Wednesday, November 17, 2010
Thomas Riley by Nick Valentino - a wild ride
When I first met Nick Valentino at the SC Literary Convention, I knew just a little about steampunk. I recognized his connection with the genre by his goggles and became enthralled by the genre after our conversation. I've never read a YA novel and was surprised at how involved Thomas Riley was in plot and steampunk technology. The novel is a fast paced wild ride through varied landscapes and near scrapes for Thomas and Cynthia, who are a likeable pair, with their odd little quirks and dedication to their mission. I was constantly surprised by the cool weaponry and alchemy touches, all the little details that make a story rich and memorable. The interplay between the two characters is fun and lively and adding the third imprisoned character of the princess (I won't say how and ruin the plot) makes for a complexity which challenges the hero and heroine both from within and without. Quite an interesting twist in the steampunk genre. Nick and his story inspired me so much that I've since become very involved in the steampunk community, started my own steampunk novel, and attend regular steampunk meetings and cons. Nick makes a rather confusing and off beat world fun and creative and I learned a lot about the odd technical aspects of steampunk weapons, visual devices, and airships from Thomas Riley.