The Deception Engine 1 by J-L Heylen
Tongue-in-cheek Victorian Steampunk, yes indeed Steampunk
When I first came across "The Deception Engine" I admired the original, ingenious cover but what the heck was meant by the subtitle "Genderblending Steampunk Adventure" it so boldly announced?
I freely admit that I had never heard of Steampunk before ... Now, let me enlighten you, dear potential fellow-readers and would-be adventurers: buckle up and let yourself be introduced to an alternative reality set in the Victorian age but complete with all sorts of steam-engines (hence Steampunk).
Heylen, herself an author hailing from the Antipodes, who freely professes to write in the Australian vernacular of English, does from the outset an admirable job depicting the Victorian mores and setting in colonial Sydney where Phyllida Thorn from a respectable family leads a second life by cross-dressing as a dashing gentleman. Introitur rich and beautiful Hilary Templestowe, former resident of London ... and sparks fly between our heroines until more steam is generated (blush).
And the story itself is not lacking in adventure with unexpected twist and turns and never a boring minute. There are kidnappings, devious designs, dark family secrets, marvellous engines and as the authoress informs us quite a bit of swash-buckling required by such a gentleman-, err, gentlewoman-adventurer.
And if you are not yet adventurous enough to try this bit of quirky literature let me add that there is waiting for your reading pleasure a large chunk of tongue-in-cheek humour and those wonderful funny chapter headings which alone make this book a worthy (and let me add inexpensive) acquisition.
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