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Discovering Aberration: A Steampunk Adventure Novel [Kindle Edition]

S.C. Barrus
4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (32 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $17.99
Kindle Price: $5.95
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Book Description

An ancient map stolen. A lost civilization discovered. A terrible secret unleashed.

Thaddeus Lumpen's archaeology career is near collapse, thanks to the machinations of rivals who would kill to claim a discovery for themselves. In desperation he turns to Freddy Fitzgerald, a rebellious writer who still maintains connections from his days as a street hooligan. For Lumpen to get ahead of his even less scrupulous competitors he must steal an ancient map and forge a path to an island where a lost civilization waits to be found. For Freddy, it's a chance to sell the story of a lifetime.

But nothing is as simple as it appears from halfway across the world. Old acquaintances become enemies, professional rivalries turn violent, and a notorious gang lord wants his map back. The island itself holds dangers that Freddy and Lumpen couldn't have prepared to face--and horrifying secrets that might be better left buried. Beset by wild beasts, cutthroat competitors, and dangers darker still, the two men fight not for glory, but their own survival... before the island pushes them past the brink of insanity.


DISCOVERING ABERRATION is a alternative history adventure novel. Inspired by the classic science fiction, adventure, and horror writers who spawned what would later become the steampunk genre, DISCOVERING ABERRATION is part Victorian era urban romp,part dark fantasy adventure.

Editorial Reviews

From the Author

Discovering Aberration is perhaps first and foremost a love letter to the classic adventure, mystery and horror stories I've loved so much over the years. I grew up absorbed in books like Robert Louis Stevensons Treasure Island, and Edgar Allen Poes Tales of Mystery and Imagination. These days I still find myself pulled back to them on occasion as well as to a wealth of other classics. From the fun and excitement of Verne's Around the World in 80 Days, to the mystery and banter of Doyals Sherlock Holmes, to the darker realms of H.P. Lovecraft, it was these works which pressed upon me a desire to tell a tale of my own.

When readers hear adventure, often they have in their mind modern, action packed thrill rides which rocket characters from one dangerous plot point to the next. While there are dangers, some of which are ghastly and frightening, Discovering Aberration is not meant to be a roller coaster ride. The scenes of action, adventure, horror and spectacle are not the dough that gives this bread body, they are the spices which give it flavor.

So what is the dough? Wherein lies the foundation of this tale? In the characters, their relationships, and, most of all, in their journey and the transformation that burns within their psyches. Discovering Aberration doesn't look to the climax and resolution to define its purpose and meaning, it finds its purpose in the journey itself and in how the journeys tribulations affect the characters, their actions, and their minds.

If you're looking for a book of non-stop action, perhaps my writing is not for you. I'm here to offer you something different, something more savory than this, something that you can find pleasure in not only through the first read, but for many reads after this. If, however, you would like to be transported into a fictional Victorian world inspired by the classics and bursting with character, then please grab a copy. I hope you enjoy it.

Yours Truly,
S.C. Barrus

Product Details

  • File Size: 1426 KB
  • Print Length: 436 pages
  • Simultaneous Device Usage: Unlimited
  • Publisher: Away & Away Publishing (February 17, 2014)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00IIGG32M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #743,495 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Rollicking Victorian Adventure April 8, 2014
By Deborah
Format:Kindle Edition
What a gorgeous cover!

Discovering Aberration is what I hope will be the first of a series following the adventures of Freddy Fitzgerald, an autodidact who has risen from street thug to university professor. Although author S.C. Barrus describes his novel as a steampunk adventure, this description is misleading; there are relatively few steampunk elements in the book, and those that exist do not play a significant role in the plot. I would place Discovering Aberration firmly in the rollicking Victorian adventure camp, alongside H. Rider Haggard's She and Allan Quatermain novels.

I had some initial difficulty getting into the book, but that must have just been a measure of my mood that day because when I picked it up again a few days later, I was hooked. Freddy and his friend Lumpen are fascinating characters, and I hope future tales will disclose more about their histories.

Discovering Aberration is well-written, with believable characters. Even minor characters, such as Sir Charles Greatworth, leap from the page fully formed. I recommend it to any reader who enjoys an action-packed adventure full of cutthroat gangs, academic rivalries, mutant humanoids, and a psychotic island.

I received a free copy of Discovering Aberration through Story Cartel in exchange for an honest review.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quite an adventure! April 1, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I've started getting interested in steam punk books, so when I saw this one, it sounded appealing. I became interested in it right away, enjoying the characters very much as they entered the story. As the story progressed, the level of blood and gore became too much for my taste, but despite my wish for less of that, I had to finish it.
The tale reminds me a bit of 'The Mummy' movies, and 'Indiana Jones'. I would have liked it not to be quite so dark and violent, but nevertheless it was well written, and exciting. I suspect there will be sequels.
I was given a copy of this in exchange for my honest review.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Steampunk adventure at it's finest June 10, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
I really enjoyed Barrus' "Discovering Aberration".
On the upside, it's a polished adventure story along the lines of Robert Louis Stevenson or Edgar Rice Burroughs with a touch of steampunk that reminds me of Scott Westerfeld. The characters are solid and well-fleshed out. The story, for the most part, moves along at a fast and enjoyable pace.
One the downside, the pace of the book sputters from time to time.
Having said that, I really enjoyed "Discovering Aberration" and hope to read a sequel some day.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Oh the beauteous word choices and twists! August 2, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I loved this book! Aside from it being a truly intriguing story of adventure, mystery, and high technology with enough action to keep me turning pages as fast as I could read, as a lover of English, I was enthralled by the word choice and mastery of composition. The contrast between upper and lower class English characters, between masters and "murderers" of the English language made the story so much richer and alive. The main characters felt very real and their dialogue natural, so much so that I could hear different voices and different accents representing their classes and regions of upbringing.

As for the adventure, I liken it to a roller coaster: in the beginning there's waiting in line imagining the thrill and but waiting in this case is ok because you're engrossed in deliciously witty conversation with a best friend. Then there's getting in and buckling up, you know something good is about to happen. Then the gentle climb to the apex and finally that sudden drop and non-stop action of up and down and twists and turns, each one catching you perhaps when you least expect it. Some make you smile while others make you want to vomit, but each glorious in its own way.

The only disappointment in this book is that it ended without parts two through twelve to follow! Please Mr. Barrus, I want more Fitzgerald, Lumpen, and Newton!
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A good read. I would like to see more set ... August 21, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
A good read. I would like to see more set in the same world
First: I did receive a discounted copy of the book, but NOT in exchange for a review. I am reviewing this because I liked it and want you to know why. It's a bit of a slow starter, but once it gets rolling the action doesn't stop. This is kind of a steampunk version of Indiana Jones, and good, pure steampunk - no magic or spoof tech. A good adventure yarn.
I loved the author's occasional use of antiquated language to drive home the feel of a Victorian era setting. Not all steampunk has that (and those that do really are a separate genre). There were some technical issues. I found 13 typos and one anachronism - things a good editor should have corrected. And that's not counting the five or four that could be written off as old-timey spelling Britishisms. There's also more gore in the book than I am used to; but it plays well to point out the harshness of environment, so I can forgive it. Both these things may put some people off though.
Overall, I loved it, and recommend this to anyone who loves fast paced steampunk adventures.
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3 of 4 people found the following review helpful
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
As I started reading, I was turned off by a few technical errors that I'll get to later, but was foolhardy enough to continue reading. The story turned out to be quite gripping, especially that of the primary narrator, affectionately called "Freddy". It was definitely a page-turner. I won't get into the plot too much, but I think this is the first "steampunk" book that I've read and I greatly enjoyed all of the creative elements of it.

However, I would suggest that the author find a new editor or two -- at least, get a proofreader. The editors seemed to despise commas and use (or choose not to use) them in all sorts of unwieldy fashions. In addition, there were a handful of typos and incorrect homonyms/homophones that were left in. These sorts of errors disrupted clarity.

I enjoyed the world building and exposition, but I felt it could have been handled better. All in all, this is begging for a sequel, a series, or a collection of short stories written in the setting of Victania, since it was such an interesting setting but quite underused in this single novel.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars So so read...
Could have been fun but choppy and left you feeling like you'd missed something.
Published 2 months ago by Paul L.North
5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars
An amazing book! Haven't read anything that good for a long time! A great story with lovable characters.
Published 4 months ago by Nick
2.0 out of 5 stars The author has potential, but needs professional help
Very much a "mehh..." There was a lot of potential, but I wound up not liking any of the characters, nor caring much what happened to them. Read more
Published 5 months ago by Hy D. Tran
4.0 out of 5 stars Slow Start, but Builds to Great Finish
As mush as I enjoyed the characters and world established in the first half of the book, it didn't prepare me for how remarkable the second half was. Read more
Published 6 months ago by Travis Gordon
4.0 out of 5 stars Four Stars
Interesting and well written,however the ending was a little too bizarre for me.
Published 6 months ago by Marvin
5.0 out of 5 stars Wow
Best book I have read in ages!! Goodness! The places, the characters, the story were all quite engrossing! Read more
Published 7 months ago by Maria Schillaci
5.0 out of 5 stars An incredibly creative story, absolutely engaging, and thoroughly ...
An incredibly creative story, absolutely engaging, and thoroughly enjoyable. I look forward to the next (of what I hope will be many) books in this series.
Published 8 months ago by Rick Sherwin
5.0 out of 5 stars Great Read that will keep you intrigued with story and the characters.
Discovering Aberration: A very interesting and captivating story, with adventurous characters and unusual sub stories. Read more
Published 8 months ago by John H. Kuhl, CPCM
2.0 out of 5 stars It's so hard to find good steampunk. I finally thought I had found...
It starts off with a lot of promise, but halfway through seems to lose it's way. It's so hard to find good steampunk. Read more
Published 8 months ago by Brian LaGrant
4.0 out of 5 stars This story is full of fun characters and takes place in a rich and...
This story is full of fun characters and takes place in a rich and vivid world. Steampunk themes are prevalent but don't detract from the story telling and I loved the detail that... Read more
Published 9 months ago by Kyle
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More About the Author

S.C. Barrus is the author of dark, strange, and thrilling adventures including Discovering Aberration and The Gin Thief. He studied creative writing at the University of Washington and lives in the Pacific Northwest.

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