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Thomas Riley (Steampunk Novels) Paperback – November 15, 2009


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Product Details

  • Series: Steampunk Novels
  • Paperback: 288 pages
  • Publisher: Quake; 1ST edition (November 15, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 1590807006
  • ISBN-13: 978-1590807002
  • Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 4.9 x 7.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 12 ounces
  • Average Customer Review: 3.8 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (33 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,982,729 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

What a fantastic journey! Thomas Riley is high adventure in a time and place full of action and intrigue. New to steam punk? Thomas Riley is an awesome place to start. ----Okeechobee Book Reviews

I love Thomas Riley. Steampunk is fast, furious, and full of swashbuckling adventure. Nick Valentine has given readers a fantastic book! ----Alexis Hart, author of Dark Shines My Love

About the Author

Nick Valentino's evolution of writing started with music.

Residing in Nashville Tennessee, his background is a curious mix of music, history and the love of all things artistic. Graduating from Belmont University with a BA in History, he played in touring bands for most of his adult life writing volumes of lyrics along the way. It was then that he discovered a love for storytelling.

Inspired by his intense intrigue with history, his travels around the world and the throngs of steampunk enthusiasts around the nation, Valentino wrote the Alternative History/Science Fiction novel, Thomas Riley.

As a pop culture fanatic, Valentino is constantly involved with the new and fresh things that life has to offer. While sometimes hard to label, readers will always find something fun and a little out of the ordinary.


More About the Author

Nick Valentino's steampunk adventure novel, Thomas Riley (ZOVA Books), is the first in a series of alternative history books about two Victorian-era weapons designers that are forced into enemy lands to undo an alchemic mishap. His second steampunk novel, Thomas Riley and The Maelstrom (ZOVA Books) will be out June 25th.

Customer Reviews

I found grammer, spelling and punctuation errors.
Cassaundra Grace
Nick Valentino has perfected the clipped british dialogue and humorous characters.
Jessie Potts
A great adventure novel for enthusiastic readers of all ages!
E. Kelley

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

12 of 12 people found the following review helpful By Jessie Potts VINE VOICE on January 22, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
Thomas Riley is a splendid mixture of fantasy, steampunk, weapons, bombs, weird gelatinous masses, crazy alchemists, trapped souls, a two decade long war, and ingenuity. Nick Valentino has perfected the clipped british dialogue and humorous characters. I dare say I want to go out and buy a pair of googles for myself.

Thomas and Cynthia are weapons masters. They are doing quite fine in their lab trying to find the antidote to a bacteria when soldiers rush them. Along with the soldiers is the Duke's almost dead daughter. Thomas is ordered to perform Lifeblood (an alchemey) that never goes right. Sure enough the Duke's daughter ends up taking up residence in Cynthia's body. The only thing for the two to do is kidnap their enemy's alchemist. Who by the way is a crazy little bugger. Their entire journey from there is pure luck, bad events, and some misfortune. At no time was I bored or wishing that the plot would move along. The scene changes were detailed, from the air ship to the enemy palace. I also loved the attention to detail in regards to the different weapons Thomas and Cynthia created. I felt like although they were fantastical I could see what they might have looked like if they did exist.

The ending is ambiguous. I'm not sure if there will be a second novel, but enough of the plot was left open for that to be a possibility. I would like to find out what Cyn and Thom decide to do with themselves and their new 'situation'. All in all it was quick, mechanical and fun to read.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Hank Harwell on June 7, 2010
Format: Paperback
In one of the strangest turns of events I ever experienced, I was a winner in a contest promoting the new young adult steampunk novel, Thomas Riley. Included in my winnings was a signed copy of the book, which I read just after Christmas. The book itself was quite a fast read (as I would expect one marketed to the YA audience would be), and I was able to breeze through the pages quickly.

The story is about Thomas Riley, a celebrated engineer and alchemist who, with his assistant Cynthia, is a weapons designer. Riley's nation has been at war with a rival for the last 20 years, with neither side gaining much of an advantage. Riley's weapons have been instrumental in keeping the other side from affecting life at home much. But then an attack nearby forces Riley to engage in a dangerous experiment, and when the process fails, he and Cynthia must infiltrate enemy territory to reverse the mistake. As they do so they must not only avoid enemy soldiers, but also notorious sky pirates.

The book has some not-so-great things and some really good things about it. I'll start with the not-so-great, as I feel that there are more things to like than not.

The narrative voice was a little jarring at first. I had read an anthology of steampunk fiction, and my 'ear' was tuned to the way the fiction was written for that book. When I read Thomas Riley, it didn't match what I had read in the anthology. Nothing wrong with that, per se, but it wasn't what I had expected.

The pacing at first seemed a little off, as well. Once the experiment failed and the the mission really began, however, it really began to pick up. I also wasn't crazy about the body count. This seemed to be out of character for a YA novel.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful By Sherry S on December 28, 2010
Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
I have to say, with all the glowing reviews I expected a lot more out of this novel. The premise is good, and the world of Thomas and Cynthia is intriguing, but it is so badly written I had trouble sticking with it. Numerous spelling and grammatical errors are distracting. The continuous shift of point of view from character to character makes it difficult to know who is thinking what. This could have been a great book; was it dumbed down for YA readers? I'd give them more credit for wanting an exciting book that reads well too.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By D. Baer on November 27, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
Poor spelling!

Poor grammar!

Improper punctuation!

Missing words!

Flat characters!

Incomplete threads!

If these thrill you to your core, then this is the novel for you! If the author spent half as much time developing his characters as he did describing their attire, this might have been a fair novel. As was, it was a prime example of a manuscript that got bounced from every editor until the author elected to self-publish it.

I stuck it out to the very end, only to find that he set it up for a sequel. Oh, joy.

If you are an English Composition professor, I can highly recommend this novel as your text book of how to write fiction poorly. As for reading--it is annoying. I spent more time mentally correcting the manuscript. I don't know that it is self-published for certain, but it definitely reads as if an editor never proofed it

Hint for the author: next time you want to write about how something you are describing is "like" something else (as you did over, and over), don't do it. Go wash some dishes.

In conclusion, I take back that one star I gave it. The author owes his readers stars.
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10 of 14 people found the following review helpful By Cassaundra Grace on September 19, 2010
Format: Kindle Edition
I love steam-punk, but this did not make the mark. I found grammer, spelling and punctuation errors. The characters seem to be schizophrenic or bipolar. One minute the main character, Thomas, is a typical quiet scientist and the next a trained military man brazenly taking chances. Everyone has almost the same diction and a modern diction at that. In an alternate reality similar to our Victorian England, people should not be saying "okay" and " we were an item." These are entirely modern phrases. Just because this was geared towards young adults doesn't mean it has to be so dumbed down. I must say, I was sorely disappointed by this steam-punk novel.
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