Monday

Steam and Sorcery by Cindy Spencer Pape

Sir Merrick Hadrian hunts monsters, both human and supernatural. A Knight of the Order of the Round Table, his use of magick and the technologies of steam power have made him both respected and feared. But his considerable skills are useless in the face of his greatest challenge, guardianship of five unusual children. At a loss, Merrick enlists the aid of a governess. 
Miss Caroline Bristol is reluctant to work for a bachelor but she needs a position, and these former street children touch her heart. While she tends to break any mechanical device she touches, it never occurs to her that she might be something more than human. All she knows is that Merrick is the most dangerously attractive man she's ever met—and out of reach for a mere governess. 
When conspiracy threatens to blur the distinction between humans and monsters, Caroline and Merrick must join forces, and the fate of humanity hinges upon their combined skills of steam and sorcery...
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Publication Date: March 7th, 2011
Publisher: Carina Press
Country: United States of America
ISBN: N/A
Original Language: English
Age Group: Young Adult
Genre: Supernatural/Paranormal, Romance, Mystery, Steampunk
Source: ARC recieved through NetGalley (a long time ago).
Buy the Book: Amazon
Lootability: Grab it and go
Steam and Sorcery is my very first introduction to the steampunk genre and I enjoyed it very much! Written by Cindy Spencer Pape, author of ...many erotic romances, Steam and Sorcery is a romantic mystery. According to Goodreads Steam and Sorcery is only available as an ebook, which can be downloaded for free from the author's website and several online bookstores.

Set in Industrial England, Steam and Sorcery creates an alternate timeline where the aristocracy hunt monsters, steam machines are astonishingly advanced, and the magical world has a significant impact on society. The first in the Gaslight Chronicles the e-novel introduced Merrick Hadrian, Knight of the Order of the Round Table, and Caroline Bristol, governess extraordinaire, and of the extraordinary.

What I liked: My first real steampunk novel! I've read China Mieville's Un Lun Dun, but that sits more in the genre of weird science than steampunk, and I love the mix of aristocratic England, magic and steam industry. Spencer Pape created an amazing world with very real characters; Caroline and Merrick were beautifully written and I couldn't bear to think of them without a happily ever after.
The children, Tom, Wink (Winifred), Nell (Eleanor), Piers and Jamie are a ragtag mix of orphans from Wapping with a strong dose of supernatural powers, vampyre fighting skills and the ability to turn a room upside down in a matter of seconds. Each child has a distinct personality and is given enough time and work to make them an endearing character.
The story felt original and engaging; it has definitely endeared me to the genre.

What I didn't like: Things got a little hot and steamy a little quickly, which I found disconcerting, however it didn't harm the story in anyway. It probably even helped, but I could have used some more genuine courting and less lusting lovemaking.
Grab it and Go!
If you enjoy Steam and Sorcery, a short novella Phantoms and Photographs is also available for free download. A second novella Kilts and Krakens will be available in June and another full length book Moonlight and Machinery will be published later this year.



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