**I was given this book in exchange for an honest review**
Creeden, Pauline. Chronicles of Steele: Raven, The Complete Story. AltWitPress, 2014.
Reviewed by J. d’Artagnan Love
Raven is a reaper. She has been trained as an assassin, but for every life she takes she must redeem another. Her latest assignment is to protect a young boy, Darius, who has fits that cause electric and steam devices to go haywire. He’s the son of a duke who plans to have him killed if his fits are not cured. Raven’s job is to take young Darius to the Wood Witch in search of a cure.
Chronicles of Steele: Raven is a set of installments that were previous published separately. This steampunk fantasy novel takes readers on a magical quest. There are many stories woven into this journey from a romance turned heartbreak and the unbreakable bond between a daughter and her father. These stories are intriguing and, as a reader, I wish they were fleshed out more thoroughly. The story of Raven and her father could have been so much more touching had readers been given more details. I wanted to know her father’s quirks and see more of their interactions. I wanted more information about his death and why Raven felt so responsible for his death. I wanted more information about Gregory; what were some of the sweet moments they shared as children? I wanted to know more about Captain Jack. What is his back story? What has shaped him? These questions were left unanswered.
Chronicles of Steele is categorized as a steampunk fantasy novel and for people who have never read steampunk before, this would be a good starter. There wasn’t a whole lot of steam in the steampunk, though. Some of the genre staples were present: zeppelins, Victorian age clothing styles, steam powered horses and automaton servants. I wanted more of this stuff though! Steampunk is a genre that relies on details. Some of the reaper weapons were fantastic steampunk elements but there is more that could have been done here as well.
That being said I really enjoyed this book for its entertainment value and its girl power. Raven is a wonderfully feminist lead character. She’s someone I’d want as a friend and companion and I believe her to be a solid role model for young girls. The mission and story of the reapers was also interesting and I certainly hope that Creeden will continue writing stories about these mysterious warriors.
3 darts out of 5
This book is FOR: people who want a good introduction to steampunk and a powerful female protagonist.
This book is NOT FOR: people who are deep into steampunk already.