Saturday 30 April 2022

Book Review: The Earl of Brass by Kara Jorgensen (Steampunk)

Title: The Earl of Brass (The Ingenious Mechanical Devices #1)
Author: Kara Jorgensen
Publisher: Fox Collie
Publication Date: 2016 (2014)
Pages: 258
Format: eBook - EPUB
Genre: Steampunk
Source: Kobo Free Read

Eilian Sorrell is no stranger to cheating death, but when a dirigible accident costs him his arm, he fears his days of adventuring are over. As the eldest son of the Earl of Dorset, Lord Sorrell knows he will face a bleak future among London's aristocracy unless he can escape. On a quest to return to his old life, Lord Sorrell commissions a prosthetic arm, but the craftsman isn’t quite what he expected.

Fenice Brothers Prosthetics is in trouble. Hadley’s brother is dead, and she is forced to pick up the pieces and finish what he started. When clients begin turning her away, she fears she will fail until she crosses paths with the enigmatic Lord Sorrell. In exchange for a new arm, he offers her a chance at adventure in the deserts of Palestine.

Beneath the Negev’s sand lies something far more precious than potsherds or bones. A long lost crystal city has been found that could change Eilian and Hadley’s world forever, but they aren’t the only ones who know its secrets. Will they make it out alive or will they, too, be buried beneath the desert sands?


The Earl of Brass started well, with an exciting opening and interesting characters. I particularly enjoyed the early scenes between Eilian and Hadley as they sought to create a new arm for him. However, the sudden change in the narration when they dashed off to Palestine didn't work as well for me, mostly because it was hard to suspend my disbelief about the 'hidden' city that didn't seem all that hidden (and seemed a little too perfect to be true). There were just too many times when I thought 'but hang on...', which pulled me out of the story. As did the constant use of epithets and other frequent changes to how characters were referred to in the prose. The book had an intriguing opening premise and two well-rounded lead characters, but the writing style and some of the plotting let it down a little. For me, it's a 3-star read.

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