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For Steam And Country

(Adventures of Baron Von Monocle #1)

3.83  ·  Rating details ·  357 ratings  ·  72 reviews
Her father's been pronounced dead. Destructive earthquakes ravage the countryside. An invading army looms over the horizon. And Zaira's day is just getting started...

Abandoned at an early age, Zaira von Monocle found life as the daughter of a great adventurer to be filled with hard work and difficulty. She quickly learned to rely on only herself. But when a messenger brou
Kindle Edition, 279 pages
Published June 15th 2017 by Superversive Press
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Average rating 3.83  · 
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Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths.

For Steam and Country is a young adult, steampunk adventure penned by Jon Del Arroz. It is a light, fast-paced, and action-packed adventure which delivers hours of fun!

Sixteen-year-old Zaira von Monocle is a country girl who has been living alone, tending her family farm ever since her mother died and her father disappeared over two years ago. While she struggles with all her responsibilities, Zaira gives it her best, holding things together as best she can wit
Jun 19, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was my introduction to steampunk fiction. I've always been interested but never actually read anything in the genre, but this one just sounded too good not to try, and the fact that it's set in a fantasy world rather than the typical steampunk setting really hit home with a fantasy fanatic like myself.

Characters: Memorable and colorful characters throughout. The main antagonist remains behind-the-scenes for the most part, so a little more building his character would have been nice, but it'
Adam Lane
Jun 28, 2017 rated it really liked it
This book is a solid adventure story, with some good humor and real personality.

Before I say anything else, in the interest of full disclosure, I am not a fan of Steampunk. I read this book solely because I enjoyed the author's other book, Rescue Run. This book is definitely Steampunk. I've had discussions with folks who are hardcore into that sort of thing and they seem to like this book. It doesn't go into extreme detail on the inner workings of every device, which would have really turned me
Brett T
The era between the Franco-Prussian War in 1870 and World War I seems to make a good time frame for young adult steampunk sci-fi, as there are still enough old-fashioned social morés to keep the sexual content relatively chaste but things have begun to progress enough that plucky female heroines can rise to the occasion and demonstrate heroism through their courage and intelligence. So Jon Del Arroz begins his stories of Zaira von Monocle in such a time, as her native Rislandia faces off against ...more
Carrie (The Butterfly Reader)
So let's start off by saying that I love steampunk and I do not see enough of it in YA. So that made me so happy when I heard about this novel. I was on board and ready for it. I was not let down, I love the story and the characters. I love the world.

I love how even though Zaira was pushed to the limit and dealt a horrible hand, she kept moving on. She didn't once give up. She pushed through and I enjoyed her character growth. I also loved how much I laughed during this book, it was fun. A fun
C.T. Phipps
May 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Steampunk, for those unfamiliar with the genre, is that it substitutes super-science Victorian technology for magic (though they sometimes exist side by side). Zeppelins, machine guns, time-machines, submarines, and Tesla guns are all things which exist in worlds going through their own version of the Industrial Revolution. It's a genre without a magnum opus but many books with elements of it if only a few completely qualifying.

FOR STEAM AND COUNTRY is one of the rare "pure" steampunk books and
Phillip III
Jul 17, 2017 rated it it was amazing
I just finished reading an absolutely fun, action-filled steampunk novel. FOR STEAM AND COUNTRY was written by Jon Del Arroz. It is the kind of novel that, when you sit down to start reading --time gets away from you. As a reader I was sucked right into the story for two very key, and important readers. First, Arroz has created some of the most memorable, and likeable characters I have seen in some time. You will absolutely fall in love with the lead, Zaira von Monocle. She is a farmer, who is f ...more
Jan 25, 2018 rated it did not like it
I love steampunk, its storytelling, its aesthetic. Having read authors like Cherie Priest, Jay Lake, and Jonathan Howard, I'd come to expect a level of intelligence and refinement to the prose that this novel lacked. Simple declarative sentences can be effective in the hands of an author who understands subtlety and subtext. Mr. Del Arroz is not that author. His plodding, uninspired storytelling moves from scene to scene, teeming with cliches and dull expressions. Even his protagonist's name - Z ...more
Nov 24, 2017 rated it did not like it
Speaking as a conservative to whom I would expect Del Arroz means to appeal, this is one of the worst books I have read.

The heroine is utterly incompetent, and it's supposed to be one of those non-Mary Sues, but instead wholly fails to understand that concept, or the concepts of Capitalism, or Monarchy, or anything.

Everything about this novel is irritating. The idea I think is that Mary Sues are bad, therefore we should have the opposite of a Mary Sue, which is (in the theory of this novel) a gi
Jul 21, 2018 added it
Steam punk is cool. It looks awesome, it opens the gate for cool ideas and stylistic choices. For some reason, though, it seems a bunch of steam punk books are kind of meh. Which... yeah, it happens here.

Zaira is the only daughter of a legendary baron/airship captain and just basically a freaking awesome guy everyone loved. He went MIA 2 years ago, after Zaira's mother also died, so she is alone running the family farm the way she can. The neighbour family is there for her though, with their h
Tony Hisgett
Aug 26, 2019 rated it did not like it
This was a ‘Kindle Unlimited’ gamble that didn’t pay off. I’m afraid I was pulled in by the cover, unfortunately Zaira von Monocle didn’t live up to the tough competent heroine portrayed on the cover.
After giving up on the book I discovered several reviews claiming it was a YA story, in fact in many ways it was more a children’s book.
One of the other things I didn’t like, was the way the author puts excerpts from Baron von Monocle’s log at the start of each chapter. I just find this an annoyin
Robyn Bennis
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
As a steampunk fan, I'm loving the recent renaissance of fresh settings and ideas coming from steampunk authors. Despite this being John Del Arroz's first foray into the genre, For Steam and Country is no exception. An action-packed adventure in the spirit of John Scalzi and J.K. Rowling, this is a real page-turner. The plot moves briskly and the characters pop on every page. This is a lot of fun, for a YA or adult reader, and I can't wait to read the next adventure of Zaira von Monocle! ...more
I loved it!!
May 04, 2020 rated it liked it
Decent enough read, but I didn't love it. The names, like Von Monocle, etc, made me roll my eyes so I would assume greater humour. I did rather like the Captain though.
Jun 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A fun fantasy with a great young female lead!
H. P.
Jun 21, 2017 rated it liked it
Shelves: modern-sf
Jon Del Arroz’s steampunk YA novel, For Steam and Country, shows a lot of promise, but unfortunately it too often typifies what I like least about both steampunk and YA.

Sixteen-year-old Zaira von Monocle has lived alone on her family farm since her mother died and her father disappeared. All that changes when her father’s attorney—and a confidant of the king—Mr. du Gearsmith arrives to inform her that, after two years, her father has been declared officially dead. Meaning Zaira inherits his airs
J.R. Harrison
Dec 13, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Just when I thought Seampunk was dead.

Here is a great story of airships and adventure. I have READ just about every Seampunk out there. I look forward to reading more of Jon's work
Michael Feather
Dec 13, 2020 rated it it was amazing

I've never been much of a steampunk fan, but I decided to give this book a gander after enjoying other works by Jon. I must say I'm glad I did. A very enjoyable and easy read. I would definitely recommend that you read this book.
Jun 23, 2017 rated it liked it
the auther has some fun ideas and does create some cool atmosphere but the plot plays it way to safe. maybe I'm not the target audience for this but the one thing I did enjoy was the cute ferret. ...more
Dec 02, 2020 rated it really liked it
This is decent. I picked it up because I was looking for something specific (mainly steampunk genre) and there were very few options that I could find that fit that niche.
Dec 17, 2018 rated it did not like it
Shrek with steam engines

I bailed at About two-thirds of the way through. The cover art was classic steam punk heroine. After that the novel goes sideways. A major character named Von Monocle gives a glimpse into the silliness to come.

The airship is A big steam punk piece of tech and the book revolves around it. By the time that I gave up, I still had no idea what the tech was. Is it flying with dirigible type bags or is it a fixed wing craft powered by steam engines, who knows. There is a steam
Leandro Novaes
Jun 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
With a heroine as a main character, I fully approached this book expecting it to be another Mary Sue story. In fact, the initial part of the book setups itself as a Mary Sure story. Still, I couldn't have been more wrong. The characters develop themselves rationally and barring one or two plot twists that are too obvious to be called 'twists' the story flows swiftly and naturally with a barely a hiccup. And then the book ends and you are left amazed and wanting more. I fully recommend it for tho ...more
Eddie D. Moore
Apr 10, 2018 rated it really liked it
I think this book would make a great animated movie. The narrator sounds a little flat and takes a little getting used to, but don’t let that discourage you.

When you get to the escape, I suggest bumping up the speed to 1.25. The story loses a little ‘steam’ with reunions and conversations that I feel would’ve been postponed until a safer time. The increased speed should help you hold onto a sense of urgency.

The good out weighs the bad, so read For Steam and Country!
jospeh jack
Feb 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition

Do yourself a huge favor and BUY THIS BOOK NOW!😍 Do spend your money 💰 on this book ,this author is is amazing!😍 I DO HAVE A GREAT 👍 AMOUNT OF PRAISE FOR THIS STORY! 😍BUY THIS BOOK! I HIGHLY RECOMMEND RECOMMEND THIS BOOK! 😍😍
Jun 25, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This was a fantastically fun read! Arroz starts with a bang (literally), and the pace only ramps up from there- from earthquake, to lawyers, to flying and crashing airships, to foreign invasion-- and that's only the beginning. Our Heroine, Zaira, is an engaging, delightful young lady, a character I really appreciated for even more for her mistakes than for the things she gets right. Her adventures and misadventures with the airship Lilliana and her crew make for a delightful romp through a world ...more
Robert Defrank
Mar 31, 2018 rated it really liked it
Steampunk and airships? Go on...

Zaira von Monocle (just go with it, it sounds like a parody surname but it’s serious) has grown up in the shadow of her father, the famous Baron von Monocle, hero of the kingdom of Rislandia, whose adventures on the airship Liliana are already the stuff of legend.

When the baron is missing in action and presumed dead, young Zaira finds herself heir to the legendary airship and an elite but wearied and discouraged crew. It’s a responsibility she is nowhere close to
Gregory L. Hollen
Mar 23, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Steampunk at its best

Pulp fantasy that is riveting and fast paced. If you've never read Steampunk, this is the perfect place to start.
John Davies
I still can't decide if I liked this book. It's a good enough story, and the characters are interesting enough, and there's even enough action to make me happy, but there's something that makes me question if I really liked it or not.

Part of the problem I think is every problem that arises for our protagonist, a 16 year old girl named Zaira von Monocle, ends up solved easily.

Airship crew overwhelmed and captured? No problem, we'll just blow their airship to bits and capture them instead.

Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Judge this book by its excellent cover…

Although the attractive steam punk woman on the cover did not seem to represent any particular person in the book, it is such a good cover I must say it got my attention. I have really enjoyed the steam punk genre and this Book does a great job of portraying tradition the characters are entirely entertaining. I highly recommend this book for a good read.
Sep 23, 2017 rated it it was amazing
High Adventure

Steampunk on a very different world, not just Victorian England. What happens when the daughter of a famous hero acquires an airship?

This could easily have been made into a graphic novel, but instead the author drew it with just enough words to let our imaginations finish the picture. A fun read that I consumed in a single night.
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Jon Del Arroz began his writing career in high school, providing book reviews and the occasional article for the local news magazine, The Valley Citizen. From there, he went on to write a weekly web comic, Flying Sparks, which has been hailed by Comic Book Resources as “the kind of stuff that made me fall in love with early Marvel comics.” He
has several published short stories, most recently provi

Other books in the series

Adventures of Baron Von Monocle (5 books)
  • The Blood of Giants (Adventures of Baron Von Monocle, #2)
  • The Fight for Rislandia: Book Three of the Adventures of Baron Von Monocle
  • The Iron Wedding: Book Four of the Adventures of Baron Von Monocle
  • The Steam Knight (The Adventures of Baron Von Monocle Book 5)

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