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On the Isle of Sound and Wonder Paperback – October 18, 2014
About the Author
Alyson Grauer is a storyteller in multiple mediums, her two primary canvases being the stage and the page. On stage she is often seen in the Chicago area, primarily at Piccolo Theatre, Plan 9 Burlesque, and the Bristol Renaissance Faire. Her nonfiction work has been published in the Journal for Perinatal Education for Lamaze International. Her short fiction can be found in Tales from the Archives (Volume 2) for the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences and in two anthologies from Xchyler Publishing, Mechanized Masterpieces: A Steampunk Anthology and Legends and Lore: an Anthology of Mythic Proportions. Alyson is a proud graduate of Loyola University of Chicago and hails originally from Milwaukee, WI. This is her first novel. Twitter: @dreamstobecome Facebook.com/AuthorGrauer
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Top Customer Reviews
The book is set in a world where reason took root at an earlier age in the West, enabling mechanization and invention while driving mysticism underground...and setting the stage for Steampunk in later centuries, though the book's focus is on events in ages prior to this world's Victorian era. Instead of being asked to take as granted that an old bitter magician justly seeks revenge on political enemies, Grauer shows us grim origins putting into motion dark machinations of restitution for a wide range of characters, some introduced to the tale afresh.
Grauer's imagination shines in her worldbuilding, her marriage of mythology with innovation, her amusing names for characters and places familiar and foreign, and in her reservation of judgment on who truly is a villain on this strange island. The drops from joy to despair throughout the narrative are as dizzying as the flights through fantasy are exhilarating, and this Tempest in the Time of Tea, not merely a steampunk update to Shakespeare, imbues a substantial pageant with driven depth and mechanized menace, flashing across aeons and the great globe itself with stuff of darker dreams. The Isle reveals each character's deepest drives in a perfect storm of madness and magic set against the backdrop of the Age of Reason.
I recommend this book to anyone who loves Shakespeare, Steampunk, strong female characters, equally strong male, mechanical and fantastic characters, flashes back and forth through alternate time, days lost on a magical isle where nothing is what it seems, and such stuff as dreams are made on.
on the Isle of Sound and Wonder set my imagination on fire. The world of not-quite-Earth-as-we-know-it is wholly realized and utterly captivating, the character rich and nuanced. Whether you are a close friend of Shakespeare and have read The Tempest a dozen times, or you've never heard of the Bard of Avon, this story will entrance you. I myself am intimate with The Tempest, but the twisty pathways down which Grauer leads these familiar faces are as inventive as they are welcome. I recommend this book to everyone who has read The Tempest for a fresh perspective on this familiar tale, and to everyone who hasn't read The Tempest for the sheer enjoyment of a journey of magic, discovery, and adventure.
Grauer has the wit of Neil Gaiman, the intimacy of Philip Pullman, and the mystique of Susanna Clark all with her own unique voice.
This story leaves me wanting more. I want to follow Mira and continue to see the world through her eyes. I want to go back in time and unravel Corvina's haunted past. And most of all, I just want more tales from Alyson Grauer's magnificent mind.
My fears quickly vanished. Grauer marries both magic and mechanics into an intelligent, well-crafted, seamless retelling of Shakespeare’s The Tempest. I was immediately drawn into a vivid world of mysterious voodoo magic, flying airships, and intellectual automatons, who if I can say this, reminding me a lot of adorable Baymax.
In comparing the Shakespearean work, Grauer’s love and understanding of the original text shines through with her careful crafting and storytelling. There is more intensity with both relationships, depth of characters, and heightened danger among the island that cannot be translated to the stage. As a novel, the back stories of several characters can come to light, which I really enjoyed and kept the action and story moving. She didn’t veer so far from the play that you wouldn’t recognize it, but highlighted its potential, pleasing the Shakespearean connoisseur in me.
Grauer’s clever play with names, places, and features complement the original text. Mira (modern Miranda) proved a strong interpretation of a growing young woman facing the harsh island life, and is a valiant example of a sacrificial heroine any girl could aspire to.
I had the delightful pleasure of meeting Alyson Grauer at Salt City Steamfest last July and she is just as colorful and lively as her book.
I loved . . . LOVED this book!
This book has joined my list of must re-read books!