Friday, July 8, 2011

Review: Steam Queen by Jack Hessey

ASIN #: B004E3X8X0
File Size: 422 KB
Copyright: 2010

Book Summary:
(Taken from Amazon)

Europe is a dangerous, virtually lawless place. Armed bandits prowl the railway lines in their armed Steam Locomotive looking for easy marks, and heavily armed mercenary engines travel from town to town looking for work in a world where every day is a struggle for its civilians.

Erica, an emotionally disturbed girl from England finds herself joining one of these mercenary teams. What follows is a trek across Europe to where two mighty cities, each representing a different way of life, stand on the verge of a war which will shape the way Europe develops.

On one side are the Steam using traditionalists of St Vith, led by the charismatic and cunning General Roosje Cuvelier. On the other, stands the mighty Winterscheid Diesel Empire under the iron fist of the merciless Kaiser Sigmund Eisenburg.

Two vicious armies, treachery from her own allies and the world’s deadliest super-weapon are just a few of the dangers that Erica must face in her journey.

Mandy's Review:


I like the cover - The mostly dark cover with the lightness of dawn in the background ... it's interesting to look at.  The locomotive on the front lets you know that trains will play a major factor in the story.

Plot/Main Characters

In the beginning we see that Erica's father signs her up with a mercenary clan, I think, to get rid of her.  I mean, this girl has some serious emotional issues.  It was on the border of ridiculous in how fast Erica got mad and exacted punishment to the wrong-doer ... sometimes over the stupidest things!  She frustrated me to the point that I almost stopped reading the book.

However, I pressed on.  The team Erica joins are an eclectic bunch.  There's a set of twins who think they're better than everyone else, especially Erica.

Jemima is the clan leader and makes the decisions on which jobs they take.  She refuses to take attitude from anybody and eventually puts Erica in her place.

Jacques is the tough French mercenary who is also a gentleman.  I liked Jacques.  He was a good guy who did what he had to do in order to protect his clan.

There's a lot of action in this novel between an deceitful power-seeking General, an evil King, orphaned children, OLD BOB and a metal-armed man. 

I would like to think that Erica learned that it's okay not to be so daggum angry all the time, but I don't think she ever did.  I believe Erica will continue to dole out her form of punishments until the day she dies ... especially now that she's a murderer and she sees how easy it is.


I think I would've enjoyed this novel more if Erica wasn't so intense.  It was almost too much for me to handle.  However, the action scenes and plot were well-thought out.  There were grammatical issues in the novel (words missing, incorrect word usage and misspelled words) that interrupted my reading flow due to having to stop and try to figure out what was trying to be said.  If the book would've been better edited, it would've been a well-written novel and one I would've recommended ... despite Erica's intensity.

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