Saturday, October 4, 2014

Cogwheels: Ten Tales of Steampunk ebook review

Press sample.

     I'm not very familiar with the Steampunk genre, as I've only read a few books along that theme so when I saw Cogwheels: Ten Tales of Steampunk, I thought it would be a fun chance to see what I thought about the genre overall. Here's a small snippet about this collection:

"A collection of entertaining, exciting, thought-provoking stories. Explore the relationship between humankind and technology, ponder social issues and enjoy the costuming, etiquette and gadgetry of an age that never was but might have been." - from

     I found this collection to be very well rounded in the matter of themes and styles: from the Orwellian to transhumanistic to simply comical.  A few of the stories slightly pushed my buttons for my own ethical reasons but regardless, I found this book to be enjoyable overall. Tommy Tales I found to be a dark and cynical look at the nature of mankind. I quite enjoyed Gold, by Kin S. Law, a story which spins the alchemy ideal of turning lead into gold into quite an interesting and entertaining piece. Its reminiscent of the Frankenstein theme, which I feel is vastly overdone, yet I enjoyed this story anyway. Lace, Lavender Salts, and Revenants was short, sweet and straight to the point. The Touch of Love I found quite disturbing, and I literally declared out loud upon finishing it, "what did I just read?" The author, I feel, has a very interesting and unique perspective to human nature.

     I do enjoy some historical fiction, and The Naga played upon that love for me. I felt it had the right amount of fantasy balanced with historical inspiration to make it quite believable and enjoyable. Hatch, Match, and Despatch I probably would have enjoyed more several years ago. Having studied history, and knowing how governments operate, mislead and use their people, I found this story to be quite disturbing, and I feel it hit a little too close to home.

     One of the reasons I enjoyed this book was the addition of two cat themed stories. As a cat lover, of course I was going to love those stories, right? Who can go wrong with cats? Midnight Visitors by Kevin O. McLaughlin tells the tale of what happens when a cat meets mechanical creatures while his owner is asleep at night. I found this story to be quite amusing, and enjoyed it thoroughly. The other cat themed story in this collection, The Last Tiger, I found to be inspiring, quite telling of human nature with a comical yet cynical ending. I quite enjoyed this story as well.

     I was looking forward to reading another story by Rayne Hall in this collection and I wasn't disappointed. I'm not quite sure Fresh Whelks and Winkles falls into my idea of Steampunk, but regardless I enjoyed the story entirely. I know too well myself, there are some things you just do not tell people, and Hall has expressed this idea perfectly.

     Lastly, my favorite story was probably the Clockwork Monk by Liv Rancourt. It was also the longest (long enough to have chapters) which made me think if the author had just tried a little harder she could have turned it into a novella but that's her prerogative.

     Like Dragon, which I reviewed last week, Cogwheels does contain quite a bit of additional promotional material (roughly 13%). I do appreciate less of this book is filled with additional material, and more of it filled with the stories. I did not read the additional content. Also, while this book is titled Ten Tales of Steampunk, there are in fact 12 so it seems you get more for your money with this one.

This book is .99 cents for the Kindle e-book or $8.98 for a paperback on Amazon.

 I received one or more of the products mentioned above for free using Regardless, I only recommend products or services I use personally and believe will be good for my readers.

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