A Clockwork Christmas

Title: A Clockwork Christmas
Authors:Stacy Gail; PG Forte; Jenny Schwartz; JK Coi
Pages: 368
Pub: 2011(comes out in December)
Genre: Romance, Steampunk; Science Fiction
Etc: Props to NetGalley

[Disclaimer - I have never read a steampunk novel before, which is why this title caught my attention.  Because of my ignorance of steampunk walking into this read, I can't really judge it on how well it fits that category.  I am looking for steampunk recommendations, though so please send them my way because the genre itself interests me quite a bit!]

A Clockwork Christmas includes four romantic novellas all centered around the Christmas holiday.  I hardly ever read holiday themed books (Halloween is the exception) because I'm generally not much of a traditional celebrator.  Some holiday concepts are quite foreign to me.  Consider this my winter read. Now onto the four reviews:

Crime Wave in a Corset by Stacy Gail

Aiiight, s'okay.  There's this feisty and beautiful thief who thieved from the wrong person, a dashing and witty professor.  Dashing Professor fiends Feisty, Beautiful Thief and says: you stole from me and now you must DIE.  Or, in the very least, steal back that which you stole from me OR DIE.  And then there's a cool watch contraption that Dashing Professor puts on Feisty Beautiful Thief to ensure she doesn't just disappear.  And then there's some nakedness.  A few pages go by, little bit of characterization that is so Obvious that one could skim.  And then there's some MORE nakedness. Until the end.  More nakedness, anyone?  In a nutshell this was some good erotica if you were looking for that kinda thing. If you were looking for an original story with a plot or some such thing - move on. 

This Winter Heart by PG Forte

Now this one was interesting especially since I don't really read science fiction.  The setting is the early West, turn of the century, and a woman is still financially dependent on either her hubs or her paw.  (Or I guess you could be a fancy lil' call girl, but that's only charming in some Westerns; shout out to Lonesome Dove). Here, the young heroine returns to her hubs with an eight your old son.  THEIR 8 y/o son.  But he's not quite accepting.  Outside of the unaccountable years, young wife isn't completely human.  Hello, what makes a person a person and let's talk about soul.  Holla!    When I think about science fiction, this is the sorta thing that pops into my mind.  A story that makes us question humanity, progress, acceptance, goodness.  And this one is a doozy.  Plus, sure, there's some nakedness, but it's not soft pr0n as much as it's good ole fashion harlequin sexytimes.

Wanted: One Scoundrel by Jenny Schwartz

Now this was a fun one.  And it was totally PG-13.  This setting is in the Outback, which totally rocks my world because I don't think I've ever read anything set in Australia.  And then, furthermore, I don't know if I studied anything that HAPPENED in Australia.  My American education lacking somewhere along the way.  I guess I assumed that Australians went through the same woman's suffrage movement, but it just seemed out_there.  Wanted: One Scoundrel is sorta about that BUT with a cool *scoundrel*.  Oh there were also some nifty inventions, a villain, a heiress, some kidnapping, and overall ACTION-PACKED PLOT.  Two thumbs up over here.

Far From Broken by JK Coi

Weepa! What a doozy this one is.  Picture Covert Affairs, right?  You know the one...it started as a summer show but got such positive feedback that it's now on.  Like, now.  DVR that shizzat.  Here we have a secret agent whose wife gets kidnapped and tortured and the only way she'll live is if she gets mechanical parts.  This of course devastates her because she was once this high-in-demand ballerina and now these mechancial parts are somewhat bulky and not nearly as flattering as, maybe, LEGS.  So there's some heavy internal conflicts going on here.  This one left me wishin it was a lot longer than the 80-100 pages it was. 

So there you have it.  I'm still not sure if these are all considered Steampunk as I'm still wading through the websites out there that are telling me what is and what isn't steampunk.  Is it just the time period? Is it the inventions of the time period without the technology that we have now? Please folks, help a sista out.

IF you like yourself some romance and IF you like yourself some science fiction AND can tolerate short stories like novellas then this is your think.  I can honestly say, although it's not ENTIRELY my thing, it wasn't a waste of time.


  1. I've not read steampunk either, but have been itching to find one and dive right in. Something about those quirky covers draws me in and then the storylines always sound so enchanting. Really needing to check one of these out!

  2. I love Steampunk, but nailing down a definition is tough as it has evolved significantly.

    The best book I can recommend to help you learn about the genre and its evolution is the Steampunk Bible.

    As for books, YA Steampunk authors Cherie Priest and Scott Westerfeld might be a good introduction. Hers is the Clockwork Century series and his is the Leviathan series. Although written with the young adult in mind, I found their stories well developed and absolutely a joy to read.

    If steampunk romance is your thing, then Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate is a great set of reads.

    If you like a good mystery, steampunk style, I recommend the Newbury and Hobbes series by George Mann.

    For science fiction lovers, William Gibson and Bruce Sterling are authors I'd recommend, starting with The Difference Engine.

    I hope this helps and you find that steampunk can be a fun genre to add to your literary repertoire.

  3. Leviathan, Behemoth and Goliath by Scott Westerfeld are a great steampunk trilogy. They're set during WWI, feature a girl who must pretend to be a guy to do her job and assorted creatures and machines. Fascinating and well written.


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