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(Engn #1)

3.34  ·  Rating details ·  32 ratings  ·  18 reviews
Finn's childhood in the valley is idyllic, but across the plains lies a threat. Engn is an ever-growing steam-powered fortress, that needs a never-ending supply of workers. Generation after generation have been taken away, escorted into its depths by the mysterious and terrifying Ironclads, never to return.

The Masters of Engn first take Finn's sister, then his best friend,
ebook, 320 pages
Published July 15th 2013 by Stormcrow Books (first published July 11th 2013)
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I'd have liked Engn a lot more if it wasn't so clearly a product of recent trends -- steampunk, dystopian fiction, YA with the boy-boy-girl triad at the centre... (Not saying that's deliberate at all: that's just something that happens.) But it was still pretty fun, if a bit predictable in many ways (e.g. who escapes, when certain people meet, people's identities -- partially because it's very convenient). And I think it'd be less predictable to a less experienced reader.

Overall, the setting is
Engn is a mashup between two of the hottest trends in young adult fiction right now: dystopian worlds and steampunk. The titular Engn is both a city and a machine. The machine needs feeding and a la the reaping of The Hunger Games Ironclads go out to outlying districts and capture local teens to support the machine. One such is Finn, mistakenly assured he was exempt as his sister had previously been taken. Finn and his two best friends, Connor and Diane, all are taken to Engn after having made ...more
Annette Jordan
Jun 11, 2018 rated it it was ok
From the blurb I really expected to enjoy this steampunk adventure, but while the book had some good points, it also had flaws. Engn is the story of Finn, a young boy captured and kidnapped to work in the mysterious city of Engn , a sprawling ever growing industrial metropolis, constantly needing to replenish its workforce. Rumours abound that all is not what It seems, and with a little help from friends, Finn is determined to destroy it from within. First the positives, the basic idea of the pl ...more
Jun 01, 2013 rated it liked it
This MG/YA steampunk/dystopian novel by Simon Kewin is a descriptive tale of the shattering of childhood innocence in the quest to find one's place in a society that seeks to conform individuals into a manageable mold. A common theme among current popular books of this genre and subgenre.

Where Kewin distinguishes himself is the steampunk setting and the quest narrative that provides uncertainty for the main character, Finn, as he tries to find his friends who've been taken by and incorporated i
Jun 20, 2013 rated it liked it
I received this ebook through the LibraryThing Early Reviewers programme.
A steampunk/dystopia novel, which seems to be a winning combination for me. The protagonist suffered from a few moments of plot-necessary stupidity but otherwise this was a very enjoyable and well-paced story.
M. Pax
Jul 27, 2013 rated it it was amazing
The machine city was so fascinating. It kept me coming back everyday to see how the story unfolded. I'm going to try Simon Kewin's other books.
Dave Higgins
Aug 03, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: reviewed
Echoing the social schisms of the Industrial Revolution without sacrificing pace or visceral threat, Kewin forges a steampunk thriller that connect with both the mind and the heart.

For as long as anyone in the village can remember, the machine-city of Engn has taken children, no more than one per family, to feed its constant need for workers. Finn was too young to really understand when the Ironclads took his sister for the city, but he understands all too well when they take his best friend Con
May 27, 2018 rated it it was ok
Ok, let me start off by saying, it took me 5 days to read this book. I’m not even sure why I finished it. Simon Kewin could be a great writer but from this book I didn’t see it. The writing style was very predictable and not interesting. Present, past, present, past then a different POV. Then back to the present. It was a little all over the place and it just didn’t work for me. I think it could have been better with less information about the past.

The plot was there. The story line really had p
Jan 04, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Engn is a steampunk novel describing a Dystopic world where people were dominated by a machine, Engn had become bigger and stronger than they were and they succumbed in silence, never questioning whenever the Ironclads came with their iron horses and their master to claim another child to take to Engn, never to be seen again. All the adults were afraid to speak up, thinking that if they kept silent the ironclads would pass them by however these usually picked a child from every household. Howeve ...more
Aug 10, 2013 rated it liked it
Engn by Simon Kewin is a little fantasy, steampunk and adventure all rolled into one.

First Paragraph:

"The Ironclads lifted Finn and heaved him into the moving engine. He kicked and bucked, skinning the knuckles of his left hand on the hatch as he tried to stop himself, but it was no good."


Finn lives in a small village in the mountains. Like other children, he grew up hearing stories of the brutal Ironclads and their home base- Engn. Few have seen it and returned. Engn is said to be one great
Jun 12, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: reviewed
Originally posted at: A Girl that Likes Books

Why I read this book?

I received this book as part of the LybraryThing Early Review and here is my review.

What's the book about?

The book tells us the story of Finn, a boy who grew up in a peasant society with the fear of being taken to Engn, a frightening place, full of machines, dark spirited men and uncertain perspectives of ever coming out again. As a I child, Finn sworn to destroy the very heart of it if ever he was to be taken in.

What was the thi
The Lit Bitch
Oct 14, 2013 rated it liked it
When I received this novel for review, I was expecting it to be more of a YA level read, but it seemed a little more of a middle grade (MG) book. It had YA elements but it just seemed to be written for a younger audience. That made this book a little hard for me to review based on that.

My expectation was that it would be written for an older audience, so when I started reading the flow was not quite there for me in the way I had hoped. I don’t really review a lot of MG books, basically because a
Raelyn Falkin
Jun 10, 2013 rated it liked it
I was really intrigued by this book because of the synopsis and the beautiful cover. I had high hopes but I soon realized this book would not be one for me. The writing itself was well done (there were only a few errors that I think are caused by kindle formating errors) and descriptive enough to easily picture the world Kewin had created. The characters were realistic and believable and there were times when I was rooting for one or scowling at another.

I was really intrigued about the city of E
Jul 04, 2013 rated it liked it
Received this as an Early Reviewers book for LibraryThing and was pleasantly surprised.
Engn is a fantasy novel set in a world that has 36 hour days. It felt like a steampunk novel, but I think to qualify it would have to be set on Earth, so let's just call it fantasy/sci fi to make it simple. Written for a YA audience, this is a story of Finn and Connor, who live a mostly idyllic life playing and fighting in the woods near their homes. We learn that Finn's sister, Shireen, was taken to the levi
Kat Lombard-Cook
Jul 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
A thoroughly enjoyable YA steampunk epic. Finn grew up in a small farming community, far away from the towering city-machine of Engn. But his idylic pastoral life is haunted by this place, as Ironclads come into the valley to take first his sister, and then his best friend away to Engn. No one knows what happens inside those walls, only that no one ever returns. When they come for Finn, he fights all the way, his spirit relentless. It's this spirit which keeps him fighting and keeps his hope ali ...more
May 29, 2013 rated it liked it
Shelves: arr
Put simply: Interesting idea, poorly executed.
What story there was felt spread thin and dragged on. Sentences felt very simple, dry, and repetitive, with not much variation or description. I have no idea what color hair or eyes Finn has. It may seem like a little thing but it helps a reader better visualize and connect with the main characters. Also, the whole underlying plot of the story, the years Finn spent journeying or suffering trying to discovered for what purpose Engn was made, was rend
Jul 25, 2013 rated it it was ok
Ok, I thought I was going to finish the book, but it's just not that interesting to me. In the last week, I've only read 63 pages. If it had really grabbed me, I would've read that in one day. The plot was interesting to me, but reading it felt like stop & go traffic. I got interested, read some pages, then it got boring again. Felt like I was just plodding along. Ugh... ...more
Olivia Cox
rated it liked it
Jan 07, 2016
rated it really liked it
Jun 10, 2013
Stephanie Lorée
rated it really liked it
May 22, 2014
Edward Vukovic
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Nov 02, 2017
Simon Kewin
Jul 11, 2013 rated it it was amazing  ·  (Review from the author)
rated it liked it
Jun 28, 2013
Beth ~~Just One More Chapter I Swear~~
****I received a complimentary copy of this book in exchange for an honest review ****

This should have been a no brainer/ Insta win for me BUT it was a laborious read and an even more torturous test of my endurance. I LOVE Steampunk!! I said it... I know many are sick of it or never really warmed up to the (now abundant) trend but I really do love it...I especially love it when it is written well...and here it was...MEH! This was a tropic coming of age tale whereby the youth try to find their pl
rated it liked it
Sep 02, 2013
rated it it was amazing
Aug 21, 2016
Mrs Eileen Tilston
rated it it was amazing
May 03, 2017
Danny Knestaut
rated it it was ok
May 03, 2017
Jovany Agathe
rated it did not like it
Dec 03, 2016
Jan farnworth
rated it really liked it
Jun 12, 2018
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Simon is a fantasy and sci/fi writer, author of the acclaimed Cloven Land fantasy trilogy, cyberpunk thriller The Genehunter and steampunk Gormenghast saga Engn. He's the author of several short story collections, with his shorter fiction appearing in Analog, Nature and over a hundred other magazines.

He is currently writing the galaxy-spanning Triple Stars sci/fi trilogy and is signed to Elsewhen

Other books in the series

Engn (2 books)
  • Engn II: The Clockwork War (Engn #2)

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