I am ambivalent on steampunk since from all the novels I have read in this sub-genre the quality varies wildly. This is one of the better ones (my favorite is still the world of "Darkest London" series).
The character of O'Malley is a complex a character as you will meet in literature but quite entertaining in his ruthless pursuit of answers. The problem I have is there is so much emphasis on the steampunk aspects and the multimedia bonuses with this novel that a bit of the story got left along the way but while I did listen to a bit of the music and visit the game site, they really did not add anything to the book. The illustrations did help establish the mental images rather cleanly even though you might have to readjust your own mental image once you view them.
I short, this is a decent paranormal novel, set in an age that never existed but uses our world as its mold. The imagery is good, the story is moving and a bit Sherlock Holmes-ish in places (which is always a good thing IMHO)
While I don't share the gushing enthusiasm of the steampunk genre as some of the reviews this was done well with only a few distractions, some of my lack of enthusiasm could be attributed to my lack of appreciation for this story is that in many places I found it a bit "dry" for lack of a better term.
I can give it 4 Stars with no reservation and those who truly love the steampunk sub-genre may find it enjoyable beyond my review.
Musgrave's wild imagination will capture readers' attention from the very first page. His futuristic tale will thrill, chill and pique steampunk fans' interests throughout the entire storyline all the way up to the breathtaking finish. The time periods are seized without flaw and helps to make this novel all the more believable and special. Our hero, Pat O'Malley ties it all together with his strong presence which is relentless, and the highly descriptive setting of New York City is a wonderful addition. This one is not to be missed!
Unlike many other science fiction books, O'Malley(Musgarve) writes in a pleasant narrative form. I like futuristic tales so this was right up my alley. The story is neither dystopian nor utopian,though some may interpret that either or scenario,which I think the author did subconsciously,which is fine.
The characters are interesting and Steam City Pirates further struck my fancy because it also deals with time travel-which I find fascinating and to a lesser extent robots or a the author calls it: a “mechanical-like man.”
Even though the plot is a bit complicated at times, if you take the time to absorb the intricate story,even if you have to re-read certain passages, as I did-you'll realize the effort the author has made to tell a creative storyline.
I'd highly recommend this book.
Mind-Bending Dazzling New Fantasy Steampunk Scifi At Its Best!
“Steam City Pirates” by Jim Musgrave is set in New York City in the 1860’s. Detective Pat O’Malley is tasked with saving the world from catastrophe as he goes up against the World Scientific Advancement Society for Progress (WSASP). The proclaimed goal of this society is to keep the Earth in the Steam Age to prevent it from a nuclear holocaust that has already happened in the future! Seems like a good cause, right? But what’s the whole story? The leader of this society is a half-human, half-mechanical man who travels through time “collecting” inventors to assist in the preservation of the Steam Age. Musgrave takes O’Malley from the historical fiction mystery thrillers of his first three novels and delivers him straight into the world of Steampunk.
I really enjoyed this story – admittedly much more than I thought I would! I definitely feel like I need to go back and read the first three novels. A wonderfully detailed introduction was provided by the author but I still felt like I was “missing out” on some of the intricate references to the trilogy, and I hate missing out on things so I will definitely be back-tracking on this series.
Musgrave is an excellent writer – his vocabulary is extensive and quite eloquent and I loved his writing. The characters are defined with intense detail and the storyline is out of this world (no pun intended). The plot was full of highly imaginative twists – forget about solving this story ahead of time, there was no way I could figure out what going to happen with the turn of any given page.
Author Buzz, distributed for librarians, featured Jim Musgrave in February, 2014. You can read the post at the included link.
All four of the novels in Jim Musgrave's Pat O'Malley Historical Mystery series were selected by the Library Journal and Bibliofiles as "featured" titles in their new Self-E Program for Independent Authors. Click on the below link to read the acceptance letter sent to the author.
Jim Musgrave's Steampunk fantasy, Steam City Pirates, was a semi-finalist in the 2014 Scfi and Fantasy Awards at the Kindle Book Awards.