All in all, a diverse and too-often off-topic collection that's not steamy enough in either sense of the word but is partly...

READ REVIEW

CORSETS & CLOCKWORK

13 STEAMPUNK ROMANCES

Simply sticking a few gears in does not steampunk make, no matter what the subtitle says.

The 13 stories, from a range of authors including several who have previously written mostly for adults, range from romance to horror, cover a gamut of times and places and include both the sublime and the sublimely bland. The opening story has both corsets and clockwork but little real depth, and at least four stories are more romantic fantasy (of varying quality) with a few elements meant to evoke a steampunk ethos. Others take some elements of the genre and transport it (with fair success) to the American south of the ’50s and Nazi-occupied Poland. The best stories are those that most closely adhere a fairly traditional definition of steampunk in manners, machinery and punk spirit, like Frewin Jones’ weirdly wonderful “The Cannibal Fiend of Rotherhithe,” with its half-mer cannibal heroine and a plucky boy who might be true love or just a snack; Adrienne Kress’ “The Clockwork Corset,” high romance with a spunky cross-dressing heroine; and Kiersten White’s excellent closing tale, “Tick, Tick, Boom,” whose narrator is a machinist and noble’s daughter who falls for an anarchist.

All in all, a diverse and too-often off-topic collection that's not steamy enough in either sense of the word but is partly redeemed by a few gems. (introduction, author biographies) (Steampunk/fantasy/romance anthology. 12 & up)

Pub Date: May 1, 2011

ISBN: 978-0-7624-4092-4

Page Count: 448

Publisher: RP Teens

Review Posted Online: April 5, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: April 15, 2011

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Grimly plainly worked hard, but, as the title indicates, the result serves his own artistic vision more than Mary Shelley’s.

GRIS GRIMLY'S FRANKENSTEIN

A slightly abridged graphic version of the classic that will drive off all but the artist’s most inveterate fans.

Admirers of the original should be warned away by veteran horror artist Bernie Wrightson’s introductory comments about Grimly’s “wonderfully sly stylization” and the “twinkle” in his artistic eye. Most general readers will founder on the ensuing floods of tiny faux handwritten script that fill the opening 10 pages of stage-setting correspondence (other lengthy letters throughout are presented in similarly hard-to-read typefaces). The few who reach Victor Frankenstein’s narrative will find it—lightly pruned and, in places, translated into sequences of largely wordless panels—in blocks of varied length interspersed amid sheaves of cramped illustrations with, overall, a sickly, greenish-yellow cast. The latter feature spidery, often skeletal figures that barrel over rough landscapes in rococo, steampunk-style vehicles when not assuming melodramatic poses. Though the rarely seen monster is a properly hard-to-resolve jumble of massive rage and lank hair, Dr. Frankenstein looks like a decayed Lyle Lovett with high cheekbones and an errant, outsized quiff. His doomed bride, Elizabeth, sports a white lock à la Elsa Lanchester, and decorative grotesqueries range from arrangements of bones and skull-faced flowers to bunnies and clownish caricatures.

Grimly plainly worked hard, but, as the title indicates, the result serves his own artistic vision more than Mary Shelley’s. (Graphic classic. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Aug. 27, 2013

ISBN: 978-0-06-186297-7

Page Count: 208

Publisher: Balzer + Bray/HarperCollins

Review Posted Online: July 3, 2013

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2013

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet

Cracking page-turner with a multiethnic band of misfits with differing sexual orientations who satisfyingly, believably jell...

SIX OF CROWS

Adolescent criminals seek the haul of a lifetime in a fantasyland at the beginning of its industrial age.

The dangerous city of Ketterdam is governed by the Merchant Council, but in reality, large sectors of the city are given over to gangs who run the gambling dens and brothels. The underworld's rising star is 17-year-old Kaz Brekker, known as Dirtyhands for his brutal amorality. Kaz walks with chronic pain from an old injury, but that doesn't stop him from utterly destroying any rivals. When a councilman offers him an unimaginable reward to rescue a kidnapped foreign chemist—30 million kruge!—Kaz knows just the team he needs to assemble. There's Inej, an itinerant acrobat captured by slavers and sold to a brothel, now a spy for Kaz; the Grisha Nina, with the magical ability to calm and heal; Matthias the zealot, hunter of Grishas and caught in a hopeless spiral of love and vengeance with Nina; Wylan, the privileged boy with an engineer's skills; and Jesper, a sharpshooter who keeps flirting with Wylan. Bardugo broadens the universe she created in the Grisha Trilogy, sending her protagonists around countries that resemble post-Renaissance northern Europe, where technology develops in concert with the magic that's both coveted and despised. It’s a highly successful venture, leaving enough open questions to cause readers to eagerly await Volume 2.

Cracking page-turner with a multiethnic band of misfits with differing sexual orientations who satisfyingly, believably jell into a family . (Fantasy. 14 & up)

Pub Date: Sept. 29, 2015

ISBN: 978-1-62779-212-7

Page Count: 480

Publisher: Henry Holt

Review Posted Online: June 29, 2015

Kirkus Reviews Issue: July 15, 2015

Did you like this book?

No Comments Yet
more