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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The Falling Machine by Andrew P. Mayer

Genre: Steampunk, Fantasy Fiction

Setting: New York in the 1880s.

In this steampunk novel, the City of New York has been protected for years by a group of superheroes called the Paragons. The Paragons use the power of mechanics and steam to enhance their physical abilities.  Professor Dennis Darby is the genius behind their incredible steam powered machines.  The members of the Paragons  include the Industrialist, the Sleuth, the Iron Clad, the Submersible, and the Turbine.  Working with the Paragons is Professor Darby's most incredible invention: the mechanical man called the Automaton.  The Paragons have two major problems: they are getting on in age and at least two of them are traitors.

While inspecting the the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge, Professor Darby is assassinated.  With him is Sarah Stanton, the daughter of the leader of the Paragons, and the Automaton.  Sarah soon discovers that Professor Darby has been killed by members of an evil group called the Children of Eschaton.  Members of this group include Bomb Lance, Rapid Fire, Doc Dynamite, and the enigmatic Lord Eschaton.

Sara wants to take an active role in investigating the crimes of the Children of Eschaton.  However she is hindered by the common beliefs about how women are supposed to behave in the 1880s.  Sara befriends the Automaton and together they begin to uncover the mystery of Lord Eschaton.

This is the first novel of a planned series of novels.  The author introduces us to the characters and the setting.  The plot lines are begun, but there are no resolutions. If this novel were a movie, it would end with "To Be Continued."

I enjoyed this book.  I might even look for the second installment of the series to see what happens next.  If you are into steampunk, this American version of the genre might be of interest.

The Society of Steam, Book One
The Falling Machine

The Society of  Steam, Book Two
Hearts of Smoke and Steam

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