Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
Source: Review Copy from Author
Note: this review is coming from the perspective of someone who has not yet had the pleasure of reading or watching anything from the Steampunk genre. (I’m a Steampunk newbie! 😉 )
Imagine a world where the air and water are so poisonous and noxious that citizens either live under these great biodomes or in Citiships “suspended permanently in the sky.” In this world lives William Darcy, a descendant of Fitzwilliam and Elizabeth Darcy, a scientist interested in preserving and rebuilding the past, owner of Longbourn Laboratories, and referred to as “The Boss.” Also in this world, lives Seraphene Grant, aviator and research scientist, her family has suffered numerous tragedies due to The Uprising and The Authorities and she now works two jobs to support what little family she has left.
Seraphene is offered a job to work for “The Boss” on a very secret and groundbreaking project. The opportunity to work with such cutting-edge research and receive such generous compensation is tempting, but William Darcy is controlling, egotistical, self-serving, and so supercilious that Seraphene is certain that he is the “last man in the world” she could ever be prevailed on to work for…
I loved Monica Fairview’s first two novels (The Other Mr. Darcy, and The Darcy Cousins), and while the steampunk genre isn’t one I can claim any familiarity with, I was tempted to try this novel out because it was written by a clever author with a keen understanding of Jane Austen’s world and a deep love for her characters.
I am so glad I did read Steampunk Darcy, it was an exhilarating ride! The characters were well-drawn, complex, and engaging; I especially enjoyed our spirited heroine and her battles with the officious Boss! In addition, the steampunk setting with its steam-powered machines, slime rain, automatons, various aircrafts, and Victorian fashions was a fascinating new world to explore and learn about, and Monica Fairview did a fabulous job of bringing it all to life.
One aspect of the story I greatly enjoyed was searching for the subtle parallels and nods to Pride and Prejudice. Some were less obvious than others – there was a great social divide, a rejected offer, a sister needing to be rescued, a Caroline Bingley and George Wickham character stirring up some trouble, and an abundance of pride and stubbornness.
What I found missing from this story (and the reason I can’t give it a higher rating) is an explanation or history of the events that happened prior to this novel. What was The Uprising and The Repression? When did they take place? Why did they happen? Who are The Authorities? What is the Grid, Citiships, and biodomes? I think this book definitely needs a prologue or at least some kind of index in the beginning defining all these events and inventions. It was just a little too difficult to sort it all out with only context clues.
Brimming with danger, grit, adventure, and romance, Steampunk Darcy is action-packed journey into a world of science fiction, industrialization, and invention! Well done, Monica Fairview! Thank you for my first Steampunk experience!