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Sigmund Shaw: A Steampunk Adventure (Volume 1) Paperback – April 2, 2016
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What follows is a classic adventure, full of betrayal, intrigue, cops, robbers, and a conspiracy that goes to the highest levels of government. Oh yes, and plenty of strange and imaginative technology.
I had a few quibbles with the book, the largest of which is the lack of female characters, but as I read on, I found myself wrapped up, and most of my complaints fell away. What really sets the story apart is Mr. King's ability to put you into the time and place. The descriptions of historical London are rich, full of a wonderful world-building mystique. Although this is a steampunk alter-verse, there are tons of great references to popular culture, stories, and famous individuals of the period, all of which help to create a very tangible world. The story itself is quite clever, full of twists and turns that build to a large and very action-packed climax.
Make no mistake, Sigmund Shaw is a hardcore genre novel, but fans of Victorian steampunk, turn-of-the-century adventure, and the original Thief games will find themselves right at home in Sigmund's shoes. I look forward to a sequel, if there is one.
Opinion: Readers, Readers, Readers! I have been away for so long, but fear not! I have a review for one AWESOME steampunk adventure series, Sigmund Shaw: A Steampunk Adventure (book 1). This is one of those stories that adults, teens, pre-teens, men, women, queens and commoners will love.
The reader follows the main character, Sigmund Shaw, on an adventure into a unique 19th century London where carriages run on steam and coal, and steampunk gadgets are in no short supply. After giving up his career as a thief in order to support his family, Sigmund is approached by his brother-in-law and sister who plead for his help. They request that Sigmund go on one last job, in the hopes that it will bring a cure to their daughters (Sigmund’s niece) inability to walk. But things turn from bad to worse when Sigmund is caught in a setup that leads to him being wrongfully accused of another crime, and the British Empire looms towards the brink of war.
First off, Mark C. King does a wonderful job of transporting the reader into the time era and setting. Not only are the gadgets and various items just dripping in steampunk-esque décor, but the characters speak with a lingo that is completely what you would expect from a story set in 19th century London. The author goes above and beyond in detail in this book; no thought or description of an item is skipped over or forgotten. As a lover of anything steampunk, I was VERY excited to read this story and to jump into the world of Sigmund Shaw. Not only does the author introduce various characters into this story, but each one is explained in so much detail that I could literally visualize their appearance and how they carry themselves. Not only is there physical descriptions, but the reader is able to jump inside the mind of each character and get to know each one individually.
I thought that the story-line was highly creative and adventurous. Following Sigmund around London as he tries to clear his name and find the true culprit to the crimes was thrilling! There were surprises throughout the book and I found myself wondering who the real “bad guy” was. I do have to say that there were a few moments while reading where my mind started to wander. Due to much of the story dealing with characters thinking or settings being created, I think that in some cases less would have been more. Though descriptions and details are my BIGGEST request in any book, sometimes the ability to condense a paragraph into a few sentences works better into the story. But having been given the opportunity to assist in the editing of book 2 of this series (it’s okay to be jealous) I can honestly say that the authors writing style has improved greatly! Trust me, you guys are going to faint from happiness when you read it.
Overall, this is a great first book into this series. The characters, the plot, and the creativity that has made this book is very enjoyable. I would recommend this to literally anyone who loves an adventure story or mystery, especially to any reader that loves steampunk as much as I do!