Recent steampunk novels
Gideon Smith & The Mechanical Girl by David Barnett
Fun and enjoyable romp through an alternate Victorian world of airships, cogs and adventure, as written in the titular Smith’s “penny dreadfuls.” Other reviewers have commented that the opening chapters are weak, but I think they’re okay, and the book as a whole is a good read. There is rather too much POV changing and a slight tendency to everything-and-the-kitchen-sink-ism, but that aside this bodes well for David Barnett. Volumes two and three recently announced by his publishers, Snowbooks, for which – well done.
The Martian Ambassador by Alan K. Baker
Evoking the classic War Of The Worlds by H.G. Wells, this debut novel by steampunk author Alan K. Davis is great fun, big and bold. Queen Victoria’s special investigator Blackwood investigates the assassination of a Martian, just a few years after the British Empire discovers life on the Red Planet. Tons of derring-do make for an enjoyable read. Alas the intrusion of Faerie does spoil the atmosphere, like a gentle folk strum in the middle of a Metallica album. A good page-turner though.