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Friday, December 2, 2011

Review: Miss Bramble and the Leviathan by Kristen Painter

Title: Miss Bramble and the Leviathan
Author: Kristen Painter
Genre: Steampunk Romance
Release Date: 10/19/10
Reviewed by: Sara
The last thing she planned to steal was his heart.

The Company. Military institution, protector of Praeton and the nation of Grand Isle. Dirty rotten thief.

When Pandora Bramble steps aboard the Company’s premiere airship Daedalus it’s not for the exclusive VIP tour. It’s to secure proof that the Company stole the regulator valve her father designed -- even if it means tearing the engine apart. Foiled by the unexpected appearance of a handsome crew member, she despairs of ever getting another chance -- until he kisses her.

Captain Theolonius Hatch, sentenced to engine room duty for refusing to take part in the Company’s fleet week activities, never dreamed a woman like Pandora existed. Her brains match her beauty, a combination that adds up to more trouble than he ever expected.

As Pandora allows Theolonius to sweep her into a whirlwind courtship, her wildest dreams come true. As do her greatest fears, leaving her to decide what matters most. Loyalty... or love.

The clock is ticking.

Warning: This book contains airships, mechanical owls, women who are good with tools, men in and out of uniform, steam generated by engines and people, and some hot carriage scenes.

Plot: 4 Stars
My favorite part of this story outside of the romance was the Steampunk details. I liked the scenes in which the inventions were involved and I got to learn more about the world the story took place in. The inventions and gadgets are almost like their own brand of paranormal creature to me, which is probably why I like Steampunk more and more with each story I read. The romance in this story had its ups and downs, even in the short amount of time. There was a couple twists and turns at the end that took me by surprise. All in all, this novella was a great story for romance and Steampunk lovers.

Pace: 4 Stars
Although this novella was on the shorter side, it never felt rushed. There was great character development in the beginning, along with great information about the technology of the world. It didn't take long for the two main characters to meet and get to know each other. The synopsis of the novel describes it as a whirlwind courtship, and I think that's the perfect way to describe it. There are parts of the relationship that seem a bit rushed, but in a realistic way that can happen when two people instantly connect. There were no dull moments in this novel, and even a couple surprises.

Characters: 4 Stars
Pandora Bramble was a great character. She didn't fit into gender norms. She had to work at her father's shop fixing things due to his drinking and gambling. It made her more interesting than the rest of the female characters in the story. I really connected with her since I'm definitely not a girly-girl. Captain Hatch was also an interesting character. He definitely met his match with Pandora. Pandora's father, although a very small character, affected the story in a number of ways. It was his invention that the Company stole, and it was his invention that Pandora was trying to steal when she met Captain Hatch.

Cover: 4 Stars
Is it me, or does the cover model look a lot like Kirsten Dunst? Probably does now that I mentioned it... Anyway, besides the possible celebrity look-a-like, the cover model is a great representation of Miss Bramble. Although you can’t see a lot of detail in her clothing, what you can see definitely gives off a Victorian feel which fits perfectly with the Steampunk aspect of the story. My favorite part of this cover is the background details. The clock, the light posts, the bridge all fit in very well with the story. There’s also a bit of fog layered over the cover that gives it a mysterious vibe. I wish the cover hadn’t been quite so monochromatic, but the blue is a very striking and lovely color. The font choice for the title worked very well, except I would have made “Leviathan” a more masculine font to play off of the cursive of “Miss Bramble”. But this is definitely one of my favorite covers from Samhain Publishing.

Overall: 4 Stars

Disclosure: I bought this novel for my own reading pleasure with a gift card I received for my birthday.

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