the Darwinists and the Clankers. While in Istanbul, one of the two lads has their secret revealed. Dun, dun, dun….

Why you should read it:

1. It is action-packed.
2. The dialogue is once again hilarious.
3. More unusual beasties.
4. It has a perfectly satisfying ending that nicely sets the stage for the final book.

You know that you are going to have to rush right out for the last book. Lucky you; you don’t have wait for ages for the next one to come out. Anyway, here’s the deal on the third and final book in the trilogy (congratulations Mr. Westerfeld! I know how you like to have 4 book trilogies. Even I know the math is wrong there!).

In an effort to end World War I and restore Alek to the throne of Austria, the airship Leviathan embarks on a round-the-world tour. They are sidetracked along the way by scientist Nikola Tesla who claims to have invented a weapon that he calls Goliath, which will end the war.

Why you should read it:

1. Bovril
2. Tesla
3. Deryn
4. Secrets are revealed.
5. It’s awesome and a perfect conclusion.

Read Alikes: Airborn by Kenneth Oppel and The Hunchback Assignments by Arthur Slade.

Happy Reading!