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The Transatlantic Conspiracy

3.06  ·  Rating details ·  408 ratings  ·  96 reviews
The year is 1908. Seventeen-year-old Rosalind Wallace’s blissful stay in England with her best friend, Cecily de Vere, has come to an abrupt end, which is fine with Rosalind. She was getting tired of being high society Cecily’s American “pet.” Her industrialist father is unveiling his fabulous new Transatlantic Express, the world’s first underwater railway. As a publicity ...more
Hardcover, 240 pages
Published June 14th 2016 by Soho Teen
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3.06  · 
Rating details
 ·  408 ratings  ·  96 reviews

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jv poore
Apr 11, 2016 rated it really liked it
Oh, I do love a story about bad girls and The Transatlantic Conspiracy is quintessential. Rosalind’s own words best define her when she explains to Alix, “I drive motorcars and I’m a suffragist, so my reputation is already a bit uncertain.” Their mutual friend Cecily not only tinkers with clocks, but has been known to write “strongly worded letters” to express her displeasure or disappointment. Embarking on the maiden voyage of the underwater railway, Alix is quick to confirm that her traveling ...more
Aug 03, 2017 rated it it was ok
Shelves: mystery, ya
There is not a single giant squid in the whole damn book. What a gyp.
Aside from the underwater train there isn't even any fantastic or sci-fi element -- its just a weak historical mystery with underdeveloped characters. Very disappointing.
Kat Heckenbach
Apr 26, 2016 rated it it was ok
This book started off as a contradiction for me, and continued as such through the whole thing. The voice is middle grade, but the characters are all older teens, which makes this a YA novel. The main character is a feminist who values education and abhors class division, yet is best friends with a fluff-headed girl who exemplifies all Rosalind despises. The majority of the book is spent with the characters discussing the importance of propriety, while behaving improperly a good amount of the ti ...more
Talk Supe
Jun 10, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2016
Oh man, this could've been an awesome steampunk adventure. A transcontinental train, Germany to America, that could travel underwater, fearless, flurry, stylish, modern debutantes, a murderer mystery, all great elements to the story. Plus this is so plainly written, no confounding talks of science and engineering, that its easy to get through.

There's a lack of precedence, inconcistencies, and character depth.
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Somewhere in the translation of the concept into the story, an important spark ended up being lost. For although this is by no means a terrible book, it never really coalesced into a solid tale. Part steampunk, part historical, part murder mystery, it both was overwritten and underwritten in the wrong areas. Most problematic, though, is that the story was inert for about 3/4 of the book before finally picking up near the
Feb 16, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a fantastic, page-turning read. It is targeted at a young adult audience (12 and up), and I can say that the character development and intricacy of plot are appropriate for that age range. The story is fast-paced, and the mystery more complicated than I suspected as I was reading. Even as an adult reader, I loved this book. The story is just a good historical murder mystery, and the fact that it takes place on an underwater train progressing under the Atlantic lends a locked-room quality ...more
Jun 24, 2016 rated it liked it
The cover is the best part with the idea of an underwater train a very close second. There are a lot of flaws with the story and characters which is mentioned in many of the other reviews. I think marketing this as a young adult book is a reach and would recommend it to older children instead of teens.
Kelly Spoer
Jun 01, 2017 rated it really liked it
Super quick read, mostly because I couldn't put it down. It's amazing in all senses of the word. I'm super excited to see what comes next.

Super fun for fans of steampunk-ish things, as well as strong female leads.
Tommy Roche
Jan 10, 2018 rated it it was ok
What if you were onboard the first ever underwater train, and there was a murderer on board? The year is 1908, and one American entrepreneur has disrupted the scene with a new fantastical machine: A train that can can the Atlantic. The entrepreneur sent his one daughter, Rosalind, to survey this trip, but her time becomes an adventure of love and lies she would never forget. But while on her adventure, the excitement came to a grinding halt: Her closest friend, Cecily, was murdered by another pa ...more
Dec 16, 2017 rated it it was ok
To me it seems that this book tried to do too many things that it ended up doing none of them successfully. It tried to be a murder mystery, but the plot didn't really get going until half way through the book and was ultimately underdeveloped. It tried to be a sci-fi adventure a little bit, but the only real eelement of that was the train. It tried to incorporate spies and espionage in the last 20 or so pages, and to be sort of historical fiction with mention of political and social concepts an ...more
Noella Handley
Jul 26, 2017 rated it really liked it
3.5 stars

This was a fun book with a cool concept. I enjoyed that it was a murder mystery. While I love shorter novels, this should have been a hundred more pages long with the second half getting more attention. The climax felt very rushed. Some of the characters deserved better development - especially Cecily. Really liked Rosalind and Alix. Overall fun and enjoyable.
Sanjna Gauba
Jan 24, 2017 rated it really liked it
***spoiler alart***Have you ever been stuck in a place with a murderer? The transatlantic conspiracy by G.D Falksen is a murder mystery where the main character, Rosalind Wallace, cannot trust anyone, including her closest friends or even her father. The events of this story take place during the 20th century in London where the first underground train was ever built. The novel explores the themes of betrayal, friendship, trust, and imperialism. The Transatlantic Conspiracy shows how one girl un ...more
Jul 08, 2016 rated it liked it
I had under the impression that G.D. Falksen's “The Transatlantic Conspiracy” fell under the category of Steampunk. After reading it – actually, early into it – I realized it was more like historical science fiction (think H.G. Wells or Jules Verne for style). The tale was set in 1908, and other than the main concept of an underwater transatlantic train (with a few underwater stations), it could simply be a pre-World War I historical novel.

OK – so we cannot blame marketing of the product on the
Oct 17, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: steampunk
One of the most well known mysteries of all time is The Murder on the Orient Express. A who-done-it that takes place on a train. Mr Falksen takes on that topic in his new teen novel. This book takes a classic case of murder and gives it a steampunk twist. For they do not travel on an ordinary train, but rather one that connects Germany to America on underwater tracks. The scientist in me wants to know how many of the things in this book can happen, but for the sake of enjoyment, suspend your sci ...more
Apr 25, 2016 rated it it was ok
Note: ARC received via Amazon Vine in exchange for review.

The only conspiracy about The Transatlantic Conspiracy is how this was sent to print in its current state. The first half of the book is overly preoccupied with creating character and inane conversation (for which we're told there's a point very curtly in the second half). The characters feel like sketches along with a plot that feels overly familiar. This seems to be marketed as a young adult steampunk romp but reads more like a juvenile
Oct 25, 2016 rated it it was ok
This book wasn't what I expected it to be. I thought it was going to be a murder mystery, and eventually it was, but the story didn't get started until after the halfway mark. The mystery was interesting, but it took too long for that part of the story to get started. Also, I enjoyed the science and the history in this book. I thought that there was going to be some fantasy involved in this story, but there wasn't any, at lest not what I call fantasy, which was quite disappointing. The character ...more
Ruby O.
Sep 29, 2016 rated it really liked it
I got this murder mystery through Brilliant Books, and I'm really glad they sent it to me. It was a quick read that kept me turning the pages. The book had a "Titanic" feel to it. The noticeable divide of high and low class, a lavish vessel traveling the Atlantic, a main character named Rose, and an adventure too good to be true. The author made great use of language in the early 1900's, and I loved the feisty protagonist's views on women's issues. It had a little bit of romance, a little bit of ...more
Llyr Heller-Humphreys
2/3 stars. This is labelled as a YA book, but it reads like middle school fiction. I agree with the other reviewers, this could've been great fun about a daring young woman, but it fell a bit flat with everything and the kitchen sink thrown in as well as a rushed conclusion that sets itself up for a sequel.
Jordan Funke
A steampunk luxury train underwater with an octopus on the cover? Of course I'm going to love it. I would have liked it a little better if it were longer and written for teens instead of middle grade. The world building takes the whole first half of the book and the murder doesn't happen until after that, which is fine by me. World building is my favorite part.
Heather Garber
Jul 02, 2016 rated it liked it
This book is ok, it wasn't near what I had hoped for it. This book had tons of potential , and honestly I don't feel that it was used. It was well over halfway through before anything really happened beyond them riding in a train. The story seemed to naturally flow and the author made it interesting , and I feel that it was well written, just a little anti-climactic.
Feb 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
This book was just silly and unbelievable, with no backbone to back up the claims in the plot.

What I liked: The all too brief descriptions of the train, and the underwater environment in which it traveled. All the different cars made me want to be on that train for one trip just to explore. Also, the idea of travelling on a train, underwater, where you would have the ability to look out the window at the ocean just sounds like my idea of a fantastic journey.

What I did not like: Lets star with R
Jun 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is definitely marketed and geared for young teens and older children, but that didn't stop me from enjoying it. (First the negative, then the positive). What really marks it out for that age group is the fast action-driven pace and the shallowness of most characters. The plot takes a major twist in the very last chapters that is so out of the blue it just seems contrived. Obviously there needed to be a conspiracy involved but what occurred was far larger than I expected and was an obvi ...more
Apr 19, 2018 rated it it was ok
The only reason this is getting two stars instead of one is because I like the idea of an underwater train. That's it. The rest is tragic.

Rosalind, the main character, is almost completely unlikable. For all she claim to hate elitism, she sure participates in it a whole lot. She's sullen, has incomprehensible emotions that are never explained, and doesn't seem to do anything else but complain about the people who are supposedly her friends.

There's a great deal of pacing issues in this book. For
Joanne Roberts
Mar 17, 2017 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: steampunk
Words fail when I try to express the depth of disappointment this book caused. I am a fan of G. D. Falksen, and looked forward to this book's release, but the finished product is riddled with amateur flaws.
On the positives: The cover is beautiful. The concept is fine. The text is clean.
The author's grasp on the steampunk genre is clear, but not on the target audience. The mc is a teen, the writing style is middle grade or less, the murder mystery, NA or adult.
I wonder, too, where the editors
Hazel West
Jul 01, 2017 rated it liked it
This book had a really interesting premise, and likable enough characters, but it kind of felt lacking too. Like, this was a lot of plot to cram into a 220 page book, especially when most of it was taken up with the girls talking about gossip and fashion and propriety. Like probably not even half this book was the actual plot which made the parts that were about the mystery plot seem rushed and with the more shocking things like a slap in the face. Plus there was a lot of pushing the suffragist ...more
James Johnson
Feb 06, 2018 rated it it was ok
Shelves: young-adult
A mess of a book. The plot is poorly thought out and executed. The settings are good but the author makes no use of them. The book feels thrown together and clunky, and I wonder if an overzealous editor was at work here - the sudden and badly written ending doesn’t fit to what came before. Note to author and proofreader - ‚brakes‘ stop vehicles, not ‚breaks‘. Basic stuff, people.
Nicole Martin
Nov 08, 2016 rated it it was ok
A lot of telling rather than showing with minimal plausibility here. The pacing is off and although a culprit is pinned, there is no backstory as to how their actions could have been pulled off. The illustrations are few are far between and don't add anything to the story.
Jan 25, 2018 rated it liked it
Shelves: young-adult
It took a long time for anything to happen, and nearly halfway through the book before the "mystery" portion of things really kicked off. The world seems interesting, but not enough to keep me engaged, alas.
Jun 23, 2017 rated it did not like it
I did not enjoy this book. The premise of the book had so much potential. But the characters were poorly developed. Everything felt rushed. But it took forever to get to the meat of the story. Once you finally got to the story, it was disappointing. Disappointing all around.
May 06, 2017 rated it it was ok
This was a fine "intro to Steampunk" I guess, for young readers. For me, not enough meat. At all. The storyline was too simple, the technology and world not explained enough for me. I got tired of it, and it was really short and easy to read. Still looking for steampunk I can fall in love with.
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G. D. Falksen is an author, lecturer, public speaker and MC. He also studies history and blogs for While his repertoire spans a range of topics, he is currently most noted for his steampunk work and is one of the most recognizable figures in the steampunk literary genre and the related subculture. His debut novel, The Hellfire Chronicles: Blood In The Skies has just been released, to rave ...more