This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.
Genres: Steampunk Romance
Published by Indie/Self Published
Released on August 6, 2020
Asian steampunk at it’s best in these shorter, colorful visits to the Gunpowder Chronicles’ world featuring some of the side characters and a prequel tale. Chinese history from the nineteenth century Qing Dynasty painted with a colorful, detailed backdrop, engaging characters, and plots that pull the reader in.
This book is listed as the third installment of the series. It’s not a novel, but a collection of novellas that are between the main books in chronological order. It should not be skipped for those who want the full story and not the summaries in the next book about these adventures.
Big Trouble in Old Shanghai #1.5
Follow up to Gunpowder Alchemy
Shanghai is a pot waiting to boil over between government conscription of people to slave labor for little more than a rumor, the foreigners capturing people as slaves overseas, the rival gangs growing stronger, and good work hard to come by. Ming’s parents were taken away and she was raised in an orphanage from which her brother who had escaped the government’s conscripted labor, brought her away from so they could be together. People are taking sides, but Ming can’t fully support any of them which is why she finds herself turning to an American spy.
Ming-fen and Mr. Burton do what they can to survive a rebel attack on Shanghai and stop some of the death.
This one isn’t a complete story though it does end in a good place after some big action and gets its finish in The Rebellion Engines.
Island of the Opium Eaters #2.5
A chilling, mysterious follow-up to a few minor characters in the Clockwork Samurai.
A disgraced Chinese businessman – scientist, Yang, has taken two exiled Japanese with him on his boat. Makoto was a Shogun warrior and, Sagara Satomi, a lost young noblewoman who is daughter to dead engineer and gifted inventor. They go to a mysterious, hidden island to get answers about the strain of Opium that affected people in a horrific way. But, the island is not uninhabited and secrets abound… To survive, Satomi and Yang must learn to work together.
Hair-raising adventure and a nice hint of romance.
Love in the Time of Engines #.5
Anlei is a woman disguised as a young male scholar headed to Peking to take the Imperial examination that women are excluded from. Lost in the big city after her provincial village, she encounters scholar Jin Zhi-fu who is a veteran at studying for the exams and is determined to pass this year. Sharing camaraderie over their studies and a connection, things deepen until the inevitable happens and Anlei’s secret is exposed. Can they get past this and protect the special connection they have forged and can An Lei make a future that allows her to be the brilliant scholar she is without hiding?
I loved getting Jin Soling’s parents’ story before the heartbreaking circumstances that happened to them later. A satisfying love story and a woman’s triumph over stifling tradition.
And, so, each tale was different in focus, but all captivated me in their own ways. They make me want to go back and start re-reading the books all over again. Those who love steampunk with strong characters, romance, and intrigue should definitely give this series a go.
COYER Summer #4
COYER Community #60 Diversity Readathon
Romance BINGO #37 ‘Love’ in title
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