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Discovering Aberration: A Steampunk Adventure Novel [Kindle Edition]

S.C. Barrus
3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (16 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $17.99
Kindle Price: $6.99
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Book Description

An ancient map stollen. 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: 1477 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:
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #83,389 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
2 of 2 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
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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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Every good book has a twist... June 16, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Discovering Aberration will steal your mind from reality and take you to a place of unpredictable adventure with twists and turns that will leave you craving more. With excellent character development you'll feel that you personally understand each character, that is until they are plunged deep into the heart of the island. I wished I knew a little more about where each character lands, but am hoping this means a sequel is coming. After the initial adjustment to the the writing style, I flew through the book and couldn't put it down. Every good book has a twist, and this book is no exception.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Pretty impressive May 10, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition
Steampunk is not my normal type of read, so I can’t compare this to the rest of the genre, but it’s still a well-polished, exciting story. A strange, quirky alternative history world here, with the type of classic adventure journey you don’t see often anymore.

My only real complaint is the length. This tale seemed longer than it needed to be. Slowed down the action at some points with excessive world building. Still, that doesn’t detract too much from the fun. You need frequent breaks to deal with all the twists anyway.

All told, a great yarn that’s definitely worth reading.

As is standard practice in this industry, I received a free review copy.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars adventure, twists, and turns April 1, 2014
By SdP
Format:Kindle Edition
Having always enjoyed Jules Verne and Stevenson since I was a child and since I’m a fan of Steampunk it was a natural fit for me.
In the beginning Barrus takes his time to depict main characters but after a while the book become full of unexpected twists & interesting characters.
I like books with a little faster pace and sometimes I felt too much time spent with the colorful characters interacting with each other instead of taking action but on the other hand I must say that the traps, pitfalls, encounters are all the more thrilling because the characters are believable and well-developed, and even the secondary characters are intelligently motivated.
S.C.Barrus delivers an adventure really exciting and mysterious with a nice mix of classic adventures clichè taken from Stevenson and Verne and a Steampunk setting, I surely will look forward to reading more works by this author.

I received an evaluation copy in exchange for an honest review.
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More About the Author

S.C. Barrus writes strange and thrilling literary adventures including the novel Discovering Aberration, a steampunk adventure novel. Born in Canada, he grew up in the Pacific North West where he skipped school in favor of swimming in the local rivers.

Raised on a hefty selection of books, video games and movies, he grew to love story telling from a young age. He received his degree in creative writing from the University of Washington and began writing fiction in 2011.

Throughout the years, S.C. Barrus has been inspired by a wide range of authors and genres. A fan of literary fiction, speculative fiction, fantasy and sci-fi. But perhaps the easiest influences to identify in his writing comes from authors such as Edgar Allen Poe, Jules Verne, H.P. Lovecraft and Robert Louis Stephenson.

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