Sunday, April 19, 2015

Clockwork Pirate by Lyn Gala

Clockwork Pirate
Clockwork Pirate by Lyn Gala

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I received a free copy of this book to read and review for Wicked Reads.

This is the first steampunk novel I have ever read. It’s a genre I didn’t know much about and had no strong feelings about either way. However, I am a HUGE Lyn Gala fan, especially of her MM Sci-Fi romances, so I was more than happy to give the genre a try. Because of all of this, I cannot even begin to comment as to whether or not Clockwork Pirate is consistent with the steampunk genre because I have nothing to compare it to. What I can say is that I finally understood what it is as the descriptions of Aster’s contrivances enabled me to relate it to the Will Smith movie The Wild Wild West. Eureka! Finally a frame of reference. What I can say about the book is that it is consistent with the previous books of Ms. Gala’s that I have read and so I absolutely loved it.

I quite enjoyed the combination of the lorded class, high seas pirates, and astonishing inventions, even if it was all coupled with the prejudices, severely limited civil rights, and slavery consistent with what I am assuming to be the intended time setting of the 1800s. Much like Beche, I found Alex’s behavior to be uncharacteristic of the British aristocracy. His quick thinking allowed him to activate his sister Aster’s lock changing mechanisms, thus giving him a position from which to negotiate the freedom… of his crew. Alex’s unexpected behavior intrigued Beche enough that he spared Alex’s life. Although it caused Alex some distress, I enjoyed watching Beche come to terms with Alex’s gentle nature and found the womanly spirit discussion quite humorous and apt. What I found extremely intriguing was that while Beche had never before considered being with a man, he did not deny that he was drawn to Alex’s nature. Even though Beche did not fight his attraction for Alex, he did not push it either. Rather he allowed Alex to come to terms with the belief that his father’s “cure” was no longer effective and that there was nothing wrong with a man lying with another man, especially aboard the pirate ship. It is because of this that we are well into the book before there is any sexual intimacy between Beche and Alex and it does not occur until Beche is confident that it is what Alex truly wants. And it’s hot.

Aside from the well-crafted romance aspect of Clockwork Pirate, Ms. Gala does a fantastic job of creating a cast of characters that make up Alex’s family (by blood) and Beche’s family (by choice). Even though Alex’s presence on the pirate ship gradually shifts from captive to unofficial crew, the fact remains that he is being held and the author maintains a serious tone for that portion of the novel. However, when Alex’s sisters reappear in the novel, Ms. Gala infuses hope and humor into the storyline, which serves as subtle cue that Alex’s say over his life has been returned to him and she subsequently lightens the storyline accordingly. I loved Alex’s sisters – Philla for her strength of character and Aster for her intelligence – and I would love, love, love to see Ms. Gala write a sequel or two to this novel to give them their own stories, as well as Fabrice and Manuel. Will I continue to read steampunk? I don’t know. But if Ms. Gala writes it, it’s an automatic yes for me.

Check out the Wicked Reads Reviews – Clockwork Pirate by Lyn Gala blog post on Wicked Reads.

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