Corsets & Clockwork: 13 Steampunk Romances is a collection of Victorian era YA with an infusion of fantasy, science fiction, and steampunk attitude edited by Trisha Telep and featuring popular names in YA fiction.
I absolutely loved Kiss Me Deadly, another YA anthology edited by Trisha Telep, which introduced me to so many authors that I am now huge fans of - so I was super excited to read another collection of YA short stories. Especially since they are "steampunk" romances, which is a word that I hadn't been familiar with for a very long time until I began to notice that a ton of books I was a fan of, awesome period mysteries with flare, were being described with the term!
In Corsets & Clockwork you have feisty, smart heroines, genius inventors, magic, science, danger, bravery, romance and all kinds of shocking twists and turns! Here is a quick breakdown of what I thought of each story:
Rude Mechanicals by Lesley Livingston: This was a very interesting tale. I adored the Victorian tone and sci-fi jolt. It was a bit short, but cool.
The Cannibal Fiend of Rotherhithe by Frewin Jones: Ooooh, creepy, disturbing, riveting mermaid story nothing like a Disney movie. Very original and memorable long afterwards.
Wild Magic by Ann Aguirre: One of the most romantic offerings, in my opinion, with great adventure and danger. I love how Corsets & Clockwork presents such a wide-ranging variety of tone and creativity within the overall umbrella of YA steampunk.
Deadwood by Michael Scott: Perhaps not my favorite, but still extremely enjoyable, fun, and feisty tale of an airship being taken hostage with a great end.
Code of Blood by Dru Pagliasotti: This particular story had a more historical, convoluted bent in my opinion - it was bit harder to sink in and ride along. It was more confusing than entertaining for my work-wearied mind, unfortunately. Maybe with a reread it would be better.
The Clockwork Corset by Adrienne Kress: One of my favs! This story is chock-full of personality, spunk, and fun! Very romantic, but offering a unique, tomboy heroine that was a blast to follow!
The Airship Gemini by Jaclyn Dolamore: Surprisingly poignant offering about Siamese twins that was lovely and unexpected, both in its twists and its heart.
Under Amber Skies by Maria V. Snyder: Wowza of an end took this Nazi-era romance to a place that blew my mind!
King of the Greenlight City by Tessa Gratton: What an ethereal, mythical tale! It swept me away into a story that kept shocking me and ultimately amazed me.
The Emperor's Man by Tiffany Trent: A creative, fantastical, smart fantasy adventure with a whole lot of suspense and surprise. It takes alternate reality and turns it on its head. Pretty much every one of the stories so far has made me intrigued and excited about each of these authors, just like in Kiss Me Deadly - this one definitely included!
Chickie Hill's Badass Ride by Dia Reeves: Out of all the tales in Corsets & Clockwork, this particular one is the most "horror" in its genre leanings. Still has that excellent steampunk flavor and pizzazz, but gives ya quite a bit more gore in the midst of a 1950s setting a bit different from our own. A ton of fun with vibrant characters from an author with a unique thinking brain!
The Vast Machinery of Dreams by Caitlin Kittredge: A mind-bender of a story - the narrative keeps changing and mutating. There is something so intriguing about having almost no idea what is going on. It's a psychological thriller - puzzling but alluring. Still not quite sure what happened, but look forward to trying again! I have a copy of Kittredge's The Iron Thorn to dive into soon, and this tale has made me even more interested!
Tick, Tick, Boom by Kiersten White: Another of my personal favorites in the collection - though every story is excellent! This one features another phenomenal gal that may wear corsets and simper submissively as she is expected, but does the unexpected in her spare time! Jam-packed with secrets, shocks, and sizzling hot romance!!! Oooh-la-la!
Well, Trisha Telep has done it again! She has brought into one awesome book a collection of thirteen varied, fantastic YA tales, all of which are memorable and entertaining! A great way to find new authors to be obsessed with, as well. ;)
Check out Corsets & Clockwork: 13 Steampunk Romances you crazy, book-addict bibliophiles!
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