on November 13, 2013
This book opens with a bang - literally! The fiery explosion of the Lucky Lady marks the beginning of a grand adventure for Captain Gavin Roberts. It leads to one of my favorite plot devices - the hero who does everything right but must take the blame for someone else's mistake. Unfortunately for Roberts, the incompetent captain whose bad decisions caused the crash was the son of the airship line's owner. As First Mate, Roberts did is left to bear the onus. Most writers would have their hero flee in disgrace and deal with his troubles - but Roberts does the unexpected. He confronts the owner before the man can take his revenge and issues him a challenge: sell me the ship.
From there the novel is a great read, as Roberts, a cantankerous inventor and a motley crew set out to rebuild the Lady as the Horizon, and set up their own business with the help of the inventor's refit that doubles her speed compared to other airships. There's adventure, suspense, pirates, and great characters that blends seamlessly with steampunk science, Victorian mores, history, economics and more in a solid read that carries you along without being boring.
This first flight of the Horizon and her crew makes you feel like you're with them, and the later race to get a cargo to Ireland is just as exciting. Highly recommended for fans of steampunk and new readers to the genre! Can't wait for books two and three!
on December 19, 2013
It was quickly apparent to me that Ms. Conroy had done her homework before writing this. True the concept of using steam as a lifting agent is decidedly uneconomical in reality, but she worked it into the story so well that the suspension of disbelief simply flows through the concept. The well insertion of historical facts and time lines is the reason for this.
For my steampunk friends, I highly recommend this book. If you are not into steampunk, I think you will still find Steam on the Horizon a good read.
I look forward to the release of the next novel by this author.
on September 9, 2013
This book delivers on a lot of points I like in my steampunk: Colorful characters from airship captains to half-crazed engineers to mailmen with wanderlust! Gadgetry and enough science to make it believable. And action. This last starts right at the beginning and grips you with the urgency of the dire straights, and the danger of flying what amounts to a giant bomb! This was a good read, and I look forward to seeing where the author goes from here!
on February 23, 2014
The first novel in The Aether Saga is an excellent page-turner cut from the pot-boiler mode. The world of 1851 London is well done and presented in a gritty fashion that captures the dark sooty soul of the city. The only thing missing is the politics of the day. For example, we know the Corn Law was recently repealed but, no mention is the made of political price paid to repeal it. Even the vindictive Sir Smothers would have been affected by that event. Still, I'm eager to see what happens to the Horizon and her crew after they leave London for hopefully friendlier skies.
on May 4, 2014
This was my first introduction to anything of the Steampunk genre. After an explosive beginning to the story, I could hardly put the book down. I did, but then finished the entire book in one afternoon. I love stories that keep me interested and not wanting to stop reading, and this adventuresome tale did just that. I thoroughly enjoyed the characters and following their dangerous challenges throughout the book. The next book in the saga is sure to be on my reading list as soon as it is made available.
on April 11, 2014
After reading the first chapter I said to myself," This author really knows her airships..." I then realized Ms. Conroy had me believing that these fantastic machines had actually existed in Victorian England. Talk about good story telling. Interested in the Steampunk genre? Then this is a must read. Hopefully I will not have too long of a wait to enjoy the next adventures of Captain Roberts and his airship, the Horizon. Thank you, Ms. Conroy. Well done. Excuse me while I go fire up the boiler...time to fly!
on April 30, 2014
If you like adventure and suspense, this book will keep you at the edge of your seat for the entire ride! Not only do you feel like you are part of the crew, you may find yourself quickly immersed into the world that Melissa created. It is like reading a story in a parallel universe. She does a marvelous job at making a steampunk world believable.
I do admit I stayed up too late reading this book and would recommend everyone to give yourself time to read through it (possibly a weekend as it is difficult to stop reading). Every chapter was gripping and engaging.
The only complaint I have is that I want to read more of her books right now! Bravo on a wonderful book and I look forward to reading more in the future.