Thursday, July 24, 2014

Secrets by Margaret McGaffey Fisk (The Steamship Chronicles Book 1)

by Margaret McGaffey Fisk

My rating: 5 stars

Series: The Steamship Chronicles - Book 1
Publication Date: July 9, 2014
Publisher: ACOA
Genre: Teen/YA Steampunk
Print Length: 195 pages
Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble


An Alternate History Victorian Steampunk Adventure for readers of all ages.
Samantha Crill can read the hearts of mechanical devices and transform them into what they long to be. In a steam-powered Victorian England where only the wealthy can afford such sophisticated contraptions, the law does not look kindly on Naturals who destroy these purchases. Barely able to resist the demand of the devices, Sam becomes a danger to everyone around her, not in the least because the mechanicals show little restraint once changed.
Nathaniel Bowden, cabin boy on the oldest of the East India Trading Company’s steamships, intends to learn everything he can in the hope of becoming a captain in this age of productivity. He’s eager and willing, but his despised noble background and the engineer’s unprovoked loathing threaten his position with the crew.
If Sam can't learn to control her nature, the engine's whispers combined with Nat's curiosity will put his future — and both their lives — at risk.

Secrets (The Steamship Chronicles Book 1)My Review
Secrets by Margaret McGaffey Fisk
My Rating: 5 Stars

Attention Steampunk fans! Want to be able to talk books with the kids? Thanks to the magic of Margaret McGaffey Fisk’s delightful Secrets, here is a book that can be read and enjoyed by ALL ages. Imagine being able to read the “hearts” of mechanical devices, and to be able to change them into what they really want to be! Has it ever occurred to you that a simple toy might want to be more? What about a vehicle? The possibilities are endless! Too bad “naturals,” as they are called are considered a threat to Victorian England’s sensibilities, those poor rich people who can afford devices may find their purchases have a mind of their own, especially when young Sam gets her hands on them.

Sent away for her own safety, from the start, her journey across the ocean is doomed from the very start and she bravely determines she WILL find a way to travel aboard a less than spectacular ship, she will stowaway, but the call of the steam engines is threatening to get her captured.

Young Nathaniel comes from money, has book smarts, but no real life experiences, so he is taken on as a novice worker aboard an old and poorly running ship. Nat dreams of one day having his own ship to captain, but resentment of his status makes him an unlikely success. He discovers Sam and thus begins their adventure upon the waters!

Margaret McGaffey Fisk has caught the flavor of “steampunk” and Victorian England perfectly, while maintaining a fast pace filled with the energy of youth! Easy to read, each scene in her world ran like a movie in my head. The chaos of the docks, the smells, the sounds, I swear I could have gotten a splinter from the wooden planks. Both main characters have the insecurity of youth, yet the determination to go the distance, wherever that may take them. Add in some quirky or nasty supporting characters and the trip into the past, across the veil of an alternate history is complete.

Secrets is definitely one of those shiny gems in the world of books with its sense of adventure, fear of the unknown and, hey, it’s steampunk, need I say more?

I was very fortunate to receive a review copy from the author in exchange for my honest review.

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