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Power Under Pressure (The Society of Steam) Paperback – January 8, 2013

4 out of 5 stars 11 customer reviews
Book 3 of 3 in the Society of Steam Series

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Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for The Society of Steam:

"Written with the sort of breathless, excited narration you'd expect from a Victorian adventure novel. . . . A damn fun read."
- io9

"The Falling Machine is quite simply the coolest steampunk superhero book I've ever read. . . . Imagine if Gangs of New York had been directed by Jules Verne, instead of Martin Scorsese, [and] you're probably not too far off."
- Portland Book Review

"If Stan Lee had lived in the 1880s, this is the book he would have written-steampunk superheroes."
- Clay and Susan Griffith, authors of the Vampire Empire trilogy

"After the breathless beginning, the book keeps moving fast and furious, and it delivers. . . . Highly recommended for any steampunk lover."
- Fantasy Book Critic

About the Author

Andrew Mayer currently lives high atop Potrero Hill in San Francisco, California. He often stares out across the city and wonders just how it is that no matter how far he goes he always ends up back here.
 
When he isn't dreaming up new worlds of his own, he works as a Digital Media Strategist, helping people to create and recreate their own interactive realities.
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Product Details

  • Series: The Society of Steam (Book 3)
  • Paperback: 390 pages
  • Publisher: Pyr (January 8, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1616146966
  • ISBN-13: 978-1616146962
  • Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 13.6 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 4.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (11 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #359,746 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

More About the Author

Andrew Mayer knew he wanted to be a storyteller the moment he realized that words can be used as a key to open doors other worlds.

He spent his childhood devouring every book he could get his hands on (including quite a few he wasn't supposed to), and got his first job at the (now defunct) B. Daltons bookstore when he was just 14 years old.

Six years (and many short stories) later he interned at G.P. Putnam's Sons publishers, where he learned that writing and publishing are two very different activities.

Andrew spent over two decades creating video games, including the endlessly popular "Dogz" and "Catz" titles, and was a designer and creative director, working with numerous companies including Sony, and Cartoon Network.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Paperback
In New York, the assassination of Sir Dennis Darby on the Brooklyn Bridge by the Automaton devastated the Society of Paragons. Sir Dennis served as the groups' social compass; without his ethical leadership, the Society collapses as individuals chose self-interests over the good of the group.

Former member Sarah "the Adventuress" Stanton possesses the steel clockwork heart of her killing friend the Automaton; having hidden the mechanical beater in an obscure Brooklyn junkyard. Craving to gain favorite status from Sarah though he knows her heart is filled with revenge for the deaths of her father and mentor, Emilio vows to reconstruct the Automaton over the objection of his angry victimized sister Viola. Also needing the steel heart to complete his plans to industrialize the world under a thick blanket of smog is Lord Eschaton. His plans near fruition with the creation out of death of the Shell and the capture of Nathaniel, Eschaton must prevent the Adventuress from thwarting his scheme; while she must find a way to bring back together the Society of Paragons enhanced by reformed supervillains and still crazy mad scientists to forge the Society of Steam dream team to stop her adversary from achieving his world domination objective.

The third Society of Steam Steampunk Victorian fantasy (see Hearts of Smoke and Steam, and The Falling Machine) is an exciting tale as the frustrated beleaguered heroine wonders if she made a poor decision when she left high society to join the Paragons with vengeance now filling her heart. Readers will appreciate this entry as Fortified Steam serves as the technological base for a fast-paced alternative nineteenth century New York thriller.

Harriet Klausner
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Format: Kindle Edition
I've enjoyed the heck out of this series. Love the world, love the characters, always eager to read what happens next. I especially like that the women aren't just cardboard cutouts for the men to save or betray and then save. Men usually don't write women well, but Mayer handles the job skillfully. Nice.
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Format: Paperback
I really did enjoy this final installment of Mayer's "Society of Steam" trilogy. But I didn't enjoy it as much as the previous installments.

The negatives first: to me, this story felt far more disjointed than the previous editions. In part, I'm sure this is due to the expanded size of the cast and more points-of-view to be represented, but it feels like Mayer handled the transitions much smoother in HEARTS OF SMOKE AND STEAM. I noticed this disjointed feeling especially in the second half of the book, where we shift a great deal not just in point-of-view but also in time; cliffhangers from one chapter are not resolved in the next but rather several chapters later after long periods of character-time have passed. This is a classic comic-book device and I don't begrudge Mayer using it, but there were a couple of times where the timing of events doesn't seem to line up when you go back and track the characters through these mini-flashbacks. I also don't remember Mayer using the device quite so heavily in previous books.

I also felt like there was a heavy reliance on the insanity of Lord Eschathon as a plot device. Again, a classic comic book trope, and Mayer usually plays with these tropes capably. And again the problem crops up only in the second half of the book: Eschathon's insanity feels too conveniently escalated for not-very-clearly-explained reasons in the context of the events of the story (unless I missed something other than the off-hand assumption that his earlier injuries and fortified smoke inhalation led directly to his growing insanity; if that was the only explanation, then I think I wanted a bit more detail from someone's POV as to why one led to the other).
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Format: Paperback
Sarah has been staying with Emilio and his sister Viola while Emilio rebuilds the Automaton. As Sarah and Emilio grow closer, Viola's heart turns darker after the events in the last book have left her scarred physically and emotionally. Meanwhile Anubis goes through his own transformation in regards to his hero persona. And Nathaniel makes the biggest change of all.

This is the final installment in The Society of Steam trilogy. The character development has been the highlight of this trilogy for me. Action-packed and full of suspense, this steampunk adventure is an exciting and satisfying conclusion to the Lord Eschaton plot. Yet there is plenty left untold or open-ended, leaving room for future possible stories for the Society of Steam.
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Minus one star because this is the end and there are a lot of questions still out there. If Mayer does not take up the writing again, maybe someone else will. Facinating concept, but the writing style is hard to get use to. Such as he tells the same story from different characters perspectives and sometimes in the beginning of a chapter I wondered if I missed something. This jumping also means that the story timeline is much shorter then what you might expect from a book this size.

Good point is that I wanted the story to continue which means that I was into it
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