Hearts of Smoke and Steam
Andrew P. Mayer
PYR, Nov 22 2011, $16.00
In New York, the murder by the Automation of Sir Dennis Darby has devastated the Paragons as he was their social compass (see The Falling Machine). Without the moral guidance of Sir Dennis, the group falls apart as each of their superegos supersedes their superhero team.
Sarah “the Adventuress” Stanton possesses the clockwork heart of the late killing Automaton who was her friend. She hopes to rebuild him while supervillain Lord Eschaton has other plans for the Paragons and society as a whole, but needs the clockwork heart to rebuild the Automaton. When The Children of Eschaton assault Sarah, Italian immigrant Emelio Armando rescues her. The genius inventor planned to live an invisible life with his sister in New York to avoid his troubles in the Old Country, but has fallen in love with Sarah, whose adversaries target him and his sibling to get at her.
The second The Society of Steam Steampunk Victorian fantasy is an exciting fresh tale starring a beleaguered heroine who gave up affluence in high society to join the poor Paragons of Sir Dennis. The Fortified Steam concept serves as the base for this alternative nineteenth century New York. However, Emelio’s choppy dialect may seem genuine but slows down the pace of an overall faster than the speed of steam pulp escapism thriller.