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Gears of a Mad God: A Steampunk Lovecraft Adventure (Gears of a Mad God #1)

2.93  ·  Rating Details ·  244 Ratings  ·  42 Reviews
Proper young ladies in the 1920s don't get dirty, and they don't get into fights. But Colleen's uncle is killed, and she wants answers. When a sinister cult targets her, she pushes back - hard. Now she's running for her life. It will take all her courage, all her strength, and every steam-powered weapon she can devise to keep her alive long enough to unravel the mystery of ...more
Kindle Edition, 98 pages
Published September 22nd 2012
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ᴥ Irena ᴥ
May 01, 2014 ᴥ Irena ᴥ rated it it was ok
Let's see, the title says steampunk. Only a promise of that and a steam used as a weapon once or twice. Next it says Lovecraft. Not much of that either, I'm afraid. As the first in a series it holds a promise of more steampunk than just a mention and more of buried and locked gods in need of liberation and awakening type of story than a mere use of the word cult. There are some people chasing our heroine and all that and we know they are cultists because she's been told they are. As I said, only ...more
Chad Ringgenberg
Apr 01, 2015 Chad Ringgenberg rated it liked it
Not bad

Not a bad read, plenty of action and adventure. Well worth the time. The female protagonists is compelling. I enjoyed it.
Todd
This was a fun, Victorian adventure story. That, unfortunately, was the sum of it. I'm a longtime Lovecraft/Cthulhu Mythos fan who's recently got into steampunk as well. You can imagine, then, how a story billed as 'a Lovecraftian steampunk adventure' would grab my interest. Unfortunately, Gears Of a Mad God was much more adventure than anything else.

The author used only the most superficial of Lovecraftian elements, and even then much too sparingly. The 'Lovecraftian' element boils down to a n
...more
Marian Weaver

Honestly? This was irritating. It promised so much, and delivered so little.

What started out as a potentially interesting story of secret cults, strange technology and more than a tip of the hat to H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulhu mythos, quickly became muddied in convoluted subplots. The finale was anything but final - which is fine when you're setting up for a series, as Nichols is - but you either need a cliffhanger or a good point at which to pause the action. In this case, it felt as though Nichols
...more
Sarah
Dec 16, 2013 Sarah rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2013
The moral of the story after reading this is remember to show, not tell in your writing.

The lack of detail made it all run together and I hardly knew what had happened verses what was currently happening. The idea is good, don't get me wrong. It's just lacking.

The action was pretty plain. This happened and then this happened. Then this happened. It was all pretty flat.

Also, don't describe something as steampunk when it's clearly not. I've haven't read any Lovecraft, but I'm pretty sure that wasn
...more
David Rose
Nov 27, 2016 David Rose rated it liked it
This is outside my usual reading genres: I got this purely because I read Brent Nichols' excellent Stars Like Cold Fire.
This was a rough read, because plainly it's roughly written. Don't get me wrong, it's not badly written, that's something else, although there are isolated editing lapses. The style is rough and ready, I think a slight mismatch with the genre, and yet it has its own engaging character. I'm not a Lovecraft fan, so the effective failure to deliver in that area didn't bother me on
...more
L. Shosty
Gears of a Mad God is exciting enough, but that is all there is to it. It has an excellent premise and good ideas throughout, but it fails to achieve on a number of levels.

1. It's not a steampunk Lovecraft adventure, as advertised. Other reviewers have beaten this dead horse a number of times, and so I won't go into too much here. Virtually non-existent steampunk elements. In fact, steampunk veers toward what I believe are unintentional anachronisms, showing little knowledge of Victorian norms t
...more
Penelope Bartotto
Marketed as a Steampunk Lovecraft Adventure I found the book lacking in one major thing... details! No sooner have you been introduced to the main character Colleen, you the reader, and her are dropped into frantic chaos. This chaotic pace and plethora of action continues until the very last word, not once letting up. Action is marvelous, but this may have been too much action, and not enough story building to create a well formulated novella, let alone series. I will say that I am intrigued ...more
Morgan *~devourer of words~*
I went into this book more for the Lovecraft element than for the steampunk, so I wasn't horribly disappointed.

I'm not a steampunk fan, so I can't really judge how well that end of the story held up. From a Lovecraftian angle, however...let's just say I spent my high school years devouring as much Lovecraft as I possibly could, in whatever form I could find it. I adore the HPLHS.

(Bonus points if you actually know what I'm talking about.)

The story had several cute nods to Lovecraft. There was a p
...more
Robert Defrank
Jun 03, 2014 Robert Defrank rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A fun story, good quality, with one flaw (SPOILERS)

I’m more a Lovecraft fan than a steampunk fan. That said, there is both knowledge and love of this technology evident in Nichols’ work, as shown by the choices of settings for the most climatic battle scenes and the main character’s inventive use of steam as a weapon.

The tone is exuberant and the action begins almost immediately, with a series of intense chases, plot reversals and reveals. Nichols ably captures the feel of a opening episode of a
...more
J.L. Dobias
Jun 18, 2013 J.L. Dobias rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sff and Steampunkish lovers
Shelves: book-shelf-11
Gears of a Mad God; A Steampunk Lovecraft Adventure by Brent Nichols

I seem to be going down Steam-punk lane recently. This is an interesting book and it was a fun read. I'm not sure if it qualifies as Steam-punk just because it has steam driven things in it and the heroine likes to wield wrenches work on steam machines and even toss around a few very large heavy gears. Alas though it has Steam-punk in the name so we'll go with it.

This reminded me more of a who done it book. A bit of the games a
...more
Paige Ellen Stone
May 19, 2016 Paige Ellen Stone rated it really liked it
I am currently reading the 5th of the 6 novellas in this series (so far). I have to admit I am enjoying it and that enjoyment started with this first volume. Set in the early 1920's, during Warren Harding's time as President, the author stays as true to things as they were but does make a few errors, but they don't really matter.
The story involves a very atypical young woman who is very mechanically inclined, especially when it comes to steam powered devices. She prefers pants to dresses and the
...more
Angie
Feb 05, 2013 Angie rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
I can't say that I really liked this book. It seems to be thrown together in a very slapped together manor. I'm still not even sure where everything was taking place. At first I just assumed London because most steampunk books take place there. Then I thought Canada, then America, then back to Canada.

You have Colleen that is a clock maker? Its mention in the beginning that she is working in a clock shop, so I'm just going with that. She has no close family except for an Uncle that she hasn't see
...more
Cornelia
Oct 14, 2013 Cornelia rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Colleen Garman is a strong woman both emotionally and physically for a lady of her day, the early 1920’s, as she works in a machine shop making clocks. She loves her work. Now she has to leave her clockshop and her fiancé Roland for a few days. She received a telegraph that the only relative she had, her Uncle Roderick, just died.

She travels to Uncle Rod’s home in Victoria to find out what happened and take care of his affairs. Upon her arrival, she is chased by knife wielding lunatics and almo
...more
Daran
Sep 03, 2013 Daran rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
This was a good, well written, adventure story. The main character, Colleen, is likeable and well rounded. The other characters seemed flat, or at least weren't given an opportunity to distinguish themselves. The setting was vibrant, and provided a good backdrop to the action sequences.

My biggest problem with a story that purports to be a steampunk Lovecraft adventure isthere's little of steampunk or Lovecraft in it. The technology is all period. Colleen is good with machinery, but does not buil
...more
G33z3r
Thoroughly forgettable action adventure.

The characters, including the lead, are cardboard cutouts, convenient plot-delivery devices. The plot is familiar (girl inherits from little-known uncle, and suddenly becomes focus of interest from secret groups) and doesn't do anything really new with it. The setting is the start of the 20th century, though the story makes no real use of that and the descriptions totally lacked ambience, such that it could've been really any time period. The pacing is in
...more
Charles
May 29, 2016 Charles rated it did not like it
The subtitle declares that it is "A Steampunk Lovecraft Adventure", that's so you don't get it confused with Gears of a Mad God: A Kafkaesque Thriller or Gears of a Mad God: A Star Trek Romance. With the kind of storytelling setup that would seem underwhelming even in a Goosebumps book, this murder-mystery plot moves quickly through the motions leaving both everything and nothing to the imagination simultaneously. The protagonist thinks and moves at the direction of passive-voice explanations ...more
Robert 'Rev. Bob'
I really wanted to like this. I like steampunk, Cthulhu, and plucky heroines, so this should've been right up my alley...right?

Wrong. Sadly, depressingly wrong.

To begin with, this book needs a good, thorough editing pass. There's an embarrassingly obvious typo on the second page, and at one point a character's name changes mid-paragraph. Further, it's blindingly obvious that our heroine only missed a Big Obvious Clue early on so the writer could make its revelation a cliffhanger for part two. In
...more
Eon Beaumont
This book was ok. The adventure and action scenes were pretty well done. Some of the steampunk elements seemed downplayed. We didn't really get to see any inventions that wouldn't have been around at the time. The main character was fairly likeable- a tomboyish type character that wasn't too over the top, asskicker to make her silly. There was barely ANY Lovecraftian influence though. I found that VERY disappointing considering the author decided to include it in the title. There was a cult, ...more
Jenn
Jan 20, 2015 Jenn rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy-sci-fi
I really wanted to like this book. I loved the premise of a not-so-proper young lady fighting back in a time when she is expected to be the damsel in distress. Unfortunately, the plot did not fulfill its potential. There was very little character development that would allow for a believable heroine; Colleen works in a clock shop, but that's the extent of her unladylike behavior. To the contrary, she later bemoans the loss of a normal life with a loving husband and family. The cult followers ...more
Lynn Green
Dec 14, 2013 Lynn Green rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Brent Nichols calls this a "Steampunk Lovecraft Adventure." It is more Lovecraft than Steampunk, but it is an enjoyable adventure. The Lovecraft elements come from Colleen's, the heroine of the tale, encounter with a group of "cultists" trying to resurrect an ancient god. The Steampunk comes mainly through her love of mechanics and steam driven technology. The weaknesses of the novel are its rather sketchy background story of the characters, and in the fact that Colleen never reveals how she ...more
Kevin Frost
Oct 03, 2015 Kevin Frost rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
I really wanted to like this book. What's not to like about a girl with tools? Ah well. At least it was short enough to read in a long sitting.

The writing lacks depth and was poorly edited. Maybe it belongs on the children's shelf? That might be a better audience for the style. Kids would enjoy the non-stop action of the chase, adults will find the writing and characters flat and lifeless.

Steampunk? Not really, but I get why it would go with the genre. There are nods to the classic mythos stor
...more
Jason
Jan 06, 2013 Jason rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: steampunk
I dove into this because I love both the Cthulhu genre as well as Steampunk. The book was slow, or at least not as gripping as I am used to but by the end, I was happy enough that the character was set up for the next two books and I will see how we go from here.

I own the omnibus, so I am now starting Dark Island :D

I recommend it as a quick read for any Cthulhu/Steampunk fan, the book is more Cthulhu with the genre but there is definite emphasis here and there with the steampunk but not much. I
...more
Adrian
I started reading this because I've been a Lovecraft and steampunk fan for years. It's a well-written story with likeable characters(my favorite was Dirk) and a good plot. I read it quickly and wished at the end that it had been much longer or had a sequel. Then I found the other three books out now and I've bought them all.
I wouldn't mind seeing this series keep going strong. This is one book that would make a great movie. I recommend this book to any fan of Lovecraft and steampunk.
Sonja
Mar 15, 2015 Sonja rated it liked it
This is a nice adventure set in the 1920s with a well-written strong female lead. Many readers seem to have been disappointed since it does not deliver the promise of a "Steampunk Lovecraft Adventure" very well. I'm not so familiar with the steampunk genre, but I agree that it does not capture the "Lovecraft atmosphere". Otherwise it is an enjoyable read.
Steve Hamner
Jan 07, 2014 Steve Hamner rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Fought my way through this just because I wanted to put it behind me. It was cliche, flat, full of trope steampunk action sequences and little else. Perhaps the series improves as it goes on. Perhaps the heroine and her crew grow in depth and the setting becomes a richer place, but I doubt I'll give it the chance.

I cannot recommend this book.
Mandy Walkden-Brown
A great introduction to this series. There's an unusual assortment of characters and I particularly enjoyed meeting Colleen, a feisty young woman, who's not afraid to hurl the occasional insult, or hammer, at the somewhat psychotic members of the opposition.
Action and intrigue aplenty with no dull moments. A thoroughly enjoyable read.
Beau Raines
The story is okay, but there isn't much that makes it steam punk. It could be a noire story or even set in current times.
I wish the characters were developed a little more, the female lead goes between being dainty and unsure of her self to being like John McClane in Die Hard.
it was a fun read, but I wont be reading the rest of the series.
Alison (Lady Coffin) S
Sep 06, 2013 Alison (Lady Coffin) S rated it really liked it
Started out with clockworks, and a chase, and basically never slowed down. The main character is full of spunk and ingenuity. Fun steampunk read, that has me intrigued enough to read Dark Island the second in the series.
Jodi Woody
This was a good steampunk novel. I will have to read the rest of the series. It reminded me a bit of Indiana Jones, only the main character is a tough woman who doesn't live like the normal women of the 20's. She is more into gears than guys and she knows how to stop the bad guy. A good read. I can recommend this for teens and up, no sex and no swearing. I give it 4 stars.
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