Tuesday, July 24, 2012

Book Review: Maiden Flight of the Avenger

Maiden Flight of the Avenger

By:  Alex White

Publisher:  Self-published

Publish Date:  April 2011

Format:  eNovella

Genre:  Urban Fantasy Magic with Steampunk mixed in.

Series:  The Gearheart series, Book 0.5.  Book 1 ~ Podcast: The Gearheart: Artifice

Recommendation:  Yes, a quick magic filled read where we take the first flight with Augustus in his airplane and in a deadly air race.

Book Synopsis:
Agent Augustus Elsworth is a Seeker of the Arcane Unknown, mechanic, pilot and thief...or so he believes.  When Augustus is caught trying to steal a magic artifact from the ruthless mobster Charles Patrick, he is offered a choice: buy it outright, or forget about his mission.  In order to win the money, the young mechanic decides to enter the Cliffside Aeroprix, the most dangerous air race in the world.  Can Augustus win the race, or even survive it?

First Sentence:
Augustus Elsworth stared down Charles Patrick.

My Thoughts and Summary:
Augustus is in Charles Patrick's casino, when the mobster calls on Augustus by setting Augustus up - saying he's cheating.  Augustus' cover is blown thanks to his not-up-to-standard clothes and the Seeker ring he wears.  Chuck wants the Seekers money and makes a deal with Augustus for what he was to steal, the stone sprite.  Chuck is surprised when Augustus says he can afford the unreal amount, but there's one job to get the money first...Entering the Cliffside Aeroprix in Mirreau, the aerial race which Chuck has won (one way or another) for the last five years.  This year the deadly race will run through eighty percent caves.  And Augustus has yet to build the plane he has in mind, to beat everyone.

If you are looking for magic and action.  Pick this one up!  It's a quick novella to read, and full of poetic metaphors.  I'm amazed at Alex's metaphors, ones that are so visual and usage of everyday things I couldn't have ever thought of putting together to describe with a poetic nature.   I just can't get over these descriptions!

"Light flowed over Headmistress Richardson's fingers like a fog crawling down the mountainside.  It sprayed from her fingertips where she had finished her glyph and slithered out, leaving little sparks in its wake." ...19pg

This is a Novella in The Gearheart world, with characters I've seen in Artifice.  However, this is a prequel so you DO NOT have to listen to Artifice to read this, but it is a great compliment to each other.  You could very well read this before listening to Artifice and not spoil Artifice, and not spoil Maiden Flight in reverse order.  But you might want to listen to it after you learn about the magics in this action packed world.

We learn of magic and alchemy in this world.  What they are and the differences between them, even use of them with the views of the people.  Augustus is young and it's great to see him more in his element with his powers...mechanics, and no not just with working and building with his hands.  We see Isabelle partnered with Augustus, both from Fumoston Chapter of the Seekers helping in another area.  We also get to see Isabelle front and center work her fire-y magic.  Keegan, Jonathon, and Cog make an appearance as well.  We have a few new people we meet:  Bettie Misko, one tough grease monkey chick that taught Augustus what he knows.  The gangster Charles Patrick.

Augustus and Bettie have a long history and make me smile with their banter.  Augustus has a plan for a flyer that will win him the race, but needs help building it quick enough to enter the Aeroprix race in a months time.  That's where Bettie comes in, but I also feel for Augustus when he learns a secret of Bettie's which will drag him in deeper than he expected.  The core to power the first and one-of-a-kind flyer is something new to them and one Augustus has to figure out, and will at a cost.

I'll be looking for more magic with the Seekers in the future.  So keep your eyes peeled!

In Kindle format, for 99c:

In Print:

I read this novella for my own enjoyment.


  1. From that great quote you put up, I have to agree with the visually descriptive writing.

    1. StephanieD - I really was caught by the descriptive writing style. And it's full of magic and action for me too. Couldn't go wrong. lol. Thank you!

  2. This is new too me, i love steampunk and the quote was great. Thanks for sharing this one!

    1. Kimba, I started with this author listening to his podcast story (all complete and free online) and found this story as well. I really enjoy them. :) Thank you!

  3. You know, steampunk has not wow'ed me yet. But I like the concept of this book.

    1. Jennifer L. Bielman, I will say this has steampunk in it but it's mixed with an Urban Fantasy type magic as well. I really loved the full podcast story he has up on his blog for free. And this was a wonderful addition in novella format. :) Thank you!

  4. I confess with only the cover I wouldn't have thougt it was a UF book, but it sounds nice mainly with steampunk in it!

    1. Melliane, I figured as much about the cover. :) Thought a lot of people wouldn't think it was UF either. :D But it's got great magic to it. :) Thank you!

  5. I love that quote! It's delightfully poetic and certainly makes me want to read more by this author. :)

    1. Mirjam, I LOVED this quote! It was wonderful to show the poetic description and the magic she is weaving too. This was a wonderful example of the way this author writes. :) Thank you!

  6. I haven't picked this series up yet, but now, I'll see if my library has these books...

    1. Cherry, this is an ebook, and a podcast story that hooked me in with the descriptions and magic, and story line. I think the story is only 99c, at least in US. :) Do hope they get it for you. :) Thank you!


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