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Ancient Appetites

(Wildenstern Saga #1)

3.77  ·  Rating details ·  164 ratings  ·  39 reviews
“An exciting new steampunk adventure” featuring living machines, murderous betrayals, and Ireland’s most ruthless family ( School Library Journal ).

The slow collapse of the British Empire in the nineteenth century meant opportunity for anyone with ammunition and wit. Now the Wildensterns are by far the most powerful family—and the most ruthless. Trained from childhood in
ebook, 412 pages
Published August 11th 2015 by Open Road Media Teen Tween (first published January 17th 2008)
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3.77  · 
Rating details
 ·  164 ratings  ·  39 reviews

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Althea Ann
Steampunk in an Irish manor house...

The Wildenstern family have been a dominant force in Irish finance for generations, with investments that reach out to the UK and even America. Their power is augmented by an inherited trait that offers them accelerated healing, long life, and an affinity for controlling the mysterious engimals - mechanical beasts with an unknown origin.

They run their estates with a feudal attitude, with servants who are treated like slaves and tenant farmers who are basicall
Christian - Knightingale Reviews
Number One: The Act of Aggression must be committed by the Aggressor himself and not by any agent or servant.

Number Two: The Act must only be committed against a man over the age of sixteen who holds a superior rank in the family to the Aggressor.

Number Three: The Act must only be committed for the purpose of advancing one's position and not out of spite, or because of insult or offence given, or to satisfy a need for revenge for an insult or injury given to a third party.

Number Four: All effort
Ramona Wray
Sep 04, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: steampunk
My son recommended this one, and we ended up reading it together. Original enough to keep us turning the pages and competently written.
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Ancient Appetites is a pleasant surprise - for once, we have an engrossing YA read that isn't about a soppy romance or poorly written action sequences in an illogical and ill-drawn world. Here, the plot is complex, the characters nuanced, and at heart we have a mystery to solve. The steampunk trappings are fascinating but don't overwhelm in this odd, alternate universe Victorian Ireland. And although the first book comle
Kavanand (Reading for Two)
Jun 26, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: arcs
Ancient Appetites is the first book in a trilogy that’s being published for the first time in the U.S. (The full trilogy was already published in the UK several years ago.) Set in Ireland in the second half of the 19th century, Ancient Appetites is the story of a very unusual family, the Wildensterns. The British may nominally rule Ireland, but the Wildensterns have enormous power and influence. In addition to being fabulously wealthy, they have special healing powers and live abnormally long li ...more
Nov 28, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: childrens-ya
Never in all my natural did I imagine that one day I would find myself reading an alternate fantasy historical novel set in Victorian Ireland that incorporated all the stuff of childhood classroom lessons in villainous rackrenting landlords, the Famine, evictions, fields of potatoes, wakes and Dublin slums aong with unique mad-science stuff of machine animals and landed gentry with superhuman powers. But here it is.

Nate Wildenstern returns to the less than tender bosom of his family home, ruled
Adam Webling
Dec 04, 2015 rated it really liked it
Shelves: young-adult
Love a mystery-filled, action-packed family conflict where every member is fighting for power? Then read Ancient Appetites. I love a good family drama where no one can trust each other (Game of Thrones/Empire-esque) and backstabbing ensues - and this book doesn’t disappoint, with the added bonus of them having supernatural healing powers and trained in assassination. You know it’s going down with that combo.

Set against a steampunk backdrop in nineteenth century Ireland, this book features fascin
Sandy Doty
We received this ebook as a reward for completing a survey for Owl Crate. It was an interesting story once it got off the ground. The first portion was a little slow and jumped around a lot. I wasn't sure what the focus of the story was going to be, but eventually it kind of pulls together.

It starts off with discussion of engimals - living mechanical animals - then focus shifts to a death of a member of a powerful family. Events occur to uncover an ancient family secret. Treacherous behaviors su
Jennisse Schule
Dec 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It took me a little while to get into this book. I did not like the engimals. I did not understand them and I couldn’t picture them right away. But the more I read, the more I grew to like the story and understand these strange creatures. This review is more of a review of the whole trilogy. I think if you are interested in a bit of a different fantasy, then give this a try. In the end, I thoroughly enjoyed the romp through this Old West (Ireland) Victorian yet Futuristic set of novels. The char ...more
Sep 18, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book is my first foray into steampunk novels. I actually really enjoyed it. Although the start was slow and i was thinking of switching to sometjing else ,it picked up and I could not put it down afterwards. I actually enjoyed having the unlikable characters as it gave them room for character development. Lastly the enigmals were my favourite part with the animal like qualities they possessed.
Quite an interesting romp of a book! A bit unevenly paced, but full of twists I didn't see coming. Some characters/plot elements seemed stereotyped (the female side characters) or incompletely thought through (engimals), but the Victorian setting and interesting Irish details make up for that to some extent.
Feb 24, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I found this book very readable. I was not sure I would enjoy it so much since it is geared to a YA audience but it certainly did keep my interest and I read the whole book in one sitting. The story line is well developed and I especially enjoyed the engimals.
Jan 23, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: steampunk, ya
So dull. The interesting premises were never revisited, the mystery was never much of a mystery...
Emma Valieu
Quand Nathaniel revient au manoir familial d'un long voyage aux commandes d'un mécanimal réputé insaisissable, ce n'est pas sans fierté. Malheureusement pour lui, la nouvelle du décès de son frère aîné lui fait de l'ombre. Et le pire, c'est que c'est lui que les doigts accusateurs pointent car dans la famille Wildenstern, le plus jeune peut tuer son supérieur hiérarchique afin de monter d'un échelon. Simple coïncidence ou véritable complot ? C'est que les Wildenstern sont tellement à part que mê ...more
May 16, 2015 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Imagine growing up in a rich, powerful family where you are trained from childhood the many ways to assassinate your quarry and how to defend yourself against an assassin. Imagine too being encouraged to develop other traits such as a love for violence and an inability for compassion. Add to that a bit of magic and wonder - why do the members of the ruling Wildenstern family live for so long, and seem so indestructible? The discovery and use of engimals (wonderful, intriguing creature/machines y ...more
May 31, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's a parallel universe during the Victorian Era, the time of the Industrial Revolution, with Steampunk animals that combine aspects and physical characteristics of machines. The Wildenstern family has its hand in many businesses but captures, tames, trains and harnesses the powers of these dangerous creatures. The Wildensterns have amassed one of the largest fortunes in the world. But beyond their reputation for almost limitless wealth and good fortune, the Wildensterns have a reputation for e ...more
May 19, 2015 rated it really liked it
One of the most fascinating aspects of Oisin McGann's Ancient Appetites is the consistency with which he builds a world where one is encouraged to murder the eldest member of the family in order to become heir to the Wildenstern fortune. Much of the story follows newly returned to Ireland Nate, but it is the surrounding characters which breathe life into the book. The first three quarters feel rather like McGann is building the world and creating the scene for a final quarter that just never let ...more
Clarence Zhen
Feb 16, 2014 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
It's a good book to start off when you don't know what to read. It may look very boring in the beginning but it's just for placing reader in the young adventurer, Nathaniel Wildestern, who is trying to catch his new steampunk beast (Well, I forgot how to say the real term written in the book. So, let's just keep it like that.). The introduction really starts when Nathaniel finds out that his older brother dies in an "accident" (Now, why the "accident"? Because Nathaniel refuses to believe that h ...more
Oct 08, 2011 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fantasy, young-adult
There's been a murder in the Wildenstern family, and the fingers are pointing at Nate, our leading man, who not only wants to find his brother's killer, but must also prove his own innocence while he's at it. Busy boy. Not to mention a whole host of other distractions intent on making Nate's life really difficult.What a read!!! It's a bit slow to start, but once all the different little plot twisties and developments start to kick in, there's more than enough to keep your noggin occupied. But th ...more
Apr 08, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I won this book through Goodreads Giveways, and to be honest it is one of the best giveaway books that I have recieved thus far. I was excited to find a novel that had steampunk aspects, action, and suspense. While reading, I had a hard time putting it down. The suspense and multiple perspectives used in the novel helped move it along and made it harder to figure out where the novel is going to go. The enigmals were fascinating, and I was a bit disappointed they weren't featured more exclusively ...more
Sep 28, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I won this book with a Goodreads giveaway. I'm not really sure how I feel about the steampunk genre and this book really didn't change it for me. It was a little slow to get going but wasn't as difficult once I got into it.

In Ancient Appetites, the Wildenstern family has held power in Ireland for generations. They have a ruthless Rule of Ascension by which family members are able to kill other family members increase their status in the family without penalty. The youngest son comes home to find
Nov 26, 2016 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I received a free copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

An interesting take on the steampunk era in Ireland combined with fantasy elements, this story is an interesting read. I like the characterization though not all the characters were likable. It moved at a good pace and kept the reader's interest throughout.
Polly Krize
I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

A fast-paced YA book, Ancient Appetites starts the McGann's trilogy of the fascinating Wildenstern family. Despite a slow start, the story picks up after the first 40 pages or so, delivering a compelling plot and well-developed characters, blended with enough fantasy and fact to hold your interest.
I enjoyed this book, but needed to read about fifty pages until I started to. Slow beginning. I had read the second book in this series and liked that more. This book I could not score as highly, so either it isn't as good, or my tastes have changed. Still, an enjoyable read.
Lori Watson
Oct 20, 2012 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition

Slow start but once the story got going, I was hooked. I read it to get the feel for the time period, but ended up engrossed in the story and wanting to read the next book as well. The idea of engimals is simply brilliant.
May 05, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Actually really enjoyed this book, it was slow to start with but the McGann quickly picked up the pace as the narrative progressed. Plus im a sucker for assassination/ murder plots morbid as that is
Nov 10, 2015 rated it liked it
Ancient Appetites is unlike anything I've read before. The engimals are an interesting element, but I didn't feel like I fully understood or took to them. However, the dead peat bog people were fascinating. I would've liked that storyline to have developed more.
S.B. Norton
Sep 13, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Absolutely loved this book. Fun, witty, bloodthirsty. Just wonderful steampunk.
Jun 24, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
I think this is a brillent , imaginative book that all ages can enjoy even if it is meant for teenagers :)
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Born in Dublin in 1973, Oisín spent his childhood there and in Drogheda, County Louth. He started writing and illustrating stories in copybooks when he was about six or seven, setting himself on a path that would steer him well clear of ever obtaining of a proper job.

Despite his writing habit, he spent most of school convinced he was going to become a zoologist, an aspiration he lost after taking

Other books in the series

Wildenstern Saga (4 books)
  • The Wisdom of Dead Men (Wildenstern Saga, #2)
  • Merciless Reason
  • The Vile Desire to Scream: A Novella