I’ll admit it: the most I know about Steampunk is the movie Wild Wild West, the anime Steamboy, and the video game Final Fantasy VI. There was also that whole Sons of Ether tradition in the tabletop RPG, Mage: The Ascension. So I was quite intrigued at the idea of reviewing my first Steampunk novel.
R.S. Hunter’s setting for The Exile’s Violin is richly detailed. Mostly a fantasy setting filled with steam-powered cars, dirigibles, and other gadgets; it also has a real world feel to it. The main character, Jacquie Renairre, is not just merely kickass but believably so.
In a lot of ways, the story struck me as a Steampunk version of Indiana Jones meets Adventures of Sherlock Holmes—action, intrigue, and mystery all rolled up inside a clever and well-developed world. Even better, Hunter manages to reveal that world piece by piece with imaginative detail without ever once bogging down the story’s pace.
Read this story. Even if it’s the last story you read this year. For you will love reading The Exile’s Violin from first page to last.
Best to read while listening to: any Indiana Jones or Sherlock Holmes soundtrack. The Prodigy and various other techno bands.