Book Review: Blazing Blunderbuss
Author: Nix Whittaker
Published by: Reshwity Publishers
Publication Date: 22 May 2016
Page Count: 198
Source: ebook provided by author
Audience: Young Adult – Steampunk/Fantasy
I am a huge fan of steampunk, so when this book review request was passed on to me, I jumped at the chance to read it. Sadly, this one wasn’t quite to my tastes.
Hara is a 20-yr-old woman living in a world where women aren’t taken seriously. She is a genius at engineering and fixing and creating new gadgets, but because of her past and her gender, no one will give her the time of day. She’s running from a past where her father betrayed her, jumping from airship to airship, masquerading as a boy to get work. Then one night she saves a man from a band of revolutionaries, a man she finds out later is actually a dragon. Gideon takes an immediately liking to her and wants to woo her and make her part of his collection. They end up stealing a pirate ship and along their journey pick up a ragtag crew. Soon, Hara and Gideon are trying to yet again escape capture, and figure out why these people have such an interest in Gideon. Betrayals, twists, and surprises surround Hara and Gideon, making you never know where it will lead you next.
Unfortunately, I struggled with this book. I loved the synopsis and the plot of the book, but the writing itself wasn’t what I generally like to read. There was no detail to the book. I wanted a description of the landscape, the airship they fly, the towns they visit, the people they meet. You get very little of any of it. It needs much more detail for my liking. Stories with little detail, the way this one does, makes it read more like a children’s chapter book, like Magic Tree House or Junie B. Jones.
I did love the characters. Though not a lot of detail to them, they each were written with their own unique characteristics. They each had their own story, and their dialogue was witty and fun. I enjoyed the banter between Gideon and Hara, Gideon and anybody really. He is a fun character to read.
The dialogue itself was too formal for me, as well. It wasn’t relaxed, very stilted. The author needed to use more contractions to make the dialogue flow more smoothly, I’m instead of I am, he’s, she’s, etc. Just those little changes would make the book much more readable.
I loved the storyline of the book. It had great possibilities. I loved the world the author created, what little was shown of it. It’s intriguing and I feel like with a bit of tweaking, the story could go far.
One Last Thought: It didn’t sit well with me, or make a good impression, when the very first word in the book was wrong. The main character’s name is Hara, but apparently the main character in a different series she wrote is named Hero. Instead of writing Hara, she wrote Hero as the character’s name in this book. A couple sentences later she wrote Hara for the same person. I am hoping that has been caught and fixed by now.
Hara has not had an easy life. Dragged around the world by her con man of a father and forced to dress as a boy to keep her safe. She has finally gotten away from him when she walks into trouble. Gideon is a mathematician but that isn't the only thing. He has been kidnapped by revolutionaries and they are about to be in a lot of trouble because they don't know he is also a dragon. When Hara rescues Gideon she knows he is going to be trouble. Things get complicated when they accidentally steal a pirate ship and are dragged into a plot to start a war with the Wyvern Empire.