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Steamborn (Steamborn Series Book 1) Kindle Edition
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- ASIN : B018RK2RC8
- Publication date : November 29, 2015
- Language : English
- File size : 1410 KB
- Simultaneous device usage : Unlimited
- Text-to-Speech : Enabled
- Screen Reader : Supported
- Enhanced typesetting : Enabled
- X-Ray : Enabled
- Word Wise : Enabled
- Print length : 280 pages
- Lending : Enabled
- Best Sellers Rank: #2,986 Free in Kindle Store (See Top 100 in Kindle Store)
- Customer Reviews:
Top reviews from the United States
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'Steamborn was not as great as I thought it would be, and I had low expectations going into this book. The cover art is fantastic and the book description draws you in but the story itself is rather flat. Like pancake flat... like cobblestone flat. The author has a great imagination, it's just the narrative fails at fully bringing that imagination to fruition.
'Steamborn' is a world were supersized insects are treated like pets and or wild beast that threatens civilization. The book description reminded me of 'Attack on Titan' and the story sets itself up to be that way. Humanity lives on a mountain and has barricaded themselves behind walls to keep out the invaders. So far so good. The premise is sound and I was ready to dive into this interesting world. Only, the book itself had other ideas.
The first 10 chapters are pointless. Seriously. They add nothing to the plot besides exposition that could have easily been summed up in like a chapter or two. You can skip the first 20% of this book and still know what's going on. The main characters were 15 years old yet acted like 9-year-olds and even with the fantastical description of the large insects, the setting felt lacking. I never knew what the Lowlands looked like outside of the fact that they were near the bottom of the mountain. The steampunk elements felt tacked on and I didn't like any of the characters.
Fortunately, I seem to be in the minority of readers who liked this book. That's great! Maybe I'll give it a shot in the future, but for now, it'll remain on my to-read list.
*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.
This is my first listen to Saskia. She has a lovely voice that's easy to listen to. I didn't found there was some difference in tone or sound to help differentiate the characters, but nothing major. However, the book was still rather easy to follow who was talking. Saskia does sound older for Charles and a scratchy sound for men. She did well with slight differences. I did find the story felt to be moving slow, so I did speed up to 1.25x the speed as opposed to my normal 1.00x speed. I wanted to move along with all that's to happen, I was a little anxious to get going. I was back and forth on the speed.
This is very much a young reader style story. Not just because our main character is 15 going on 16 but in the reading of the story. It's easy to follow as Jacob grows from a teen into a young man, as the city sees kids this age but also in his own thinking and doing.
The world is different. It's a feel of post apocalyptic with steam and clockworks powering things. We also see large insects. Some are friendly and like pets or horses to ride. Other bugs are strong and attack the city, where the walls have grown weak. This shows the division in people in the village/city areas. There are lowborn and highborn sections of the city, a very fantasy feel to the city.
The people in this book are kind to each other, with a few slurs or feelings for the lowborn shown. But all are suffering when the village is attacked by the huge insects and they have to work together. This is something our world needs to see more of. The kind hearts of adults and children willing to eagerly help each other, not expecting payment in return. This warmed my heart to hear! That's not to say there aren't people that look down on others, but there is a focus on kindness.
The story is told from Jacob's POV. We see the city and people as he sees them. There is some bad out there, but the author has chosen to focus on the good. Thank you. There is to much bad out there that many see, so to have a story highlighting the good in people is a pleasure to read. And, even though the world is rough with the giant bugs attacking, it seems like a world I'd like to visit.
The only downfall in the story for me was I didn't feel Jacob, our main character, had a drive or want for something. Not even a major conflict in his character and world. He's a boy living to get by. Sure, he's poor and life is hard, but it doesn't feel as he has a real want, something to drive to get or fight against. He does come across events that give him points to work toward - his father being sick which is a desire for his father to get well, the bugs attacking his part of town and wanting his family and friends safe, then what he learns in the catacombs. But nothing overall for him other than curiosity of a brilliant kid getting him into trouble.
The world is attention attracting. And at the end of this book, I'm curious to where the story goes with what we are learning. I'll be carrying on with the books to see where our characters end up.
My only caveat is that if you are afraid of bugs or spiders, this is probably not the series for you! For any who suffer from my own phobia I will reassure you that there are no gigantic grasshoppers in this series. Just lots and lots of other gigantic bugs and spiders.
For everyone else I highly recommend this series. Just try not to stay up all night reading!
Top reviews from other countries
Contrary to the background against which the story plays out the author goes into great depth to explain each individual device used by the characters, all apparently driven by springs or steam, in great detail. This uneven approach to creating a fantasy world leaves it unsatisfyingly incomplete in my opinion. There are so many holes in the fabric of the world that the story itself became less interesting to me as a reader. I was hoping for some answers to be provided by the end of the book but that did not happen. The inconsistencies in the detail of the fantasy world presented just proved too frustrating for me to want to continue reading about Jacob and Alice.
I received the book as a free one and in return I am posting an honest review. This is fine story telling and though it might be placed as steampunk it could also sit comfortably as pure science fiction so don't let that label put you off.
I am looking forward to reading the next books in the trilogy
I very much like the details and design of streaming gear and of Ancora but it takes a lot time before something is happening, so it's quite slow for my taste, and I am not sure if this series is something for me. But overall it was is well written and very detailed.