A review by chloesumner1317
Corsets & Clockwork: 13 Steampunk Romances by Trisha Telep


Ah, now these short stories are just my speed. I've read collections edited by Telep before and these delivered about the same level of satisfaction. Each story was probably somewhere around 40 pages, and they pack quite a punch.

Overall the stories were all quite good, though I definitely had a clear favorite, you'll be able to tell.

Rude Mechanicals-One of my favorites, though not the top. I really, really liked Quint, and I thought it was funny that his uncle was Agamemnon only because I find that name one of the most difficult for me to pronounce in my head. The only thing I did not like was that I wish that there would have been a death at the end, rather than what happened.

The Cannibal Fiend of Rotherhithe-Halflings don't tend to show up often, and being of mixed race myself, I really appreciate them. I loved Silka's take no prisoner's attitude, and how it covered the life of her father as well as herself. I also liked the slightly open ending, it was nicely different.

Wild Magie-Also one of my favorites but still not there. Kind of predictable, yes, but still enjoyable. I really liked the idea of a portrait as a doorway, and Pick was quite dashing.

Deadwood-This was slightly meh. I thought the switching perspectives worked well, and the foreshadowing was decent. However the fight scene just read a little bit odd, and the captain was slightly ridiculous. The ending made me laugh a little bit (Also, it's really hard for me to take someone named Michael Scott seriously, being a die hard The Office fan).

Code of Blood-This one grew on me as I was reading. It was a bit confusing to try and figure out, but it was super action packed and really kept me guessing! Pietro was very charming and quick witted, which is honestly how Italian boys get painted a lot, but fine by me! Really liked this one.

The Clockwork Corset-Guessed the plot, but it did come nicely full circle with a detail you wouldn't really think of. Average.

The Airship Gemini-Conjoined twins are a rarity everywhere, especially in YA fiction, so it was a cool topic to be reading about. I thought the author did a good job of exploring the conjoined vs. separated mindsets and the pros and cons to both of them. I actually wanted there to be death at the end of this one too...all of this steampunk is making me slightly morbid apparently. And I kind of didn't like the paranormal twist.

Under Amber Skies-This was brilliant! But still not quite to my favorite. ALMOST there though. The idea of bringing steampunk forward and into Poland was really well done. I thought it was also a really good choice of the author to show the extreme nationalism on a side other than the Nazi's in WWII. The inventions seemed really awesome, and there was some great wordplay. Also, the romance was nicely interweaved.

King of the Greenlight City-OHMYGOSH guys, I wish this was a full length novel. I'm serious. It is such an amazing story. If it was flushed out into a novel I'm telling you, it would be one of my favorite books. This was a really well set up world, everything made perfect sense without going overboard. Alys and Ever made a really passionate couple, and I actually felt myself tearing up a little bit at the end. Opposite sentiment as I had felt for stories previous. I think it's really interesting that the elements and magic are often brought into steampunk, it's a good contrast.

The Emperor's Man-This had quite an interesting plot twist, but other than that it was kind of boring. Oh, the interesting one was not where at the end the narrator is magically a werewolf. You don't need to combine paranormal and steampunk, really. They're quite happy separate.

Chickie Hill's Badass Ride-Honestly, I didn't understand how this was steampunk. It was paranormal for sure and a POC, but I really didn't get steampunk from it. I liked the music references and the lingo, but the plot was kind of boring to me.

The Vast Machinery of Dreams-It was kind of confusing, but I liked following the backtracking of this story. It would paint a picture and then throw paint thinner on it and make you reevaluate. However, the ending was slightly unclear, which is the only thing I would have changed.

Tick Tick Boom-This one was solidly in the middle. After Wild Magic and The Clockwork Corset the affluent female character that rebels was a little bit tired, but she was funny. And it shows you people can often surprise you. This one was by Kiersten White and I really got that from the word choice and sentence structures.

Overall, I would totally recommend this anthology if you're looking for anything steampunked out!