Dr. Jack Fletcher, a nanoelectrical systems engineer and Steampunk fan, and his sister Hallie, are a spirited to a parallel universe during a lab accident. They end up on the airship Tesla under the command of Captain Octavia Pye. It’s still 2010 but it’s hardly the world as they knew it. In this world Airships are real, aether is an element, and women captain ships in corsets and long skirts. Jack and Octavia are dawn to each other immediately. Sparks fly as Jack and Hallie are thrust into the adventures of the Tesla and their madcap crew as they try to deliver their cargo during a time of unrest as the Mongolians are at war with the Prussian Empire and the resistance known as the Black Hand will stop at nothing to crush the Empire.
I thought this was a very, very funny book and was frequently laughing out loud. Steampunk doesn’t have to be grim or depressing and I found this to be a very quick, fun read. I wasn’t bothered at all by the alternating first person POVs—in fact I found it refreshing and thought it worked for this story–but I’ve read a lot of first person books.
Now, if you’re a hard core Steampunker, this may not be the book for you. It’s not dark or gritty and a lot of the Steampunk elements are conventional. It’s also a romance novel and reads like a romance novel (versus an Urban Fantay with romantic elements like Gail Carriger’s Soulless), which means the central focus of the story the relationship between Jack and Octavia instead of action and steampunkery.
I enjoyed Steamed immensely. (It also has a great title, don’t you think?) If you’re interested in a romance novel that’s a little different, want to dip your toes in the pool that is Steampunk, or are looking for a good beach read, this is an excellent book to pick up.