Fred Hughes's Reviews > The Falling Machine

The Falling Machine by Andrew P. Mayer
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's review
Dec 14, 2011

really liked it

Book one of the Society of Steam series of Steampunk novels grabs you by throat right at the start with the death of a key figure one Sir Dennis Darby. Sit Dennis has created an automaton called Tom who we find out is powered by something called “Fortified Steam”. This is a power source of seemingly limitless power. The “Fortified Steam” is held in an object that looks like a glowing key which is stolen from Sir Dennis after he is killed.

The thief states that the Children of Eschaton have stolen the key. The Children of Eschaton are a dystopian organization bent on some maniacal plot that is not clear at the start of the book. There power source is “Fortified Smoke”.

Sir Dennis was not only the creator of “Fortified Steam” but also many other technical marvels and created a group called the Paragons. The mantra of this group is to protect those who can not protect themselves. Each member wears a costume , like the Justice League, and has a specific enhanced power. Enhanced by Sir Dennis who was also the head Paragon.

With Sir Dennis’s death the Paragons chose “The Industrialist” - Alexander Stanton - as their new leader over Sir Dennis’ specific request to have Tom the automaton as the leader.

There are epic battles , with clever technology used by both sides, between the Paragons and the Children of Eschaton.

At the end of this book the Children of Eschaton seem to have prevailed as they have stolen “Fortified Steam”, have killed Tom, and decimated the ranks of the Paragons. And the book ends right there to be continued in the second book of the series called “Hearts of Smoke and Steam”. The title is telling.

Mayer embraces the technology of Steampunk, the mannerisms of Victorian Age and the good versus evil collisions. He does, however , have these as a background to the human dynamics of the characters in the book and that is definitely his strength.

Highly recommended
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Reading Progress

December 14, 2011 – Shelved
March 5, 2012 – Started Reading
March 6, 2012 –
page 25
8.8% "Excitement already. Looking forward to the rest of this book"
March 7, 2012 –
page 65
March 8, 2012 –
page 85
29.93% "Steampunk RULES !!!"
March 9, 2012 –
page 135
March 10, 2012 – Finished Reading

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