By: P.J. Schnyder
Publish Date: April 27, 2015
Publisher: Ink and Aether Studio
Format: print, 127 pgs
Series: Anthology, stand-alone
Impression: Three complete stories surrounded with steampunk and strong woman.
Journey Into the Aether with award-winning author PJ Schnyder in a collection of daring and sometimes explosive adventures:
In Evie's Gift , Evie travels to England with her brother to find a sponsor for her first season in London. She’s finding much more than intended, including an enemy submarine bent on destroying the airship carrying them across the ocean and a conspirator responsible for sabotaging her host’s mechanicals.
In A Swan in Siam , Agent John M. Alvey of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences searches for the source of a swan feather of peculiar properties in the court of the King of Siam and encounters both an assassin and a living legend.
Plus in the new, never before published Keeping Cadence , fiery Cadence is assigned as both gun expert and bodyguard when the senior crew of the Airship Vulpes is hired to transport precious cargo. Things never go as planned, but the two things Cadence can rely on like clockwork are her captain's explosive temper and the opportunity for a good fight.
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My Thoughts and Summary:
For me steampunk needs toys and gadgets. P.J. delivers! Toby in the first story, the boots in Keeping Cadence. Oh each story had wonderful gadgets that caught my eye! I enjoyed these stories with action and romance in one place.
Evie catches the attention of Captain Alec Corwin on her journey to London with her brother, Jeffrey. Evie can't lead on to her special gift or her pleasure in mechanicals as woman aren't to be tinkerers. Her job is to charm their hosts this holiday while Jeffrey forms connections with the British aristocracy for their family foundry. Captain Alec Corwin comes to dinner at the hosts home and finds he's attracted to the stubborn Evie, but enjoys seeing her infatuation with the machines Lord Weatherly has created. Yet, Alec is curious how Evie was aware of troubles that brewed in the deep ocean so high in the sky.
Oh I enjoyed this short story. P.J. caught my attention in the first chapter. We see Evie is special but not exactly sure what that is yet. We see trouble and it's aimed at the ship our characters are flying in! Why? I didn't know, but the adrenaline is pumping and I needed to find out. Oh the curiosity.
We get POVs from Evie and Captain Alec Corwin. Evie and Alec are strong personalities and get under each other's skin. It does make me smile at the attraction and fire between them.
Evie is my kind of lady. Sure, she's not looked upon as proper by the British Ladies, but she is a woman of her own standing. I love the influence Evie has on Angelica, Lord Weatherly's grand daughter. She has a sense about her when around metals. And her connection with Toby! Oh my! Toby is adorable! He's her watch, or beret or buckle or squirrel perched on her shoulder. Yes, he is all these things. He is like a little pet that is true to Evie's feelings. I want a Toby! Alec sounds like a dashing young man. He's also curious about Evie. But Evie worries about what people would think when they learn her secret.
I would love to read of Evie on more adventures and further with what we see here. Many great elements that would be lovely to see more.
A Swan in Siam
I listened to this story in the Tales From the Archives series. And it was a pleasure to read it again. My review from the first time hearing the story, holds true even now:
Agent John Alvey makes a journey to South East Asia, Siam, to search for a peculiar swan in a native land it should not be. Phailin, a secreted special guard to the King of Siam, takes notice of Agent Alvey, for taking notice and understanding in a foreign culture, where the ambassador from his country has not. Will Agent Alvey find the swan he's looking for, while someone tries to assassinate the King?
This was an interesting little tale. We learn of a whole culture here in Siam, and get the feel for the secretive Phailin, in the beginning.
We do have steam equipment, as always. :) There is a steam mechanical music box, brought as a gift for the King. Interesting! I really liked this, and I think I would like one...when first saw it. Then, the getaway used by the guilty party is neat too, but I have to say it's not quite as exciting as Phailin's way of following the person. And the extras she can do.
This story not only has steampunk, but also a blend of magic as well. Old magic. Very nice blend of the two here. In the end, I enjoyed this story as well. We get a historical tale, magic, steampunk, and bullets and bombs. What else can you ask for?
The senior crew of the airship Vulpes has been out in the air for weeks, now they are at port and the woman are enjoying their time with others. Cadence is the weapons officer and the one that seals the deal with their next job. She's to validate the shipment their client wants to purchase in New London. Jonathan Archer, a talented clankerton and sponsored by their new client, has caught Cadence's eye with his gold hair and green eyes. All Jonathan wants is to go to Paris and participate in Exposition Universelle with his invention. But, unless he can play his cards right and get help, his sponsor's plans might not let him live long enough to get there.
Oh Cadence's boots! These are sooooo coooool! I want a pair. And what we learn of the boots through the story is rather fascinating. Cadence is one amazingly strong woman. I would love to have her as a friend.
I love the strong, kick arse woman here. Like airship pirates with a conscience. I was taken with the setting for this story. I would love to see these woman all again in the future. Though this is a complete story for Cadence.
If you enjoy romance and steampunk, this is totally your story. Jonathan is hot! I loved him from the first moment I saw him. He held my attentions and increased in attraction with his answers/reactions to everything he learned. There are sensual scenes in this story, making it adult material.
*There are a few small editing errors, but I so enjoyed the stories here that I overlooked them.