Tuesday, July 28, 2015

My Introduction to Steampunk Novels

I love historical fiction.  Historical fiction is where I began my love affair with books.  I love a book that lets me escape and challenges my imagination.  Honestly, sometimes realistic fiction is my least favorite genre of fiction - sometimes it is too real, hits too close to home.  Later on, I discovered Fantasy novels and fell equally in love.

I am always reading young adult and teen fiction. So, I recently have read a few Steampunk novels.  I may have found a new genre to love.  It's a little bit alternative history, a little bit fantasy, a little bit science fiction, and even often a little bit 19th century Victorian Romance. Here is the definition of Steampunk from Wikipedia.

If you have read a lot of Steampunk, I would love to hear some of your favorites! Here is what I have read recently:

Boneseeker by Brynn Chapman

I reviewed that one in this post.  It was an easy summer, on-the-plane read, but I didn't love it.

The Girl in the Steel Corset by Kady Cross

This book is the first book in the "Steampunk Chronicles."  It is ranked high on lists of steampunk books. Here is one Steampunk list I found on Goodreads.  I finished this book over the last week. The main character finds out she has special strength and abilities, but is struggling because she has black outs.  She ends up meeting a group of other people who have special abilities.  The story is sort of a mystery meets Xmen meets Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde. It was a fun story, and I'm sure I will read the rest.  However, I'm not sure I would rank it is high as many do on Goodreads. This one I would recommend for 8th grade and up or more mature 7th graders.

Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger

I am half way through this now, and I love it!  It is fun and engaging. The plot and the characters are unique.  There is a lot of satire and wit as well, which I always love in a book. The main character is 14 and too tomboyish for her parents.  She is more interested in climbing and inventions than being a lady. So she gets sent to finishing school, except the finishing school secretly trains girls to be assassins and spies. This one to me seems like you could even let 5th and 6th graders read it, especially if they were a little more mature.  This book reminds me a little bit of the Mysterious Benedict Society, primarily because you have a group of kids away at school having their own adventures. It also reminds me of The Scandalous Sisterhood of Prickwillow Place because of the wit and humor about the role of girls and women in history.  If you have not read The Scandalous Sisterhood, it is worth reading.

A couple other Steampunk books I read last year were The Clockwork Scarab and The Spiritglass Charade by Colleen Gleason.  Both of these are enjoyable reads.  I would highly recommend them. I would probably go 7th grade and up for these two. They are about the female offspring of Stoker and Holmes, and they solve mysteries.

What steampunk books have you read? Any must-reads you recommend? I would love to find some appropriate for 5th and 6th grade as well.

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