Arcana Imperii: Origins by Ben Hamby

I like Steampunk. I write in the genre, I enjoy it in books and film. I like some of the music and aspects of the social culture of Steampunk. I mean, c’mon, my favorite movie of all time is Disney’s “20,000 Leagues Under the Sea”! Me and Steampunk, we been friends for a while.
There are a lot of Steampunk books I haven’t gotten around to yet and the primary reason I picked this up was that it’s by a local author. I believe in supporting local authors – soon I’ll be one. Besides, the set-up for this one sounded interesting… quoting from the back of the book (without permission):

“Origins is a reimagining of the classic horror figures of the Victorian Era, where Jack the Ripper and Jonathan Harker battle the forces of darkness. A world in which Dr. Frankenstein’s long lost child takes up his work, and Dr. Jekyll’s formula finds a new victim. This book introduces you to these creatures and others, all dedicated to protecting the new Industrial Age from its darkest enemies.”

As it turns out, there is a lot to love in this book, and only one or two minor quibbles.
The biggest one, the heavy hitter, the (potential) mistake that really irked me… about as much as if I had a mild itch in an easily accessible location?
I’m not absolutely sure, but I’m reasonably certain that the honorific “Ms.” is a 20th century invention, and it’s used several times in the book.
There ya go, that’s it. My big complaint.
The second? The one which doesn’t even reach the exceedingly minor level of the last one?
One character’s name sometimes strikes me as borderline cutesy/clever – and we all know how much I loathe cutesy-clever – there are times that the name Jacqueline du Rippier makes me cringe just a bit.
Folks, if those are the worst issues I have with a book, then in the vast cosmic scheme of things, I got nothing to bitch about and, in this case, a lot to complement.
Interesting takes on the classic monsters, a solid introduction to the world, well-written – I was left at the end wanting more and wanting it right damn now. I was almost tempted to read the excerpt from the next novel, “Rise of the Steam Goddess” but I managed to restrain myself. (I’ve never read a single ‘excerpt’ from a next novel that didn’t jack up the “I-want-it-in-my-hands-Right-NOW!” even more, so it’s always struck me as a form of self-torture, kinda like window-shopping when I’m broke.)
A Very Enthusiastic Thumb’s Up… and now on to the non-story-related cool stuff…
The series website…
http://www.thearcana.net/
Full of flavor and ‘chrome’…
and because it can be hard to find, where to order the book…
http://www.thearcana.net/origins.html
$10, that includes shipping, for 188 pages (not including the excerpt) of Steampunky goodness! Signed… dedicated as well, should you so desire. The book arrives wrapped in brown paper, sealed with wax bearing the imprint of the Arcana Imperii… it’s just a little bit of ‘chrome’, but it adds to the charm of the book.

If it sounds like your kind of book, please check it out.

Listening to: something on HGTV from the living room that I’m doing my best to ignore
Mood: crappy, for reasons that have nothing to do with this book

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