Right after finishing Daniel Ottalini‘s steampunk novels that I wrote about in an earlier post, I dived head first into the works of Wendy Callahan. Ms Callahan is another steampunk novelist. She’s also somewhat local to me in Nebraska. If it wasn’t for her I wouldn’t have come across Ottalini’s Roman steampunk.
Reader’s comments: “Warehouse 13 meets Sherlock Holmes.”
“Wild Wild West meets Sherlock Holmes.”
I’d go so far as to say that Friday the 13th (the series) meets Sherlock Holmes.
Callahan combines action, adventure, and romance with hints of the paranormal to grab the reader’s attention. Set in the late 19th Century, her stories of Demetra Ashdown and her companions will appeal to Anglophiles and fans of Victorian romance, as well as the steampunk fans out there.
I’ll give you just a little background: Demetra Ashdown is the daughter of an inventor. She’s half Aetheral, a race of beings who can trace their bloodlines to the ancient gods. There are Infernals and Celestials. Demetra has a close-knit bunch of companions, including her human father, Lord Francis Winterton – the man who broke her heart (The Gilded Gun), her best friend Simon Warom, and her half Infernal aunt Verti (The Daemon Device and The Enigma Engine). Through her adventures she meets such intriguing and historical figures as Samuel Mathers and Elizabeth Bathory (The Chronos Clock).
Reading the collection as an omnibus I had the pleasure of reading everything in story line order. Callahan wrote The Chronos Clock and other works before she did the prequel that starts the omnibus, The Gilded Gun. Reading them from the beginning gave me a wonderful introduction to the author’s writing style. Sometimes simple, but rarely simplistic. Any sophomoric tendencies in her writing are more than made up for with her accurate use of Victorian era social niceties and etiquette.
Simply put, each and every one of these stories from Callahan will grab you and drag you willingly through the escapades of Demetra and her companions. Along the way you will learn about her own special abilities and those other Aetherals she encounters, get a history lesson in the mythos and the fact of Celestials and Infernals, and take a journey through the 1890’s landscape of the United States. You’ll also plumb the depths of romance between Demetra and Francis and the unrequited love that can come out of a life long friendship.
I’d go into details on each story, but I’d hate to spoil the read for you. Suffice it to say that you will be entertained throughout the read of each story.
From an editor’s stand point, the book had very few if any continuity flaws. As is usual with just about any ebook edition I have ever read there are a few errors in formatting and some apparent typos that escaped the editor’s notice. Over all they were not very distracting.