Publisher: Decadent Publishing
Publish Date: Out now!
How I got this book: eARC from author
Evie and her brother Jeffrey are headed to London for Evie’s first season. The death of their parents has caused Jeffrey to inherit the family business, and Evie needs to marry. As the airship they are traveling on becomes suddenly under attack, Evie does what she can to ward off their enemy, but unfortunately causes multiple questions to be asked from their Captain Alex Corwin.
Upon arrival in London, the two travel to Lord and Lady Weatherly’s, close friends of their father. Lord Weatherly is also in the business of engineering, and takes great interest in the fact that Evie knows so much about his newest creation. But when that creation is tampered with, Evie must choose between trusting strangers with a secret that might be too sensitive to be revealed, or risking the lives of many.
This very short (approximately 50 pages) steampunk was a great little introduction into an exciting world. Schnyder does a great job of combining the classic London Regency period with incredible feats of engineering that encompass everything I love about the steampunk genre.
The biggest thing I love about steampunk is the glimpse into the different kinds of engineering trinkets that authors dream up. My favorite aspect of this story was by far Toby, a metal based, animated mechanical that turns from watch to squirrel to hair pin to assorted other things depending on the mood of Evie. I laughed out loud numerous times as Toby would display Evie’s emotions for her: hissing, blowing steam, or running scared. I love the idea of such an incredible invention, and would give just about anything to have one of my own!
The characters were great as well. Evie was a free spirit, non conforming woman who loved all things engineering, and wasn’t afraid to show it, even though it isn’t the norm for women to do so. I loved that she had no problems standing up to the men in her life, but was still soft and loving towards the Weatherly granddaughter, Angelica.
Evie’s ‘secret’ was totally new and something I’ve never seen before in the steampunk genre. I thought it was a great little twist to the story.
I was hoping for a little more romance (Schnyder does write some great romance) and was somewhat disappointed that the prospect of a budding relationship with Alec the airship Captain wasn’t explored further. The tension between the two was evident from page one. When a second potential suitor was introduced later in the story, I was thrown a little off guard. While nothing progressed with either, I was a little disappointed to say the least.
When I asked Schnyder if there would be additional stories set in this world she said that she would like to follow up with another story continuing Evie and Toby’s adventures. I can say that I for one would definitely read more set in this world. I would like to see Evie have a little romance in her life. I think she would be a great heroine who could really be a strong character.
Plus, I felt as if this story was almost a really long prequel. I chugged right along, happily reading, but when I reached the end was somewhat disappointed. I know that Schnyder can deliver a great story, and I felt like there should have been more.
All in all, I give Evie’s Gift 3 out of 5 mechanical Tobys!