- File Size: 3440 KB
- Print Length: 194 pages
- Publisher: Untold Press (September 26, 2012)
- Publication Date: September 26, 2012
- Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
- Language: English
- ASIN: B009HIIKS0
- Text-to-Speech: Enabled
- Word Wise: Enabled
- Lending: Enabled
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #639,492 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
|Print List Price:||$12.99|
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The Lady Astronomer Kindle Edition
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|Length: 194 pages||Word Wise: Enabled||Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled|
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Top customer reviews
The action takes place in the Georgian Era of England, and is based upon the construction of the Great Forty-Foot Telescope by William Herschel, which George III financed. The lady astronomer of the title is Caroline Herschel, the great astronomer's sister, but for the purposes of fictionalization she is Lucretia H and he is Freddie H, and they have another brother called Al. The King is, of course, "Your Majesty," though Freddie does at one point try to call him "Your Maj," to expected results...royalty is so easily not amused by things that are truly amusing.
Through persistent letter writing, Freddie gets a royal commission to build the largest telescope in the world, so the H family (one of the book's many quirks is that surnames are all letters, but, then, the King's children are all numbers, so there you are) pulls up roots in Bath, where Lucretia designed hats, Freddie built telescopes and Al invented wonderful clockwork mechanisms with otherworldly sentience, and move to a two-horse dorp called Slough. There they start a new life in service to the mercurial monarch, who is very impatient for the completion of his astronomical wonder.
It is the impatience on the part of Your Maj that leads to Lucretia becoming an unwilling guest of the King, where she earns the friendship and admiration of Princess 13 and Wodehouse, an animated suit of armor; she also earns the malice of evil-minded social climbers ensconced within the Castle. This animosity leads to Lucretia's incarceration and the most intense conflict of the book.
The world envisioned by author Katy O'Dowd captures the wild and enthusiastic spirit of the times, when England was scouring the skies looking for new worlds and sending naturalists to Unnamed Islands to study unknown animals. Though the activities of the characters are solidly historical, they are presented within a technological framework that allows dirigible flights above the clouds, clockwork creatures such as steam-pigs and eagle-owls possessed of a sentience not based on anything as clumsy as a Babbage engine, and the sort of reanimation written of by young Mary Shelly.
"The Lady Astronomer" is an exciting and well-written book which will engage and delight readers of ALL ages. If you know something about the period, the construction of the world's greatest telescope (a title it held for 50+ years), and the characters involved, you will doubly rewarded, but the author includes a short background essay at the conclusion of the story. Its whimsical style and breakneck narrative pace will quickly absorb the attention of even the most dour reader, and maintain that interest all the way through. It will appeal to readers of steampunk, alternate history and fantasy, as well as to fans of Regency romances, who will no doubt find some familiar faces amongst the rogues gallery of characters trying to curry the favor of Your Maj.
The dialogue the dialogue is fast paced and there is plenty of action. It is a cute Pipi Longstocking type of read that I as an adult enjoyed immensely. There is a good sense of humor, especially in the letter to the king where he was referred to as ‘Your Maj’.
Ms. O'Dowd based the story on some actual events but an explanation follows. There are references to fairy tale characters and bad guys are done well as is the steampunk machinery throughout the short fast read. I think any age group who likes fantasy will enjoy this book.
I would have given the book 5 stars except for a few mild distractions: grammar such as lie/lay where used incorrectly enough to catch my attention and the cast of characters was very large with initials for some of the names. Overall the book is enjoyable and a suggested read.
Most recent customer reviews
i loved it all especially Mr Trotters and his pipe Katie O'Dowd paints an amazing picture with her words i hope there is a...Read more
The Lady Astronomer by Katy O’Dowd is a steampunk tale of a young woman –...Read more
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