My 2017 Reading Challenge was all about reading books out of my comfort zone – and ‘A Steampunk novel’ was a particular challenge as I hadn’t got a clue what it meant!
A bit of Googling, and good old Wikipedia revealed this:
“Steampunk is a subgenre of fantasy and speculative fiction that came into prominence in the 1980s and early 1990s. The term denotes works set in an era or world wherein steam power is still widely used—usually the 19th century, and often set in Victorian era England—but with prominent elements of either science fiction or fantasy, such as fictional technological inventions like those found in the works of H. G. Wells and Jules Verne, or real technological developments like the computer occurring at an earlier date. Other examples of steampunk contain alternate history-style presentations of “the path not taken” of such technology as dirigibles or analog computers; these frequently are presented in an idealized light, or with a presumption of functionality.”
Given I don’t like science fiction or historical novels this was always going to be a challenge! I had a search on Amazon for something with good reviews – but also the beginning of a series in case I loved it…
I went for The Iron Duke by Meljean Brook. Here’s the Amazon blurb:
“After the Iron Duke freed England from Horde control, he instantly became a national hero. Now Rhys Trahaearn has built a merchant empire on the power – and fear – of his name. And when a dead body is dropped from an airship onto his doorstep, bringing Detective Inspector Mina Wentworth into his dangerous world, he intends to make her his next possession.
Mina can’t afford his interest, however. Horde blood runs through her veins, and becoming Rhys’s lover would destroy both her career and her family, yet the investigation prevents her from avoiding him.
But when Mina uncovers the victim’s identity, she stumbles upon a conspiracy that threatens the lives of everyone in England. To save them, Mina and Rhys must race across zombie-infested wastelands and treacherous oceans – and Mina discovers the danger is not only to her countrymen as she finds herself tempted to give up everything to the Iron Duke.”
It was all really complicated setting the scene – and I wasn’t sure how much I was struggling because I’ve never read this genre before – and how much because the author explains everything in minute and complicated detail. And how much because I just didn’t care about any of it!
I tried – I considered giving up at 10% and 20% – but by the time I got to 30% I just could not be bothered to carry on any more.
I thought this would be a genre I would dislike – and I was not wrong!
Life is too short to finish books you’re not enjoying #apartfromTheGoldfinch…..