I am not a huge fan of steampunk. I don’t dislike it; it just isn’t something I read often. Probably has to do with my disdain for historical romances… However, when 4 authors I love get together to create a Gothic/SciFi/Steampunk anthology, I can not pass it up.
Author: Kim Fielding, Jamie Fessenden, Eli Easton, Sue Brown
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
My Rating: 4.5 of 5 stars
From the Publisher:
Gothika: Volume One
When a certain kind of man is needed, why not make him to order? Such things can be done, but take care: Much can go wrong—but then, sometimes it can go wonderfully right. Imagine…
In The Golem of Mala Lubovnya, a seventeenth century rabbi creates a man of clay to protect the Jews, and the golem lives a life his maker never imagined, gaining a name—Emet—and the love of a good man, Jakob Abramov. But their love may not survive when Emet must fulfill his violent purpose.
In Watchworks, Luke Prescott lives as a gentleman in a London that never was. His unique needs bring him to famed watchmaker Harland Wallace. Romance might blossom for them if Harland can come to terms with loving a man and keeping him safe.
In Made for Aaron, a young man in an asylum for being gay met the love of his life, Damon Fox. Twenty years later, Aaron thinks his life is over when Damon dies and then disappears from the hospital. Aaron is determined to find the truth, but secrets hide the unthinkable.
Reparations unfolds on the harsh planet of Kalan, where weakness cannot be tolerated. When Edward needs help, his life becomes entwined with exceptional cyborg slave, Knox. But when Knox remembers things he shouldn’t know, the two may pay a blood price for their taboo alliance.
Four fantastic tales about forging Mr. Right.
I would liken The Golem to a sort of Pinocchio-esque tale. The Golem was created for one violent purpose, to protect, and made to live a life of solitude and servitude. He is reminded often that he is not real. Over the years, he finds his own purpose, and his master is kind enough to let him live for himself, to an extent. You hurt with The Golem. You want him to be real. You do not want him to have to fulfill his destiny. You want him to have a friend. The one word that comes to mind is “Sweet”. Overall, this tale is one of love, acceptance, and sacrifice that will warm your heart.
This story is the epitome of what I envision of when I think of steampunk. As always, Fessenden’s writing is tight, imaginative, and believable, despite the fantastic nature of the actual story. One thing I enjoyed about this tale is that it was true to the time period, well as much as it can be given one of the main characters is well… So often historicals disregard the fear and oppression associated with being a gay person in that society. I appreciated the struggle Harland had with himself. I also appreciate that the struggle was never magically solved. Watchworks is a quick and enjoyable read about nature of human-kind, and what it often takes for the heart to overcome the engrained programming.
In the universe that includes Kalan, criminals from all over the universe are dealt a harsh punishment. They are made to live on a cyborg slaves. But what happens when one slave begins to remember? Reparations by Eli Easton looks at just such a scenario. After saving his master from the crash that took the life of his wife and farm foreman, Knox begins to experience flashes of his former life. Easton creates and interesting world that I would love to revisit again in a future Gothika installment.
Made for Aaron
What happens when the love of your life dies, then gets up and walks out of the hospital? What happens when everything you have known for the last 20 years is shown to be a lie? You fall apart for a while, then you do what you have been taught and make a plan. Even if that plans leads to the end. Aaron faces just this dilemma when his husband and lover of 20 years is in a horrific crash that appears to take his life, if only briefly.
While I enjoyed this story immensely, I felt there were parts in which I would have loved just a bit more depth. I don’t want to give away much of the plot but I never felt the “made” for me vibe. Sure, I was told it over and over, but I didn’t feel that connection. Overall, however, Made for Aaron was an excellent end to an excellent collection that looks at the darker side of M/M for just s bit.
I would like to thank Dreamspinner Press for providing me with the eARC of this title in exchange for my honest opinion.
I have a number of paperbacks, most of which are signed, to giveaway. Over the between now (11 Mar 2017) and 31 Mar 2017, every comment on the blog (this post and all other new posts), will be entered to win 1 of these paperbacks. There are also some misc swag items, so there will be a few packs of these to give away as well.
Thank you so much for your support over the last 4 years. Prism will be closing its doors on 1 April 2017. All content will remain available, but no new content will appear after 31 Mar 2017. As such all request forms have been turned off. Again Thank you,
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