Gideon Smith and the Brass Dragon

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“The sun had risen over the jagged claws of the mountains to the east; it was shaping up to be another beautiful day in hell.” … And that’s only the beginning.

Gideon Smith is the Hero of the Empire, serving Queen Victoria during her reign over nineteenth century England and her vast British Empire. Her majesty continues to rule over part of the New World, after successfully foiling that pesky insurrection of American colonists in 1775. Surrounding himself with only the greatest of legends, such as Bram Stoker, Captain Lucian Trigger, Louis Cockayne, Rowena Fanshawe, and of course, his trusted chronicler, Mr. Aloysius Bent, Gideon Smith’s daily travails are what adventures are made of – you just need to get your hands on his penny-dreadful escapades in World Marvels & Wonders.

After rescuing Charles Darwin and Stanford Rubicon, the sole survivors of a research expedition gone wrong on an island of pre-historic monsters, Gideon must rush off to New York in search of a weapon of massive proportions and extreme interest to the British crown: a brass dragon from Ancient Egypt – but most importantly, he must rescue the dragon’s pilot: a lovely clockwork girl named Maria, who, against all reason, he’s fallen for. Through exciting twists and thrilling turns of events, unfortunate backstabbing, lucky escapes, and plenty of gin and sausages aboard the Skylady III, the tight-knit trio made up of Gideon, Rowena, and Bent, scour the Western World – from New York to Nyu Edo – fighting half-human villains, exposing slavery and contraband, establishing a diverse town of outcasts and misfits, and, of course, saving the day!

Such is the work of a hero – yet, “being a hero isn’t always about shooting guns and spouting platitudes. Sometimes bravery’s just about having the gonads to stick your head above the parapet and say, ‘Hey, I’m different. And I don’t give a rat’s ass.’” Gideon is that kind of hero – he may not always have a plan, he may not always be prepared, and he may not even like killing bad guys… but he is the kind of hero who can admire pirates, love an automaton with “the living brain of a dead London streetwalker,” and seize the day. Be it crooked politicians, tyrannical self-proclaimed kings, or even a Tyrannosaurus Rex, the Hero of the Empire can be counted on to make the right decision when lives are on the line.

Gideon Smith and the Brass Dragon is an exhilarating steampunk adventure intertwining flying dirigibles, western gunfights, and dubious criminals. David Barnett’s characters bewitch the reader with their range of emotions, witty banter, and well-read prose – whether it be Rowena’s unrequited infatuation with Gideon, Smith’s irrational love for a mechanical girl, Cockayne’s uncanny luck in cards and bad fortune in Steamtown, or Bent’s knack for crass behavior and his surprisingly insightful musings on Scripture – these are folks anyone would want along on a dangerous journey. Much like his sensational stories in the penny-bloods, Gideon’s latest quest will capture his readers’ imagination page after page, until the very last word.


Reviewed By:

Author David Barnett
Star Count 5/5
Format Trade
Page Count 336 pages
Publisher Tor Books
Publish Date 2014-Sep-16
ISBN 9780765334251
Amazon Buy this Book
Issue January 2015
Category Science Fiction & Fantasy
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