A few months ago, I read the prequel Safe Haven I enjoyed the story, but wanted of the younger character, Sam This story satisfied that desire Sam, short for Samantha, is now 15 years old Lily, her older sister, and Lily s husband, decide that Sam is ready to travel to the Continent, where Sam should find a place that is considered safe for people like her Sam is a Natural , and Naturals are considered very dangerous In this richly textured, alternative Victorian novel, Naturals have the ability to sense the desires of mechanical contraptions, such as watches, steam powered carriages, etc and to bring their desires to fruition The problem is that these newly designed contraptions can be inadvertently dangerous to humans Sam s trip to the Continent does not go as planned and much of the trouble she lands in is of her own doing, though not intentionally.Nat, a well educated young lad, is learning the ropes of living on a ship that runs poorly and doesn t have the finest of crews He makes some unwise decisions that cause him some serious problems The world building is so well detailed that I could smell the ocean air, hear the wood creaking and see the throng of life on the docks as though I was there Sam and Nat, as characters are interesting and feel painfully real They are rash and naive, yet are essentially good When I finished reading this, I immediately looked for the next book in the series and was sad to see I ll have to wait.In compliance with FTC guidelines, I received this e book for free from the author for an honest review In addition, I personally know the author as a member of a local writing group. Disclaimer I feel I can claim I am friends with the author, Margaret McGaffey Fisk She has been an important member of the writing group I belong to I don t think that comes into play in this review, first of all because I fell deeply into the world she created, and second because I was saddened to find myself back in reality when I finished this adventure.Safe Haven began this adventure for me It precludes the series The Steaamship Chronicles of which this, Secrets, is book 1 I had already fallen in love with the characters, Lily and Samantha To research the burbs and other reviews please check out and GoodReads.Meanwhile, my review Although this started sadly and then got exciting, it leaves me in the heads of Sam and the boy, Nat I would guess this is the set up for much fun ahead.I wish Samantha was set free to do what she does best, but, again, that will happen, I m sure, in the next books There seemed to be times where I tended to put the book aside and attend to other shining things I don t remember having that problem in Safe Haven Maybe it is all my own problems and not that of the author Maybe I am not in the demographic the book is for I do know I would have had fun reading this to my children, or had them read it to me way back when It is A great bedtime story, a great for Young Adults as Sam learns to fit in her world And fun for this old lady You probably know that steampunk is a sort of science fiction alternate history usually set in Victorian England with advanced technology that s steam based In Fisk s imaginings, all these new gadgets are somewhat sentient when near a natural one who can feel their longings and morph them into their true desires It s a lucky moment when a gadget only wants to be a better version of itself, but when a watch desires to be a mechanical man and the Natural can t stop the compulsion to change it, people in authority get upset After all, people aren t getting what they paid for but something else entirely.Thus Naturals are locked away for the good of society, but young Samantha Crill has been hidden on her sister and brother in law s estate for years since the story found in the prequel, Safe Haven Now 15, Sam is judged old enough to make her own way to the Continent where rumors of freedom for Naturals abound But things never go as they ought, and Sam s simple journey goes massively awry She finds herself a stowaway on a steamship bound for unknown shores, hidden below decks beside the oldest, most decrepit steam engine in any East India Trading Company ship.Sam must not only stay hidden from the curious cabin boy, Nathaniel Bowden, but aid that engine to keep running as an engine, no matter its longings but not so smoothly she ll be discovered.If you re looking for an entertaining introduction to steampunk for younger readers, look no further Imagine being able to manipulate the aether to perform something akin to magic on machines Imagine that those who can do this are looked upon with fear and contempt This is Samantha Sam , a young woman who lives with her sister and her husband on their estate and most times keeps herself locked up in her workshop with her mechanical friends to keep from getting caught changing a machine into something better or something it s not supposed to be Her sister, Lily, decides for her own good that she should go to the Continent so that she can be with other Naturals like herself Thus Sam s adventures begin I thought this was a great StemaPunk book and I m looking forward to the rest in the series I d recommend this book to anyone who likes reading books in the SteamPunk genre. Nathaniel Bowden Is A Nobleman S Son Turned Cabin Boy With Dreams Of Achieving His Own Steamship Someday He Has To Win Over The Crew With Hard Work And Eager Charm To Prove He Belongs Among Them Rather Than In A Fine Dining Room Only The Grouchy Engineer Holds Fast Against His Wish To Know Every Aspect Of The Ship, Making The Engine Room A Mystery Nat Has To SolveSamantha Crill Has The Gift Or Curse To Hear Complex Machinery And Transform It Based On Aether Driven Desires Called Natural Or Monster By Normal People, She S A Fugitive In England And Hopes To Find A Place On The Continent That Is Safe For Ones Like Her The Journey To Port Quickly Becomes A Disaster, Though, And Each Setback Further Undermines Her Control Until The Mechanical Ridden Port City Of Dover Triggers A Bout And Sends An Angry Mob After Her Sam S Only Half Aware Of The Siren Call Of A Damaged Engine As She S Drawn To Hide Aboard An Older VesselWhich Will Pose The Greater Risk To Nat S Ambitions His Curiosity Or The Natural Struggling For Control Beneath The Deck Planks He Must Weigh Friendship And Honor Against His Future While Sam Has To Control Her Nature Or Risk The Lives Of Everyone On Board, And The Engine Is Determined To Find An Opening Good series startAs the first book of this series, I thought it set up the stories and characters well while painting a vivid image of the time period Samantha is an interesting character with unique talents that she hasn t learned to temper enough to keep her out of trouble Nat is an adventurous young man with dreams of a career I m looking forward to seeing where their adventures take them. Wonderful plot and devices A steampunk, stowaway story that read like the voyage of a slow boat to China. Review first published on My Blog.Samantha Sam is a Natural, one who can read the hearts of mechanical devices and use the aether to change them to become closer to their ideal Unfortunately, most people look at Naturals with distaste even to the point of violence and Sam s sister, Lily, is too sick to be able to keep her hidden even with her husband s help They have heard of a settlement on the main continent of other Naturals where Sam would be safe and able to be true to herself but when the morning for her departure arrives, she ends up heading to the ship on her own and her nature takes over which causes her motorized carriage to careen out of control and her to crawl out of the wreckage scared and alone with no idea how to find the right ship or her brother in law s man for help Instead, she sneaks aboard a ship with no idea where it s going.Meanwhile, Nathaniel is from a rich family but his interest in life outside has him serving aboard a ship as a cabin boy although he wants desperately to get into the engine room Unfortunately for him, the engineer is not disposed kindly to him and when Sam steals his food, Nat ends up taking the heat for it Now Nat is determined to clear his name while Sam must try to stay hidden from Nat and ignore the siren call of the ship s engine I understand that this was written for YA and I wanted to like it than I did Unfortunately I found the writing to be repetitive a huge peeve of mine while the characters were basically one dimensional which left me not really caring much about their plights and the pacing was slow I thought the world had promise but ultimately there just wasn t enough to make me want to continue in the series.
Margaret McGaffey Fisk is a storyteller whose tales often cross genres and worlds to bring the events and characters to life She currently writes romance, science fiction, and fantasy but will go wherever the story takes her A daughter of diplomats, her early years were filled with many cultures, both very much alive and long turned to dust, and people who both pondered the great thoughts and we
- Secrets (The Steamship Chronicles #1)
- Margaret McGaffey Fisk
- 25 April 2018 Margaret McGaffey Fisk