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Perpetual Motion [Kindle Edition]

Bruce Hesselbach
4.2 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (25 customer reviews)

Print List Price: $11.99
Kindle Price: $3.99
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Paperback $10.79  
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Book Description

After Sybil Hardenbergh's time-traveling parents save Fritz von Lassberg from drowning, Sybil fears that Fritz may be helping Germany prepare to defeat England in the Great War, and, what is worse, that she is falling in love with him.

Editorial Reviews

From the Author

With the Great War hanging in the balance, the love of a doomed inventor tempts a time traveler's daughter to forsake everything she believes.

About the Author

Bruce Hesselbach lives in Newfane, Vermont, and works in nearby Brattleboro.   His steampunk novel, Perpetual Motion, has recently been published by Cogwheel Press.  He is also the author of a hiking memoir, High Ledges, Green Mountains (Bondcliff Books 2005).    To date 62 of his poems have been published in the small presses.  He also has published seven short stories and two essays.  As a member of the Londonderry Poets, he contributed to their two anthologies of poetry.

Product Details

  • File Size: 528 KB
  • Print Length: 170 pages
  • Publisher: Cogwheel Press; 1 edition (March 24, 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00C0Z5S3M
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,056,645 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
18 of 19 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Steampunk - Time travel April 10, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Sybil is a girl on the cusp of womanhood, living in a difficult time for women, indeed a time of great change, and impending doom. It is the end of the nineteenth century, as Germany tries to make its mark on a world dominated by the old colonial powers. The great war looms on the horizon as technological advances allow the creation of bigger, better and nastier weapons. Sybil will have to make a choice, as she falls in love with a young German inventor and aristocrat.

The story opens with Sybil and her parents boating on Lake Constance, a large lake between Germany, Austria and Switzerland. They spot a boy in trouble in the water. Her mother, apparently, rather coldly suggests they leave the boy to his fate, but her father rescues him anyway. Sybil soon discovers a great family secret and the reason why her mother did not want the boy rescued. They are time travellers, and from an era far into the future. As time travellers they have to be conscious of every action they make, as there may be dire consequences. Such as rescuing a young German inventor who has the ability to build machines that could change the outcome of the First World War.

So begins Sybil's adventure and education, as she becomes aware of her parents secret and learns how to travel through time, and use an array of advanced devices.

The language and tone of this book were perfect for the story and the era it was set in. The author's power of description and natural feel for the past had me trapped inside the pages and the adventure.
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4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Not what I expected January 5, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
It's not bad, not bad at all, but I didn't realize I was letting myself in for a Young Adult book with a decidedly Christian predestination plot to it. The author doesn't hammer on the Christianity, but it pops up enough to be mildly jarring to me, and I do happen to be a Christian myself. Just not used to it being used as a plot device of any kind.

That said, it's well written, characters are fairly well fleshed out as far as it goes, and you do have sympathy or even empathy for their dilemma. I'd say read it and enjoy it, now that you've been forewarned so you don't get blindsided like I was.
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6 of 7 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Perpetual Motion will keep you moving the pages! May 28, 2013
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Sybil Hardenbergh is a privileged teen living in the late 1800s in Switzerland with her parents. But behind the mansions and parties, maids and shopping, her time-traveling parents fight to prevent history from taking a wrong turn. Against their better judgment, they save young Fritz von Lassenberg from drowning in Lake Constance. Only Fritz, a brilliant inventor, was supposed to die, and now, he's being groomed to help Germany gain technological advantage to win World War I. The result? An exciting tale of invention and a race to change history.

But beyond the fabulous technology that distinguishes this steampunk novel, is the subplot of two young people who desire to be together--despite the consequences. A timeless, satisfying storyline that stayed with me.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Unique Steampunk Bildungsroman October 31, 2013
By WitchyD
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
"Perpetual Motion" is a unique and intriguing read. I'm not sure how to place it exactly. It certainly is a steampunk novel, with time travel elements as well. It is also a Bildungsroman and very much a story of family. But I think what struck me the most was the dilemma that exists at the core of the story: there is a battle between the secular humanists (depicted--somewhat vexingly as evil atheists!--by The Grange) and the Christian religious faction of which Sybil's parents are a part of (The Sons of Liberty) whose members will do anything to stop The Grange from changing history and preventing a future apocalypse. I'm surprised none of the other reviewers mention it.

It seems a bit odd to bring in this much religion to a steampunk novel and I can't say that overall I would peg this Perpetual Motion as being a "Christian fiction" novel (at least not yet), so I guess it will be interesting to see where the author takes this plot narrative. Given that the main character is literally named as a prophetess, seer, or oracle, and that she is coming of age and beginning to question everything (perhaps even the beliefs her parents have instilled in her), this could prove an interesting development in future books in the series, and a good way to examine that the concepts of good and evil are not quite as simple as we might think.

I did confess to wanting more of this story and agree that it ended somewhat abruptly. This book felt like mainly setup for something more, and I'll be watching for future releases.
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9 of 12 people found the following review helpful
By suzanne
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
I really enjoyed this book, with his words, Mr. Hesselbach creates a visionary for you to be lost in the story, I feel as if I have actually been to the places he described. I am interested to see what comes next on Sybil's adventures. I think it would make a great movie~~thank you for the journey.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Not really good.... January 11, 2014
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
This tale of a group of folks from the 40th century or so operating in the late 19th century to prevent changes in history falls pretty flat. Narrated by Sybil Hardenbergh, age 17 going on 5, the style is simplistic. The basic premise, that a bunch of atheists are trying to change the course of history to prevent Armageddon, is a disaster. If I'm an atheist I don't believe in god (any god for that matter) and therefore I don't believe in Armageddon. So why try to stop it if I think it's just a figment of religious imagination and isn't going to happen? Anyway....
The plot is pretty consistent but the characters are dull paper cutouts.
Another annoying point is the cliffhanger ending. While not as bad as some, nothing is really resolved, so go out and get the sequel. I don't think so!
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
4.0 out of 5 stars Worth the Time
This partly Steampunk, mostly Time-Travel tale also brings in a Good v Evil quest--plus a bit of Coming-of-Age and some youthful Romance. Lots of literary quotations and allusions. Read more
Published 4 months ago by Deborah L. Klein
4.0 out of 5 stars A novel about future time travelers trying to preserve the past
This is a rather different time travel novel that explores traveling back and forth in time. Yes, the author was able to circumvent Einstein’s theory of not being able to travel... Read more
Published 7 months ago by D. Meyer
4.0 out of 5 stars Finished in one sitting
As a lover of time travel plots I will look forward to more of the story. But beyond the fabulous technology that distinguishes this steam punk novel, is the subplot of two young... Read more
Published 8 months ago by beastieschool
5.0 out of 5 stars If like fantasy read it
Well written book and strange circumstances won't tell spoiler if do!! If like fantasy read it!
Published 9 months ago by mzgambler
5.0 out of 5 stars love this book
Loved the story, the characters - wrapped me up in the world of the 1800s and made me say, "What if..."
Published 10 months ago by Marie E. Woznicki-Likavec
4.0 out of 5 stars Review - Perpetual Motion
A very creative concept full of political innuendo, adventure and technical details. The characters were believable and interesting. Read more
Published 12 months ago by Andi Suzanne
5.0 out of 5 stars Great story of time travel, inventions, and adventure
This was a very fun book about a girl who learns that her parents are secretly from the future. She joins them in fighting villains who want to alter history. Read more
Published 15 months ago by Mike Saccoccia
3.0 out of 5 stars Kind of a fun read
I feel this to be different twist to the concept of time travel and enjoyed the experience. While I would recommend this book, it not be with a high rating
Published 16 months ago by Ted Coombs
5.0 out of 5 stars Great transaction! Highly recommend seller!
Book condition as described, packaging good and shipment fast! Cannot ask for anything better. Would highly recommend this seller! Thanks!
Published 17 months ago by Anna J. Franklin
5.0 out of 5 stars Steampunk for fun
I didn't know what I was going to find, and I have to admit that the beginning was a bit slow to start, but once it did, I was hooked.
Published 17 months ago by Sharon
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More About the Author

Bruce Hesselbach lives in Newfane, Vermont, and works in nearby Brattleboro. He is the author of a poetry collection, Roving Enchantments (White Violet Press 2014). His steampunk novel, Perpetual Motion, was published in 2013 by Cogwheel Press. He is also the author of a hiking memoir, High Ledges, Green Mountains (Bondcliff Books 2005). To date 62 of his poems have been published in the small presses. He also has published eight short stories and two essays.
Bruce maintains a writing website at and a hiking website at .

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