Kathy Davie's Reviews > Corsets & Clockwork: 13 Steampunk Romances

Corsets & Clockwork by Trisha Telep
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's review
Mar 13, 2017

really liked it
bookshelves: steampunk, romance
read count: 1

A steampunk anthology of 13 short stories for young adults with a main theme of romance…in some way, shape, or form. The depth of the steampunk varies from story to story but there's a gear pretty much everywhere.

The Stories
Lesley Livingston's "Rude Mechanicals" is pure theatre with its so-very-lifelike Actromaton, a Jule of an actress who takes things a little too far but brings life in the end. Excellent with the only odd note on page 11 when this unknown man gets Quint and Agamemnon to come away with him in the night without any questions.

Frewin Jones's "Cannibal Fiend of Rotherhithe" is rather funny in a very sad and frothy tale of finding love between a mermaid-human and a Thames mudlark as they go about bamboozling the Beadle.

Ann Aguirre's "Wild Magic" has a completely different perspective on magic and Under-the-Hill with her invading great houses who lock down magic, and the unlucky daughter of House Magnus born with too much magic seduced into unlocking it with a not-unexpected betrayal. I enjoyed Aguirre's imagination right up to the end when she took the easy way out.

Michael Scott's "Deadwood" is a tale of kidnapping, slavery, and rescue by notorious outlaws when a dirigible sets down in Deadwood.

Dru Pagliasottii's "Code of Blood" interrupts the doge's marriage to the sea ceremony in Venice when the French invade through treachery. Only the resolution and quick thinking of the doge's granddaughter saves everyone when she appeals to the elementals.

Adrienne Kress's "Clockwork Corset" is a triumph of the tomboy over societal expectations when the girl saves the boy who saves the girl right back with his mechanical genius.

Jaclyn Dolamore's "Airship Gemini" is a sad tale of exploitation and love. Just as a pair of Siamese are about to start a working trip across the Atlantic in a dirigible, a mage who has been hounding them into allowing him to separate them as a paean to his powers, boards the ship. The twins are in a panic for they know their "aunt" is all for it and so it proves. Although, in the end, rescue comes from an unexpected source. Very imaginative tale.

Maria V. Snyder's "Under Amber Skies" is a scary story of Nazis and an unexpected psychotic in Leba, Poland. Zosia's father has gone into hiding. As a well-known inventor, he refuses to be taken by the Nazis to create war machines for them. It's been months since Zosie has seen him, and now it seems he was right for the Nazis are hunting her. Her and her mother. Oh man, what a twist…!

Tessa Gratton's "King of the Greenlight City" is another very sad tale of love gone awry. In Ever's world, one may only have one magical elemental. And he has two. Not daring to seek help in his own world, Ever begs it of the Titan and receives more than he bargained for.

Tiffany Trent's "Emperor's Man" unfolds into tyranny and deception as the Princess and the Guard rescue the "reality" within their world of magic. I sure hope this one is a series because I must know what happens next! Very nice writing.

Dia Reeves's "Chickie Hill's Badass Ride" veers between hilarious and frightening and fascinating between Chickie's obsession with his very smooth ride, a restored 1958 Ford Thunderbird, and his girlfriend's rockin' between protesting for civil rights and wanting to make out. The frightening is the nine-lived who steal children and won't accept a rescue. The fascinating is Chickie's mad skills…that boy has got a head on his shoulders! Dude.

Caitlin Kittredge's "Vast Machinery of Dreams" is a very confusing story. I had no idea what was truth or fiction until the very end when Matt Edison gets what he has always wanted…eeek…

Kiersten White's "Tick, Tick, Boom" is an odd combination of good, funny, and clichéd. The very proper daughter of Lord Ashworth spends her free time building bombs to sabotage her father's factories and avoiding the milquetoast suitors her father parades before her. Little does Catherine realize that more than one person can hide.

The Cover and Title
Great cover! Clockwork gears caress the lovely face of a young woman of soft, dewy cheek, moistened full lip, and glistening, knowing eye.

The title is perfect — Corsets & Clockwork with that combination of romance and steampunk.
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Reading Progress

03/13 marked as: to-read
03/13 marked as: read

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