Jon Del Arroz’s For Steam and Country constructs a world of escapades, mystery, and heroism. When spunky Zaira von Monocle is whisked from her plain farm life, she becomes a vital cog in the turning gear system of war. A simple but diverse cast of characters help Zaira pilot the plot which, like Rislandia’s prize airship plying the sky, takes time to get off the ground. But once lifted, this story soars into new, fascinating territory—complete with its share of mishaps. In places the story’s quality is bumpier than a horseless carriage, but glimpses of a wider world and history, unexpected twists, and some good old-fashioned derring-do make up for the lack of polish. And the strong ending tantalizes readers with sequel potential.
Best for: Newer fans of steampunk who enjoy a romping adventure without an overload of intricate worldbuilding details or complex themes.
Discern: Moderate violence, a few light vulgarities, partial nudity, and some romantic content.