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The Machine God

(The Drifting Isle Chronicles #3)

4.01  ·  Rating details ·  93 ratings  ·  28 reviews
One thing makes life in Eisenstadt bearable for exiled Professor Oladel Adewole: the island floating a mile above the city. He's an expert in world mythology about the island, but no one's ever been there or knows how it got there.

When a brilliant engineer makes it to the island in her new invention, the government sends Adewole up with its first survey team. The expeditio
ebook, 198 pages
Published April 5th 2013 by Sans Culotte Press (first published April 4th 2013)
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4.01  · 
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 ·  93 ratings  ·  28 reviews

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Apr 16, 2013 rated it really liked it

Full review over at Fantasy Book Critic

ANALYSIS: In regards to the Drifting Isle Chronicles, I first heard about it last year and was lucky enough to talk to Joseph R. Lewis who was the main person instigating the project. He spoke about it a bit in his interview and since then I’ve been tracking it. In the last few weeks Joe contacted me and said that they were going to release three novels currently with one more to come later this year. There have been a series of guest post wherein an over
Kate Sherrod
Apr 07, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Meilin Miranda was one of my first friends on Twitter and someone with whom I enjoy spending time in real life whenever I find myself in her home city, so it would be hard, if not impossible, for me to be objective about her work. But I'm not a book reviewer or a book blogger, so I don't have to be. So with that in mind, read on.

First of all, I demand The Machine God be immediately adapted into an anime screenplay and turned over to Hayao Miyazaki and/or Isao Takahata immediately. As in this sto
Graeme Dunlop
Sep 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
I've said what I think of the other two "Drifting Isle Chronicles" books here on Goodreads. Neither "Black Mercury" nor "The Kaiser Affair" were good.

THIS is an entirely different story.

I loved this book from beginning to end, the only criticism being that it ended too soon. It features a protagonist who is an outsider, a scholar, a thinking man and a good friend.

It posits a genuinely horrific melding of mind and machine.

It has a convincing first contact situation.

I was invested in the main char
Veronica of V's Reads
This story focuses on the adventure of Dr. Adewole, a linguist and Humanities expert investigating the floating island of Risenton. Myths surround this site, and when a power source becomes available, Adewole and a team of explorers and military-folk ascend a mile into the sky to meet an untouched culture. Their arrival is legendary, but the mystery surrounding Risenton's history takes up the tale.

Adewole's mission to study the history of the city uncovers the primary documents of a sinister in
Apr 06, 2013 rated it it was amazing
What a great book, and novel concept! The Machine God paints a rich portrait of an incredible universe, combining hints of magic realism with a funky steampunk adventure, all while keeping its protagonist human, believable, and intensely lovable. Adewole will frustrate you at times, but only because he is so real; his naivete and willingness to trust those around him lead him into sticky situations, but his nature wouldn't permit otherwise. The novel is a fast read, but an enjoyable one, and I h ...more
MeiLin Miranda
Apr 06, 2013 added it  ·  (Review from the author)
Shelves: my-writing
I wrote it. :)

This is part of the Drifting Isle Chronicles project, a shared universe created by four fantasy writers including me. We each wrote a separate novel set in the DIC world. The first three are (in chronological order though they are all standalone and can be read any way you wish):

Black Mercury by Charlotte E. English
The Kaiser Affair by Joseph Robert Lewis
The Machine God by MeiLin Miranda

In late 2013, we expect Kat Parrish's Starcaster.
Eric Mesa
Mar 22, 2017 rated it really liked it
Well, this story functions quite well to continue the story from Black Mercury. We see the fates of many of the characters from the previous novel, but this really is quite a different story with a different focus. The series is going from mostly Steampunk to Steampunk Fantasy in this book while also exploring ideas of colonialism, fallen empires, and racism. (Also university and identity politics)

The characters were quite relatable and I actually found Adewalle to be some I liked a lot more tha
P. Kirby
Jan 22, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: steampunk, fantasy
3.5 stars.

Well, so I’m relatively sure that Chick Fil A won’t be opening a restaurant in Eisenstadt.

Eisenstadt’s birds, including the poultry, talk. Consequently, feathered things are off the menu.

Professor Oladel Adewole is in a kind of exile in the city of Eisenstadt. At the story’s beginning, he is getting accustomed to the notion of blabbing sparrows as well as a dearth of coffee. (The lack of coffee, unlike the conversational birds, isn’t really explained. Problems with shipping, I guess.)
Dec 29, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
I dithered between three and four stars for this. I think it's on the low end of four.

On the upside, this is much better than the usual steampunk mess. There's a complete absence of silly romance, nothing is unnecessarily or unrealistically made of brass, nobody wears a corset, and there's at least one character with depth. It's not a 1930s pulp in a bad Jules Verne costume, either, and it isn't littered with basic editing errors.

Having said that, there are a few issues. Firstly, while obvious
Angie ~aka Reading Machine~
Professor Adewole, a Jerian who specializes in ancient languages, hopes to ease his heartache from his sister's passing. Being in Eisenstadt is a trying experience for Professor Adewole where he comes from there are no talking birds at all. Professor Adewole closest friend is Professor Karl Deviatka of the engineering department at The University of Eisenstadt. When Hilegard Goldstien lands her autogyro on the legendary isle Inselmond causes an unexpected uproar. Professors Adewole and Deviatka ...more
Matthew Marchitto
Aug 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. It follows Adewole, a Jerian, polyglot, and anthropologist far from home who doesn't feel like he belongs in the city of Eisenstadt (I have no idea how to pronounce this). The pace is actually pretty slow, but I think that is one of this stories strongest assets. The majority of the story involves research and investigation, and at no point did I find myself disinterested in Adewole's perusing of ancient library books. The story plays out a bit like a mystery, with Ad ...more
Barry Huddleston
May 23, 2013 rated it really liked it
*** I was given a free review copy courtesy of the Author.

The Machine God by MeiLin Miranda is a mix of fantasy and magic with steampunk. The real power source in this story is a substance called”ichor”.

"Ichor? An obscure word in Old Rhendalian meaning “blood of the gods,” a word the ancient alchemists used to describe a mythical, elusive substance which turned lead to gold. Adewole said nothing about it to the engineer; esoterica bored him."

I have to admit that I really enjoyed the coffee-swil
May 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
What a fun concept! I love the melding of science and technology and magic and myth in Machine God, and MeiLin handles it with a well-crafted brush. Her protagonist is wonderful, well fleshed, relatable, and elicits empathy and concern - I worried what happened to him and I felt every shred of pain in his deeply conflicted soul! The plot is interesting and engaging. The world she wove within the pages of this book is rich and deep and I look forward to spending more time there.

Another reviewer s
Wahiaronkwas David
Apr 09, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: fantasy
This book reminded me of Left hand of Darkness by Ursula K. LeGuin, largely because it takes place through the eyes of an 'outsider', namely exiled Professor Oladel Adewole. He's the one driven to find out why the floating isle floats, and what happened the day it rose. Adewole is by far my favorite character I have read this year. Excellent read as well.

Part of the Drifting Isle Chronicles

Angie Lisle
May 27, 2013 rated it really liked it
Interesting concept and likable characters. The fantasy world is told in a way that is easy to imagine and the story is appropriate for a younger audience.

I found a single editing error but the story is well-written and so very nearly polished that it shouldn't bother most readers.

I received a copy of this book in exchange for a review. I'm interested in seeing how the rest of the series holds up to this book.
"Verdict: Outstanding - I loved almost everything about it.

A floating island's dark past is uncovered in this first contact adventure."

Full review on my blog:

A copy of this book was provided in exchange for a review.
Sharon Michael
Jan 02, 2014 rated it liked it
The second book in the Drifting Isle Chronicles series. Same setting/location and world but different characters. Interesting plotline but did not like the characters as well as in the first book and did not find them as well defined.
Sep 10, 2013 rated it really liked it
Quite enjoyed this entry in the Drifting Isle shared world series of books. I've read the first two and enjoyed them and this did not disappoint. Quite good, like the world building and charactgers.
Keil Hunsaker
May 13, 2013 rated it really liked it
I really enjoyed this book. I definitely plan on reading others in this interesting shared worlds steampunk series.
Feb 22, 2019 rated it really liked it
I love novels with talking animals. This one has talking birds. And, the resolution of the action in this was quite good. And, sad.
Andrew Couch
Aug 31, 2014 rated it really liked it
I picked up the Steampunk Storybundle recently, which came with two books of the Drifting Isles Chronicles. The first was Black Mercury and the second (though apparently the third in the series), this book. Although I did enjoy Black Mercury, I would probably not have gone more into the series, though since I already had the book from the bundle I went on to read Machine God. I am glad I did, as I enjoyed it most.

Where Black Mercury hints at things and glosses over other things, The Machine God
Dec 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
I read this book without realizing that it was part of a series. This book is not dependent on the others in the series, though. This is a stand-alone story.

I found the concept of the floating island fascinating. The island and its effects on the city below it are described well. I really liked the main character. Adewole is endearing, with his homesickness, grief, need for coffee, and dedication to a field of study that is not highly regarded. I envied him his access to the ancient library and
Mar 12, 2015 rated it it was ok
Shelves: steampunk, fantasy
Started out quite promisingly, with an interesting protagonist and a world that someone had clearly given quite a bit of thought to in terms of world-building (loved the talking birds, though I could see how they could be quite a pain, as indeed some of them are in the book).

Then it all went a bit grisly when it came to talking about how the titular Machine God was brought to life (the last thing I read that had a similar feel to it was KJ Parker's The Belly of the Bow) but after that it kind o
brian dean
Sep 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
I got this book as part of a steampunk bundle, I think from Humble Indie Bundle, but I can't recall. When you pay eight dollars for ten books, you don't go in with high expectations.

But this book really scratched an itch I had. Lately, I've been very episodic in my reading - twenty pages, then nothing for the rest of the week. It took me months to finish The Great Sea. But I dove into and tore through The Machine God.

The plot is standard: Man learns of device of ultimate power, man tells wrong p
Krista McCracken
Oct 18, 2014 rated it really liked it
A great steampunk fantasy novel. Miranda's take on the drifting isle world is well done. The blending of magic and machine creates a world of unexpected possibilities.
Dec 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
I'm surprised by how much I enjoyed this book, it was the perfect combination of magic and machine in a quickly-paced story. I look forward to the next installment!
Mar 02, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: kindle
I really enjoyed this somewhat short story. There was interesting characters, multifaceted people, and an interesting alternative world.
Jun 27, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
A good, fast story with an awesome protagonist. Made me cry in the end, but it was worth it.
rated it really liked it
Apr 09, 2013
Dylan Tomorrow
rated it it was amazing
Aug 13, 2014
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MeiLin Miranda writes literary fantasy and science fiction set in Victorian worlds. Her love of all things 19th century (except for the pesky parts like cholera, child labor, slavery and no rights for women) has consumed her since childhood, when she fell in a stack of Louisa May Alcott and never got up.

MeiLin wrote nonfiction for thirty years, in radio, television, print and the web. She always w

Other books in the series

The Drifting Isle Chronicles (3 books)
  • The Kaiser Affair (The Drifting Isle Chronicles #1)
  • Black Mercury (The Drifting Isle Chronicles #2)