The Steamborn Series by @Eric R Asher
YA/Teen Steampunk Fantasy
Release Dates: As followed
Cover Artist: http://sensevessel.daportfolio.com/
Typography: @Indie Solutions by Murphy Rae
Steamborn, Book One
Jacob, a tinker's apprentice and sometime thief, has lived his entire life in the mountain city of Ancora, protected by the massive city walls. The towering barriers keep the Deadlands creatures at bay, but the monsters rise higher into the peaks every year. More and more they breach the defenses of the Lowlands while the Highlands rest easy.
A swarm overruns the walls and wreaks utter devastation on the Lowlands. Charles, the old tinker, suspects the attack may not be natural. With help from Jacob's closest friend, Alice, and Samuel, one of the city's elite spider knights, Jacob and Charles will uncover a terrible darkness at the heart of their city.
I just finished "Steamborn" by Eric R. Asher. It's the first in a YA/Teen Steampunk fantasy series. When I began reading the book, it already had a couple of strikes against it in my mind. I am not a big fan of the steampunk genre. I find most post apocalyptic too dark and/or depressing for my tastes. I must say "Steamborn"was a pleasant surprise.
It's true the book contained many of the common themes of the genre. There is a sharp divide between the Highlands and Lowlands sections of Ancora. The Highlanders show disdain and mistrust for the Lowlanders. There is a landscape filled with monsters who are trying to breach the walls of the city. There is the typical teen protagonists who are fighting for survival who overcome challenges by heroic measures. All these threads in the hands of a lesser writer might give us a typical dark book devoid of life.
Eric Asher takes these threads and weaves a highly entertaining novel. Though set in a dark world/time, the author allows rays of hope, love and compassion to shine through the darkness. It added another dimension that one doesn't often find in a post apocalyptic novel.
The author has a knack for creating interesting characters. I enjoyed the scenes featuring Charles and his apprentice Jacob. Though the world around them is bleak, these two have the compassion to help those injured by a monster attack. The interaction between Alice and Jacob is believable and at times amusing.
I thought the descriptions of the steam technology was well done. It was not too technical for me to follow. I loved the addition and description of "bugs' and monsters. From the innocuous pill bugs to the Widow Makers and Red Death, the bugs were an innovative addition to a great read.
The final two books in the trilogy will be released in 2016. I a looking forward to the conclusion of the series with great anticipation.
In the spirit of full disclosure, I received a free copy of this book from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. Eric R. Asher is my nephew.