She was created for more than slavery; she was built for rebellion.
In an alternate Victorian England, clockwork cyborgs provide the primary source of labor for the upper class. Known as biomatons, they are property by law and have been manipulated and mind-controlled into subservience.
Taryn Roft, a 17-year-old girl, attending classes at Grafton's School of Mechanicks in London has a secret. What's even worse—she cannot remember anything before her twelfth birthday.
When a mysterious privateer discovers her secret, he offers her an ultimatum: accompany him to his airship, or her secret will be revealed to everyone. For Taryn, it's not much of a choice. Facing prejudice and cruelty may be nothing new to the only girl at an all-boys' school, but the further from home she gets, the darker her situation becomes.
Thanks to the publisher for providing an eARC of Sedition in exchange for an honest review!
I think this was a really good series introduction! Sedition is a steampunk sci-fi set in 1800s London following cyborg Tyran who's been living in secret as a human to try and avoid the slave status her robotic arm would earn her. I found the world really interesting and Tyran is an easy to root for, yet complex character and I'm interested in seeing where Wright takes her story from here. I do wish Emmet was more developed (I'm not a fan of books pointing out their insta love as if that fixes the fact that it's insta love) and hope he develops more of a personality and motives separate from Tyran in later books but for now, he was fine. Same goes for Ace who I don't think warranted his own perspective here but I recognize that it could have been key to include that now so further books are better executed.
Sedition is definitely a book for fans of introspective, deep characters who are enraged by the injustice of the world. Wright uses a steampunk alternative London to examine the intricacies of humanity, what makes us human, and the horrors that some of us inflict on others. Some lines struck me as too honest and raw to be anything but a true feeling of the author, and I think that it speaks to a lot of the moments of rage and helplessness we all feel (hopefully only from time to time ;) ) I was also able to spot a few "loose ends" that will surely show up in later books, which I find very intriguing! You should definitely give this book a shot!
Also, I listened to the audiobook and the quality of the reading is fantastic, so you should check out that option as well!
I enjoyed this steampunk tale and the world it's set in. I especially liked Taryn and Emmet, although Ace was an interesting character to follow as well. The way the author explored the concepts in this book was really intriguing, and I'll be curious to see how things play out in future books.
Sedition is a fun and unique steampunk story with rebellious cyborgs, mystery and airships aplenty. The characters all have their own distinct voices and personalities. My only personal gripe is that I don't feel the relationships between Taryn, Ace and Emmet were fleshed out enough. I would have loved to have seen more of the friendship between Ace and Emmet, as well as the relationship development between Taryn and Ace, especially since Ace went from despising Taryn to kind of liking her and wanting to protect her fairly quickly.
I really enjoyed this book a LOT. A lot of food for thought pertaining to the so-called REAL world within a fantastical universe, built with care and detail. And I got to share my appreciation for it with Emily when she visited the SL Book Club. What is amazing here [on top of super compelling characters and the successful avoidance of Steampunk clichees]: I was convinced that Emily had our abelist society in mind when she depicted the discrimination against the protagonists who were modified and tech enhanced. Since I work a lot with the disability community I was so certain that it was a very deliberate allegory [is that the correct word?] but alas it was not on the forefront of Emily's mind. And THAT is what the best books do IMHO: leave a lot of room for the reader to interpret, fill in, flesh out, color. Thank you Emily and all the best for your future career :)
A steampunk novel set in Victorian England, where biomatons (part human, part robot) people are considered slaves. If someone loses a leg and is given a mechanical prosthetic one, he or she is then enslaved because they're said to have lost their humanity. This story focuses on Taryn, who lost her arm in a house fire at a very young age. However, she has kept the secret of her mechanical arm for years.....until she is discovered. And so begins this story. From her capture until her eventual release, not much happens (I was waiting for a huge battle or something). Apparently, this is the first book in a new series, but there wasn't much that happened before the abrupt ending.
This entire review has been hidden because of spoilers.
Taryn understood the plight of the biomaton. They were slaves, humans who needed clockwork parts in order to survive. Their modified bodies somehow made them less than human, and that was the part she did not understand. Why weren’t they human? What did losing a limb and having it replaced have to do with one’s humanity?
Taryn Roft lives with a secret she doesn’t even fully understand herself. After barely surviving a fire as a child, her arm was replaced with a clockwork prosthesis. She is a biomaton. She is also missing six years’ worth of memories between the fire and finding herself on the streets of London. What she can’t remember could change the world.
E.M. Wright’s debut SEDITION (Parliament House Press) is a strong steampunk adventure that starts out with some fascinating worldbuilding and character exploration before hurtling into a heady tale full of clockwork cyborgs (called biomatons), airship privateers, unscrupulous entrepreneurs, and more than a few mad scientists. Fans of steampunk looking for the familiar set dressings will find no shortage of things to delight, but SEDITION is not a novel that falls into cliché. The world Wright has created is fully realized and feels very lived-in. Whether it’s Grafton’s School of Mechanicks, aboard the airship Dauntless, or at the suitably ominously-named Black Castle, the settings in SEDITION are painted in vivid multi-sensory detail and easy for the reader to imagine.
As we meet her, Taryn has done well for herself, hiding her mechanical arm from her adoptive family and her classmates at Grafton’s School of Mechanicks. The life she has carved out for herself all comes crashing down following a chance encounter with an airship privateer who discovers her secret, though, and she finds herself wrenched away to face an uncertain and very likely unpleasant fate.
Biomatons, you see, exist not just as an underclass, but are considered non-human by their masters. Legally, they are property, bought and sold as readily as any machine. How exactly this came to be the case remains unrevealed, though it is hinted at that this arrangement exists only in Great Britain; France, we’re told, does not have biomaton technology. In the roughly forty years since the technology was invented, though, biomatons have become the source of manual labour driving the economic engine of the British Empire, working in roles from heavy industry to household staff for the wealthy. There are biomaton gladiatorial combat rings, and particularly well-crafted or unique biomatons are even thought of as prized collectables in certain circles. As luck would have it, Taryn’s provenance makes her something very special indeed.
I was left wondering how someone becomes a biomaton, though. When faced with a life of mindless slavery, why would anyone suffering an amputation injury would choose clockwork prosthesis? In one particularly gruesome case in the story, the conversion from human to biomaton is far from consensual, inflicted upon a healthy and hale victim as a show of cruelty, malice, and dominance. But surely this cannot be the norm? It’s unclear if there’s something in British law that governs how a free citizen becomes property when so injured; these aren’t cadavers with no rights being rebuilt, revived, and sold off. I found this to be a bit of a gap in the otherwise splendid worldbuilding. One hopes this is addressed in the next book in the series.
That said, SEDITION works well as a thinkpiece on discrimination. I think it’s easy for writers to get caught up in daring adventure and petticoats and top hats, and forget the “punk” part of steampunk. A good steampunk story ought to say something about society. SEDITION does this. Taryn belongs to the absolute lowest caste of her society. Only by concealing what she is can she pass herself off as a member of society, but when her secret comes out she finds herself thrust into a world she had scarcely imagined. Having lived both as a biomaton and (for lack of a better term) a normal human, she rails against the injustice of her situation. It works in part because Taryn’s underlying anger is there from the first page; this is not a newfound cause she takes on simply because her secret is revealed. One gets the sense that this was always going to be Taryn’s fight, no matter how she found her way to the field.
Be advised, SEDITION is the first book in a series, and for all the great character work Wright lays out, Taryn’s arc is far from complete. Little is actually resolved at the end of the book, but promises are made and the scaffolding is built for what’s to come. I, for one, intend to be along for the ride.
Trigger & Content Warnings: Abduction, Death of Family Member, Physical and Psychological Torture
My thanks to the author and publisher for providing a complimentary advance copy for review. This in no way influenced my rating or review.
Sedition is a debut novel by E. M. Wright and it starts Children of Erikkson series. I received a free copy from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Sedition is steampunk fantasy set in alternate Victorian England of airships and biomatons, humans that have been altered with clockwork parts and mind modifiers. Because of these changes, they’re no longer considered human and are treated as slaves.
Taryn is a young student of biomechanics with a secret: she is a biomaton too. She’s been pretending to be human for several years now, after she was discovered from the streets by a son of an aristocrat. Then her secret is discovered, and she’s taken to a lair of a cruel lordship who collects biomatons. Taryn is put through examinations and torture that nearly breaks her. Only, her mind-control doesn’t quite work like others’.
This started as a four-star book. The language was smooth, and the first third progressed in a good pace. Then Taryn was taken captive, and everything changed. The rest of the book lacked a proper plot with a clear goal that the protagonist would try to work towards. Taryn was passed along in a progression of scenes where she was submitted to humiliation and/or torture over and over again, with no recourse. The sadistic cruelty of the other characters soon became tiresome, especially since Taryn had no agency and no way to influence her situation. The story happened to her, not the other way around. The ending was abrupt and came across like a deus ex machina, especially since the build-up was for a different solution entirely.
Taryn was an interesting character, but not someone I could identify with. I sympathised with her at first, but even that became difficult when she had no influence on her situation or any initiative. The idea that her emotions were dampened was fairly repulsive, especially in how it made her regard her only friend.
The side characters were odd, to say the least. Ace was probably meant to be a love interest of a sort, since he was given his own POV chapters, but he was cowardly and useless. Emmet was mawkish and then pitiful, through no fault of his own. The rest of the characters were merely a collection of sadistic torturers that would make Marquis de Sade envious. At least there was no sexual violence, which was probably due to this being marketed as YA fiction.
Things could be said about the idea of slaves as non-human (or vice versa), especially since the book is set at the time when America was fighting the Civil War over slavery, but since the author chose not to make the comparison, I’ll leave be. All in all, nothing else kept me reading than the obligation to review the book. I won’t be following Taryn’s path longer than this.
First of all, let me share what I liked about Sedition by E.M. Wright. Taryn was a wonderful character who I was able to get behind right from the start. She is feisty and engaging and I really invested emotionally in her journey. The plot was interesting and the story moved at a good pace throughout. The book also managed to hit all the marks you would expect in a steampunk story without devolving into cliché.
On the negative side, one point I must raise, because it bugged me the most, is that the French character's French was frequently incorrect. There were issues with grammar and spelling in several sentences, and also mix-ups between informal and formal speech. He addresses Taryn both formally and informally, which doesn't make any sense. It should be consistent--either one or the other. Then, at the end he meets a character who is a) older than him b) a new acquaintance and c) in a position of authority over him... and he addresses this person informally, when each of those points on their own would require formal speech. It may seem like I am being pedantic here, but I believe that if you want to use foreign sentences in a book, they ought to be correct. Sure, readers who don't speak those languages will never know the difference, but the errors will leap off the page for anyone who does, and I found the inaccuracies highly irritating as they kept pulling me out of the story every time. I do acknowledge that I was reading an ARC, so perhaps someone will have fixed the problems with the French by now; however, it was more than just picking up one or two missed typos, which makes me think a native or fluent French speaker has not looked over those sections.
In conclusion, I am giving this book 3.5 stars. I enjoyed the story and would certainly be interested to see where Taryn's journey takes her next; however, the foreign language issues were a major sticking point for me. If not for those, I potentially would have raised this rating to a four.
I received a free eBook ARC via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
Thank you to the publisher and NetGalley for this ARC in exchange for an honest review!
Sedition by E. M. Wright is a YA steampunk adventure unlike any book that I've read before. I've always been a fan of steampunk aesthetics, but I've found the few steampunk books that I've read to be somewhat lacking in the imagination and wonder that the genre evokes When I requested this book, I was somewhat cautious because of my previous experiences with steampunk books. However, it turns out that I had nothing to worry about. Sedition is one of the most creative and innovative books that I've read this year!
The story revolves around Taryn Roft, a 17 year-old girl who lives in steampunk Victorian London. She goes to school at the School for Mechanicks, where students learn how to operate biomatons, clockwork cyborgs that have been enslaved by the upper class. Here is a scene from Chapter 1 which introduces the setting:
"The students of Grafton's School of Mechanicks followed their guide deeper into the newly opened London Museum of Bioclockwork. The building was huge, regal in a bare industrial sort of way. Their footsteps clattered across a stone floor inlaid with metal gilding: copper cogs elevated from functional to beautiful... The group consisted of boys and young men, all bright-eyed, eagerly soaking up the information presented before them, and looking forward to the bright future they would have as clockmakers or mechanicks. Or, if they were very fortunate, as biomechanicks. But near the back of the group... a fierce-looking girl with a shock of bright red hair pulled into a tangled braid stood, her arms crossed, one hand covered with a black satin glove."
That is our first introduction to Taryn, our feisty heroine with a dark secret. I was rooting for her throughout the story. Soon she is forced to leave the school, and she goes on a rollicking, danger-filled adventure that takes her around the world. One highlight of this book is that the world-building is amazing, full of automatons and gas lamps. I felt like I was transported back in time to an alternative Victorian London, and I loved it. If there was any time period that I would want to travel to, steampunk London is at the top of my list!
Overall, Sedition is an amazing steampunk novel that will satisfy fans of that genre as well as any readers who enjoy fantasy and science reader. If the excerpt above intrigues you, or if you're a regular fantasy or sci-fi reader, you won't regret checking out this book when it comes out in May!
This was a great book. The characters were all wonderful and the world that the author has created worked well. I fell in love with this entire set up and plot and I am excited to see what the author has in store next for these characters.
I want to thank Netgalley, E. M. Wright, and The Parliament House for giving me a chance to read this book in exhange for an honest review. You can read my FULL NON-SPOILER review at: https://inkdrinkerhana.wordpress.com/...
This book didn't live up to my expectations. Maybe it's more of the "it's not you, it's me" syndrome I seem to be having a lot of lately, but it was just... meh. I really want to start ranting right now, but that would be extremely spoiler-y, so I'm just going to shut up right about now.
Overall, this was an interesting book with an intriguing concept. Taryn as a MC is compelling, as are the side characters, too.
There's some good world-building, but I also have unanswered questions regarding the biomatons & how they are created on a wider scale (like surely no one would choose this, so are they all changed against their will? Does the law allow this? If a person would survive without their limb, are they not allowed to keep living unchanged?) but it may be these could be explored more in the sequels.
Interesting take on the steampunk world by showing how people could respond to those changed by clockwork additions to their bodies. Taryn the main character starts out knowing nothing about her true past, is trying to get a good education until her secret is discovered and she is stolen away in the night. I found the writing style to be somewhat repetitive, like a word count had to be reached. All the dialog is very formal and never any contractions which came off as rather strange. Two teens talking to each other and they use formal language just didn't sit right with me. The plot itself was rather predictable but the writer does manage to make you care about the characters and none seem cookie cutter. I got the impression that this was the start of a series as the ending is rather sudden and left really open. I'd recommend this book for teens
This book was given to me by the Publisher with the expectation of a fair review.
Steampunk makes everything better; it just does. An this is a fun steampunk adventure. The plot was a bit predictable because the tale starts off with several standard tropes, but by the end I felt the story arc was set up well to go in an unexpected direction for book 2 (I hope).
Taryn is one of the few ladies in the story. For the first third of the book, she is the only woman at Grafton’s School for Mechanicks. So right there, we have some predictability. More than one guy is interested in her. Every one thinks she’s beautiful except Taryn herself. She’s got a secret she can’t share, giving her much anxiety and making her snappish with her school mates. Royal Stokker is her best friend and kinda adoptive brother in that Lord Stokker took her in as a orphan when she was a small kid. Yet there’s some obvious romantic interest there, at least on one side.
We eventually get sky pirates! Hell, yes! The plot picked up it’s pace with this turn. Ace and his sister Storm run this particular ship, the Dauntless. They are tracking down a biomaton maker (Lord Erikkson) to punish him and they think Tyran might be the lead they need. These siblings really don’t like biomatons, especially Storm. Again, we have some simmering romantic interests from Ace because Tyran is so captivating… Emmett, a member of the crew, also has his heart captured by Tyran too, tho right now it feels more like a deep friendship forming. Still, could be a harem situation in the future…. maybe.
I need to chat about the biomatons. On the surface, I love this idea. People who have lost a body part get it replaced with a mechanical part but they also have their brain a bit modified in order to firmly connect with their new body part. Once you become a biomaton, you are no longer considered human and can be sold, like furniture. In a Victorian England, this is a great set up for all sorts of stuff. And yet I have so many questions for how this works. It takes a lot of knowledge and expertise just to maintain biomatons, and even more knowledge to create them. So why poor all of this expertise & specialty parts into what is essentially a slave? Just from a cost perspective, I wonder how it works. Then I also wonder what happens when someone of means loses a limb and gets it replaced and well, do they then become a slave as well? For Taryn specifically, it’s one of her arms. It was replaced when she was quite young so it’s smaller than her 17-year-old real arm. Yet no one has noticed… because she wears long sleeves and gloves. Yeah, right. In short, I love the idea but I think it really needs to be fleshed out to make it believable.
The story did keep my attention because of the adventure aspect. There’s a bigger quest here for Taryn to complete, a mystery for her to solve. But she has to go through some hell before she’ll get the answers she seeks. I really liked the developing friendship between her and Emmett at the Black Castle and I like where the story leaves them with a solid clue as to what to do next (in book 2). 3.5/5 stars.
The Narration: Micah Cottingham was a good fit for this story. She had the perfect voice for Taryn. Her French accent could use a bit polishing but I could understand the little bit of French used in this book. Cottingham had good pacing and sounded engaged in the story the entire time. There was 1 sentence that was repeated, that I caught, but no other technical issues with this recording. Her male character voices were mostly believable, though some could use a bit more masculinity. 3/5 stars.
I received this audiobook as part of my participation in a blog tour with Audiobookworm Promotions. The tour is being sponsored by E.M. Wright. The gifting of this audiobook did not affect my opinion of it.
Sedition by E. M. Wright was released on May 18, 2021. This book is about Taryn Roft, a seventeen-year-old girl who has a big secret: she’s a biomaton. A biomaton is a person who has been altered with clockwork cyborg parts (picture Cyborg from Teen Titans). Regardless of her cyborg parts, Taryn had been living her life as a normal human. She had friends, she was in school, and she was planning her future as a biomechanic. She worked hard to hide her cyborg arm because if anyone ever knew what she was, she’d be forced into slavery with the other biomatons of Victorian England. One day, her biggest fear came to life: a privateer discovered her secret and he offered her two choices: either he’d out her secret to everyone or she would leave school with him and board his airship.
Wright used Taryn to explore the intricacies of humanity. After her secret was discovered, she was forced to listen to others constantly telling her that she was not human. Even though she could feel pain, had friends, had a protective nature, and felt sadness, she was told again and again that she wasn’t human. In the eyes of society, her cyborg arm somehow made her less than fully flesh and blood humans. Even though she had more heart than the monsters who surrounded her, she was the one who was deemed inhuman.
Sedition is a powerful story. On the surface it’s a story about a dystopian steampunk Victorian England. When you dive under the water, however, it’s a story about discrimination and caste. While she was in school, the help from her benefactor kept her in a higher caste. Once her secret was discovered, however, she was instantly dropped to the lowest caste system: slavery. For one of the books I’ve been writing, I’ve had to do A LOT of research into slavery and the pains and inhumanity my ancestors had to suffer through. I saw a lot of parallels through Taryn’s story. The first step in any form of slavery is to make your victims believe they aren’t human, that they are less than. The next step is to use fear, humiliation, and abuse to keep your victims as victims. To prevent them from trying to run away or, worse, to prevent them from banding together to fight their oppressors. While Wright didn’t make the comparison between biomaton slavery and black slavery that was currently being fought against in the U.S. Civil War, the story was too analogous to black slavery for it to not have been at the forefront of Wright’s mind when she wrote Sedition.
This was a five star read for me. The world, the characters, and the plot of this book are nothing but original. Unless I was missing something, I didn’t think it was derivative of anything that’s been published before. Wright definitely has a winner here and I’m excited to see where book two takes Taryn. I think Wright has a literary winner on her hands.
This was one of those books were I did not know what to expect before reading it. Looking back, I am so glad I gave Sedition a chance because wow! Just wow!
Even though I haven’t read a lot of steampunk fantasy (although I very much like the genre) and thus doesn’t have much to compare this book with, I still feel it’s safe to say that Sedition by E. M. Wright probably is one of the best ya steampunk books on the market today.
The book follows Taryn Roft, a young woman with a mysterious past but a seemingly bright future. That is, until someone discovers her darkest and most protected secret. A secret that threatens to change everything and forces Taryn to abandon the life she so carefully built, including the one person she trusts the most. It’s a story of horror, of nightmares brought to life. But it is also a story about love, hope and trust. A story about making horrible mistakes and having to live with them. It is a story about redemption but also, of course, of Sedition.
While Sedition has an intriguing plot, multi-layered characters and even some romantic tension between enemies (which I love), this book also focuses on darker topics, mainly what I would refer to as racism. However, in this book, people aren’t treated differently because of skin color or nationality but rather because some part of their body isn’t made of skin and bones but of metal. People who need clockwork parts to survive are called biomatons and in Taryn’s steampunk version of Victorian Britain, biomatons are nothing more than slaves, property, designed to be bought and sold. But what is humanity? What makes us human? Is it that our bodies are made of skin and bone? Is it our feelings? Follow Taryn on her journey and maybe, just maybe, you’ll find the answer to this questions along the way. Or, at least, getting a bit closer to what your answer to these questions are.
Sedition is not a standalone because while Taryn’s journey in this book is both long and eventful, it is clear that this is just the beginning of her story and I’m really looking forward to discover what the future has in store for both Taryn and her friends (or should I say enemies…?)
If you want to read a good, fast-paced YA fantasy or science fiction book, you should definitely give this book a try, especially if you like steampunk. Never read a ya steampunk (science fiction) book before? Then Sedition is the book for you because it sure shows just how much this genre has to offer.
Sedition by E.M. Wright is a welcome addition to the steampunk genre. It had me hooked from the beginning and I truly enjoyed getting to know the characters and the world in which it is set.
This book takes place in an alternative London in the late 19th century. Taryn was pulled from a fire by a man who saved her life by giving her a prosthetic limb made of clockwork. In this world, people with these prostheses are known as biomatons, and are taken to be slaves, no longer seen as human. Taryn has been hiding her clockwork arm out of fear that should anybody discover her secret, she would be torn from the life she has built and worked towards into a life of slavery. After she is essentially kidnapped from her boarding school where she is learning to be a biomechanic, Taryn realizes she is no longer in control of her own life. But Taryn has six years of memories she cannot recall, and her true purpose has been kept hidden from her...until now.
This book was a solid series starter. The world building was excellently done and the characters were flushed out. I was concerned that the author wouldn't explain why biomatons are seen as less than human, besides their outer clockwork appendages, but she does go into detail about why humans do not accept that biomatons are still human. I though that was fascinating. I don't want to reveal more here, for fear of spoiling anything.
I will say this book is not for the weak of heart. Human characters are extremely cruel to Taryn and other biomatons like her, torturing her in order to break her spirit. I do think the book could have used some kind of lightheartedness or comic relief because it gets and then stays heavy. But this heaviness is also important because it forces readers to realize that so many people are not treated fairly. I do understand why the author made those choices, but it was difficult to read in places.
Overall, I'm excited for the next book in the series because I think the author's got big plans for what's next. I can't wait to see what's in store for us.
Content: No swearing or physical romance, but there are scenes of abduction and torture.
Sedition is a compelling story, set in a vintage, steampunk London with enjoyable characters. It was an easy read and I flew through this book.
Sedition’s world is well thought out and the detail is evident, from the systemic prejudice to the advanced technology, the settings are vivid and plausible. It gave me ‘Infernal Devices’ vibes, but with more steampunk elements.
As for the characters, I found them to be enjoyable. I enjoyed the main character’s struggle with morality and her desire for finding her true identity, but at times it felt repetitive. I also wish we got more of the minor characters. Many of them were mentioned at the beginning, but then never (or rarely) brought up again. These characters are vivid and well-rounded, but I was left wanting more of them.
Finally, the plot. The story was nice- it satisfied me and I think the build-up to the climax was well done. The main character’s struggles and hardships were well done and evident. The relationships between characters never seemed fully polished and neither did the ending. There was all this build-up to the climax, only for the denouement and resolution to be crammed into 30ish pages- I would have loved for some moments to be longer, rather than be rushed ‘in the heat of the moment so to say. With this, though, the story was easily digestible and enjoyable. In particular, I loved the airship and the tensions woven into the crew. It was interesting to see not only the history of how captain and privateer came to be but also the effects of their backstory on the rest of the crew.
Overall, I would rate Sedition ⅗ stars. It was an enjoyable book with an interesting plot. Although it falls short in character relationships, its strengths lie in worldbuilding and attention to detail. I would recommend this book to fans of the Infernal Devices series due to its ‘British steampunk’ elements and to Shatter Me fans for its ‘unknown powers’ aspect, but with a vintage twist.
Thank you to IPG and NetGalley for sending me this ARC in exchange for a fair and honest review.
AHHHHHH I WANT TO CRY JUST THINKING ABOUT THIS BOOK-
*ahem ahem* Allow me to introduce you to Sedition, the best steam-punk book you will find, with the best author, best characters, and best love triangle you will ever find (this is my opinion, of course, and you are entitled to your own, but I'm going to shout my adoration of this book till my voice wastes away)!!!
I know the author and was honoured with the rare privilege of reading it before it hit the shelves. I loved it from the first page, all the way to the last, and have reread it too many times to count. Aside from being a very realistic portrayal of Victorian England (which I am obsessed with), the writing, itself--vocabulary, sentence structure, etc--just *oozes* with brilliance, glory, and beauty. The setting is vivid--I could picture it all the way through--the plot will push you to the edge of your seat and have you staying up till 2 a.m. to finish it (which is exactly what I did). The characters, of course, are the stars of the show. I could so closely relate with all of them, and feel their emotions, and defend their every decision, whether good or bad. You feel like you've become friends with them (which is something I always want in a book), and only grow to love them more as you read.
Seriously though... I have NEVER cried so hard at a book. It was the first time I ever cried while reading, but it was worth it, and will never cease to grab my heart. THAT is how amazing the character's and story are. Just saying... ;)
E. M. Wright addresses real issues with bravery and confidence and, personally, I am so proud of her for bringing them to our attention. I love this book with all my heart and hope that you will, too. I CANNOT wait for the next books in the series, and I will write raving review for each of them as well. <33
The premise is very unique and intriguing, I like the concept of cyborgs living in the nineteenth century and how they were treated. Clockwork cyborgs, also known as biomatons, are considered mind-controlled machines subservient to the wealthy families who owned them.
The story follows Taryn Roft, a seventeen-year-old female student at Grafton's School of Mechanicks in London. Orphaned at the age of six, adopted at the age of twelve by a well-known family, Taryn has firmly kept a secret that will surely upend her life once discovered.
The story has great worldbuilding and interesting characters. The narrative arc was a bit of a letdown for me because I was expecting some major events that would showcase the main character's extraordinary abilities like more action-packed scenes and unexpected circumstances. I guess some dramatic turn of events and revelations will be highlighted in the next book. There was not enough backstory for the other supporting characters involved like the biomechanick who created our main character.
Overall, this book has a very important message to deliver with regards to the true meaning of humanity. I love how well the author described the sufferings and hardships of being discriminated against. I can't wait to read the next book and I would highly recommend this book to you.
I'm grateful to the author, the Independent Publishers Group, The Parliament House, and Netgalley for allowing me to read and review an e-ARC of this book. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
firstly, I'm so sorry for reviewing this book like a freaking year after I was supposed to. I was super distracted and procrastinated.
now let's get into the review.
I've decided to rate this book 2 stars and not 1/1.5 stars because I didn't think it was problematic. it just really wasn't for me and I couldn't get myself to like anything about it. but it wasn't that horrible. just not that interesting.
firstly, I really disliked the main character. taryn was boring, stuck-up, and, quite frankly- so were all the other characters. it was annoying. if I can't get attached to any of the characters in a book I can't enjoy it.
secondly, the premise and plot weren't really all that. I found them to be quite boring, to be honest. I kept zoning out because I couldn't get invested in anything that was happening. but, who knows. a lot of people seemed to enjoy it.
thirdly, I'm not really into dystopian novels. they're always so serious and I'm all about fun and joy. but I made an exception because this book looked nice. oh well.
lastly, this felt written like a letter in academic writing- and by that I mean instead of it's or they're the author kept saying it is and they are. in a book, that just feels very odd.
once again, sorry for the super late review and I'm glad most people enjoyed this one even if it wasn't for me.
Thanks to NetGalley and the publisher for this ARC in exchange of an honest review.
What everyone knew: Taryn Roft was the first girl to attend Grafton’s School of Mechanicks. What they didn't know: she was also a biomaton.
In the English Victorian universe where Sedition takes place, biomatons are cyborgs (who were once human), built to serve as slaves. Their brains are controlled for the same purpose, but Taryn is different. She is human. She feels human.
The book really starts when Taryn is captured by privateers and taken to the Castle Black, the worst place for a biomaton. She is mistreated, humiliated, manipulated and, fortunately, awakened.
I expected a few doses of action, but there was almost none. The reading was very smooth (which surprised me, as I normally find steampunk books very “dense” and boring to read). In addition, the author described the cruel and inhumane way that they treated biomatons very well. I spent several moments hoping that Taryn would attack everyone, especially Captain Storm and the people at the Black Castle. Overall, I thought it was a great introduction to the series. I'm looking foward to the next books, the ending leaves you wanting more.
While the book began with too much description for the characters (I don’t really need to know everyone’s eye colour), in my eyes, what came from it was a very clearly structured and involving plot. There’s elements of what it means to be human in here in terms of slaves and slavery, as well as humans altered by technology. It makes for a fascinating read especially as we get the story front when perspective of an altered human ourselves. Some chapters really hit home how different the protagonist is and that’s what makes the story unique.
Some of the plot will seem very familiar to many, and because of its slow pace it’s quite simple. The ending, while making sense for the world, could have done with a bit more foreshadowing as it kinda felt like the book ended because the writer felt like it, rather than a natural progression of the plot. However, the unique perspective that I also saw a lot of myself in, which is rare, and the clearly described reasoning and thoughts of the protagonist make this enjoyable and involving. Personally, I found the protagonist attractive but that’s my own tastes. Others may just find her amusing or perhaps a tad slow at how she comes to certain expected conclusions.
An excellent read though and well worth your time.
In an alternate Victorian era London, people with missing limbs and failing organs can be repaired with clockwork technology. The downside? The law demands that they also be fitted with mind-numbing technology that turns them into subservient automatons, condemned to a life of slavery. After being rescued from a fire as a child and fitted with a clockwork arm, Taryn has successfully avoided discovery, and is living as a human. But when her secret is discovered, she learns that she was created for a special purpose.
This was meh. The basic premise just set me off - why would anyone willingly agree to this? Because the implication is that most people do this on purpose? The writing is somewhat stilted - no one uses contractions, which I think is meant to make the dialogue sound old-timey, but just ends up being odd? Taryn is extremely Mary Sue-ish (multiple people just immediately fall in love with her within hours of meeting her, and she has magic robot fighting powers!) and the surprise! plot twist is screamingly obvious.
In an alternate Victorian London, Biomatons - humans that have part of their anatomy replaced with clockwork - are viewed as less than human, and are owned by the upper classes of society. But Taryn Roth was not built for slavery- she was built for rebellion.
I love a steampunk novel! Victorian England is one of my favorite historic periods to read about, and the steampunk twist just makes everything so much better.
E. M. Wright does a fantastic job painting a picture of Taryn’s world. Everything from the outfits to the people to the settings are all so beautifully described. I can even see the intricate clockwork in my mind.
Every issue Wright addresses in her writing is multi-layered. For instance, the biomatons we viewed as the lowest in society, but Emmett, a French immigrant, is not looked down upon much less. Classism, sexism, ableism, and even racism are prevalent themes in Taryn’s world.
Wright also spins a great mystery around Taryn’s creator, Lord Anthony Erikkson. It’s explained that she was built for rebellion, but Erikkson’s motives for creating his biomatons are unclear. What motivates Erikkson to build such unique biomatons? And what will he do with Sedition?
I’m really excited to see what happens next with Taryn.
Thanks to E.M. Wright for providing me a copy of Sedition.
I received a copy of this book for free and am leaving this review voluntarily.