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The Ouroboros Cycle, Book One: A Monster's Coming of Age Story (The Ouroboros Cycle)

3.86  ·  Rating Details ·  504 Ratings  ·  61 Reviews
How far would you go to avenge the one you love? Would you go beyond death?Born into the stifling confines of French upper society, Babette Varanus never thought that she would have to answer that question. Surrounded by wealth yet ostracized by her peers, Babette had little interest in love until she met Korbinian, a scandalous German baron with the audacity to regard her ...more
Paperback, 288 pages
Published January 15th 2013 by Wildside Press
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Community Reviews

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Jun 15, 2013 Nikki rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
And now, onwards to the review! (In .gif form!)


The Ouroboros Cycle: A Monster’s Coming of Age Story!



The des Louveteaux!


THAT Chapter.



Chapter Iosef!


"A touch."

"It’s going to be an adventure!"


Once again, there are obviously major pieces of the novel missing here, you’ll have to read it for yourself and I assure you that you won’t be able to put it down. I read it in one sitting because I couldn't
wonderfully exciting - I was nearly finished before i realised it! Looking forward to seeing what the next one will be about
Feb 19, 2013 Mak rated it it was amazing
I adored this book. I became a fan of Mr. Falksen through his first series, Hellfire Chronicles: Blood In The Skies, and I knew immediately that I had to read this book when it came out. I finished it within one sitting and have reread it twice. It's beautifully written, incredibly witty, and has an amazing balance of adventure, angst, and a well thought out love story. I've laughed out loud and sometimes garnered unwanted attention by my giggle fits that ensued by some amazing, and sharp tongue ...more
It's very hard for me to rate this book. I guess that my expectations were too high for this one.

The book was filled with what wanted to be feminism but didn't meet the standards. This was the most obvious case of special snow flake I have seen in a long time. The main character was very hard with her female peers, looking down on them if they liked things like fashion or society. The displays of equality were from men that deemed her worthy, but not because she is their equal, but because she i
Oct 10, 2014 Sonja rated it liked it
My experience with this book was a curious mix of "Can't put it down" and "There are so many problems with the structure here."

Pros? A solid narrative voice; complex ancient politics; and a fresh take on vampires when it seems all iterations of them have been done to death.

Cons? Falksen's apparent fear of putting his protagonist through any real, lasting pain; no sense of a narrative arc; and, despite Falksen's demonstrations of feminism on his social media pages, a protagonist who has a serious
Vittoria Corella
Apr 21, 2013 Vittoria Corella rated it really liked it
Plot: Babette Varanus is a French aristocrat, a young girl who is both privileged and oppressed by her origins. And that's not all. Babette descends from an ancient line of non human and powerful creatures that have moved the lot of Europe for centuries. When Babette meets the aristocratic (a far too human) Korbinian and falls in love with him, occult powers, which would rather have her married to one of their ancestral kind, will do anything in their power to obstruct this love. Babette finds h ...more
J.V. Seem
I'll be honest with you: The only reason I got this book was because of Fyodor Pavlov's amazing artwork for it. I love his style and his sauciness, and he's quickly becoming one of my favorite artists.

I was rather afraid that the book wouldn't at all match up to the illustrations, and for a while I didn't think it would. It's not that I disliked the story, it's just that at first, it didn't do much at all. It's a good story, a family saga of sorts, with a lot of action all the way through, but i
Feb 19, 2013 Bekah rated it it was amazing
I'm going to confess, I'm an absolute literature snob. I'm not terribly impressed by many of the writters of our time. That being said, I THOROUGHLY ENJOYED The Ouroboros Cycle:A Monster's Coming Of Age Story! G.D. Falksen is a MASTER of the English language, and by this, I mean he has not succumb to the bastardization of it. If felt very much like I was reading a book written when literature was at it's best at the turn of the 19th century, with JUST enough of a modern feel to give it a bit of ...more
Jul 20, 2013 Melissa rated it really liked it
Putting my one qualm about this book aside, I greatly enjoyed it! Incredibly fun and full of adventure, history, and atmosphere. Even now the details are memorable, weeks after finishing. Loved the chapter illustrations, too! Okay, my one qualm: this story wades into the dangerous territory of female protagonists who are "so special and sexy because they do as well as men in a man's world." You know the trope I'm talking about. The protag's closest adversaries and confidants are all Super Intere ...more
It is impossible for me to not love this book! Action, adventure, romance, monsters, and a strong, intelligent female character who loves reading and knowledge.
The premise of this world was an interesting take on vampires and werewolves. The protagonist is a spoiled heiress of a notable vampire family, who doesn't know she's a vampire (since vampires are not quite the same in this world as in Stokes's or Rice's or others), around the time of the Crimean War.

I did not like her.

She was so focused on herself that even her good qualities - wanting to become a doctor to save lives during a period in time when the biggest job a woman was expected to have wa
Melody Daggerhart
Feb 12, 2015 Melody Daggerhart rated it it was amazing
This is an engaging novel I heard about in a steampunk community, but I'm going to classify it as primarily Gothic horror with a steampunk flavor. It doesn't have iron robots, fantastic flying machines, or clockwork anything other than clocks. But it does have a rich sense of 19th century culture and politics that often gives steampunk settings and plots a certain "texture" that even Gothic horror often lacks. It does, however, have ghosts, vampires, and werewolves.

The story begins in 1861, Norm
Aug 20, 2013 Kelly rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites, owned
The Ouroboros Cycle, Book One: A Monster's Coming of Age Story by G.D. Falksen is by far the best book I've read in a while. It has all the elements of a finely tuned 'Historical Science-Fiction Mystery'! Yes, you read that right, 'Historical Science-Fiction Mystery'. Let me explain...

The story is based in the late 1800's in Europe- the 60's, 70's & 80's; mostly in Normandy, France. There are animosities between the French & English, war with the Prussians, debutante's début into high so
Jan 15, 2016 Whitney rated it it was ok
I have a feeling that my teen self would have enjoyed this book more than my adult self did.

I understand it was written by one of the figureheads of the Steampunk movement, but this book has no steam in it. Well, it does mention one of those "locomotive machines," i.e. TRAINS, but that's it. Other nod toward the fashion movement is that the heroine wears a corset no matter what, even though her supporting female character friend thinks she's a moron. (view spoiler)
Sep 18, 2013 James rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Sparkly vampires, these are not. Thank god for that. I truly didn't know what to expect from this book when I first heard about it. It seemed like a book I would enjoy for sure, but I had so many book series that I wanted to catch up on, and only a couple dollars here and there each month to spend on those sequels. If I could see my past self now, I would've punched the living day lights out of him. I waited way too long to invest in a copy of this book. I did not want to put it down. In fact, I ...more
Heather Steele
Mar 22, 2015 Heather Steele rated it it was amazing
I picked this up last night, intending to read the first few pages, just to get a feel for it. 4 hours later, I realized I was turning the last page, and had stayed up half the night.

There are so many things I really like about this book. Babette, the intellectual, headstrong lady ahead of her time. The back and forth wittiness between Babette and Korbinian. The supernatural elements steadily developing in secret .

I also love the spin on the classic vampire tale. The interesting and unique way
Jun 04, 2016 Lynne rated it liked it
Babette Varanus is the heroine protagonist of this tale. Her grandfather William sets the stage for her to come of age during the 1860s. Having been ostracized from England, the family settled in France where Babette grew up. Babette is unaware of her family's "Scion" lineage which William has kept hidden from her. Babette displays a propensity for scientific and academic pursuits at the expense of her introduction into Society and landing a rich husband. A quiet war is being waged between the V ...more
Jackie Reynolds
May 22, 2014 Jackie Reynolds rated it liked it
I stumbled on an article talking about great vampire fiction, and since I had read and loved three of the books on the list, I thought I'd give the other books on there a try. The Ouroboros Cycle was one of those books.

I will admit, I had a hard time getting past the "Babette" part. Early Babette does nothing for me, (the name, the whole "tiny girl in a man's world" stuff) but the story picks up and gets interesting and before I knew it the book was over and had me wanting to read the next one,
Mar 17, 2013 Chloe rated it really liked it
Such a good surprise! I initially bought the book because of Fyodor Pavlov's illustrations, which I always was a big fan of. But I was a total stranger in regards of steampunk literature, and for months, I couldn't bring myself to actually read the book. How wrong I was!
That first installement in the Ouroboros Cycle tells the fantastic story of Babette Varanus, a French young and noble lady, who finds herself dealing with love, death... and vampires. It has everything a good story needs: adventu
Amy Braun
Apr 30, 2015 Amy Braun rated it it was amazing
Really fun, romantic novel about monsters and a woman caught in a whirlwind of expectation, dreams, desires, and blood. Seriously, SO MUCH blood when there are fight scenes. Given how slow the story began, I was a little surprised at how violent the story became later on. Not that I'm about to complain, though I do wish there had been more insight to the supernatural earlier. Regardless, a really great story with beautiful romance and a strong female lead who is out to all but conquer the world. ...more
Deborah Frew
Oct 18, 2013 Deborah Frew rated it it was amazing
I just loved the fact that there was no vapid gushing and devoid of any ability to make a decision Characters.

The book was a breath of fresh ideas and witty lines.

you Know its well written And has engaged the reader when life rudely Interrupts your reading.

the thought of rereading the book at a slower pace to Savour each word is an exciting idea. Yet being able to read at that pace probably wont Occur means that you have touched the readers heart.

I Know I am going to attempt my 2nd reading at th
Curtis Löh
Jul 20, 2015 Curtis Löh rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I became interested in this series after hearing of G.D. Falksen through his association with the steampunk community. I ordered this book, and it then sat on my shelf for over a month. Then yesterday I had a bit of time, so I thought I'd check out the first chapter and see how it was. Hours later, I finished the book and am at a loss since I don't have the next in the series.
I didn't expect to be hooked quite so much right from the beginning, and I stayed intrigued by what would happen next th
Kara Jorgensen
Aug 02, 2014 Kara Jorgensen rated it really liked it
Without giving anything away, the characters are fairly well developed, as is the story and setting. Enjoyable overall, and the drawings for each chapter add a lot of charm to the piece. The worst part is that I found the plot predictable at certain points, which I don't love. It was a fun read, not my favorite honestly, and that combined with the predictable, cyclical plot caused it to lose a star. I would recommend it though.
Mar 02, 2013 Tiffany rated it it was amazing
Recommends it for: Connie
The rhythm of Falksen's writing is different than any other author that I've read. The story is sound and unique as is his creatures. The interaction between characters is marvelous! The kibitzing back and forth is wonderful! It's what I love most about this book. The strong female characters are fantastic! The concentration on research, learning, science & medicine (especially women in such fields in this time period)was quite refreshing. I'm looking forward to reading book 2.
Aug 07, 2014 Patricia rated it did not like it
WTF? People seriously LIKED this book? It was SO STUPID! Kind of like Jane Austen meets weird werewolves, vampires and ghosts, but not nearly as well done as Pride and Prejudice and Zombies. The plot was so predictable, the characters laughable, and the writing so insipid that I couldn't believe it! Enough said. Other than the fact that I can't possibly imagine anyone taking a vampire with the name Babette seriously. Can I give negative stars??? ugh.
Erin Davis
Jul 12, 2015 Erin Davis rated it really liked it
It's probably just because it's a Victorian period book with monster types and women who refuse to be demure, but this book reminds me of Pride And Prejudice And Zombies. It is completely unique, however. More books featuring Victorian ladies that want more out of life than fashion and nonsense, please!!
Apr 06, 2013 Julianne rated it really liked it
My first Falksen book... He's one of the icons of the steampunk movement, so I figured I had better read some of his books. It reminds me of gothic romance, with lots of strange creatures thrown in. I was sad when it was done. Can't anybody write a self contained book anymore? Do they all have to open themselves to an endless series? Argh.
Nicol Legakis
Jan 06, 2015 Nicol Legakis rated it liked it
Shelves: steampunk
I was slightly disappointed with this book as it has been touted as "the best Steampunk novel" of 2014. This was NOT Steampunk by my definition. There were no anachronisms or brassy devices to be found anywhere in the book. It was an okay read but I wasn't really vested in any of the characters. I'm not certain if I will, read the sequels.
Hannah Thompson
Jan 17, 2015 Hannah Thompson rated it liked it
This book had potential and I really wanted to like it but the characters felt very flat and there was a large amount of "telling" and not "showing". I did not care for the pacing which felt extremely rushed in many sections of the story. I don't think I will be reading anymore books in this series.
Nov 21, 2014 Rosemary rated it it was amazing
I loved this book. To be honest I really purchased it for the illustrations, but the story definitely didn't disappoint. It's a different take on the vampires and werewolves trope. My only criticism would be that the author tried to pack a lot into the book leaving some things unresolved, but seeing as it seems there are two sequels I may get my questions answered.
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G. D. Falksen is an author, lecturer, public speaker and MC. He also studies history and blogs for While his repertoire spans a range of topics, he is currently most noted for his steampunk work and is one of the most recognizable figures in the steampunk literary genre and the related subculture. His debut novel, The Hellfire Chronicles: Blood In The Skies has just been released, to rave ...more
More about G.D. Falksen...

Other Books in the Series

The Ouroboros Cycle (4 books)
  • The Ouroboros Cycle, Book Two: A Cautionary Tale for Young Vampires
  • The Ouroboros Cycle, Book Three: A Long-Awaited Treachery
  • The Ouroboros Cycle, Book Four: A Sojourn in Bohemia

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