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Publisher's Summary

Is it ever too late to do what is right?
A fusion of steampunk and superheroics...this is the Rail. Mix in a healthy dose of human foibles, and you are in for a reading on the ups and downs of paranormals, how people react to them, and how their actions shape (and destroy) the world around them.
The Guild of Honor: once this fabled society of paranormals kept the metropolis safe from abnormal threats, and gifted America with advanced steampowered technology. Then, jealousy and rivalry brought them to a deadly end at the hands of a military takeover.
The year is 1886.
Flag Banner Epsom. Aretha Tyne Astin. Two paranormals in a world that fears them, a Victorian Wonderland of fast trains and gravity-defying cloudcraft. Can these two solve an invisible murder, and catch a killer with plans to shed more blood, or will they succumb to the fist of the United States Regular Army?
©2015 William J. Jackson (P)2017 William J. Jackson
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By David Lee Summers on 09-22-17

Steampunk with Super Powers!

In this alternate world, certain people have gained superhuman abilities. Some can throw lightning bolts, some have super strength, some can conduct heat and become human torches and more. Ordinary humans have decided to hunt down the superhumans or paranormals, as they're known. The sole exception is when a paranormal is useful to the autocratic regime. Enter our protagonist Aretha Astin. She's essentially a human lie detector brought in by an army sergeant to track down anarchists. She brings in a curmudgeonly Scottish professor who can see what happened in the past of place by visiting it. They end up stumbling on a murder. Aretha and the professor are given a week to get to the bottom of the mystery. Lush in detail with lots of cool steampunk gadgets and an engaging mystery. My only real stumbling block were a few phrases that felt a little too modern for the time period. A solid steampunk novel.

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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Montzalee Wittmann on 09-17-17

Paranormals killing Paranormals, mystery,steampunk

Any additional comments?

An Unsubstantiated Chamber: The Rail Legacy, Book 1
Written by: William J. Jackson
Narrated by: Amy Pastoor
This is an audible book I requested and the review is voluntary.
I love this steampunk fantasy book. It has a good mystery, fantasy-(certain people have talents or paranormal gifts), a good plot, and interesting characters. I can't say I liked the main characters at first, I don't think the reader is suppose to. The characters grow as the book continues. I wonder how they will change in future books because they are still not quite there yet, but better. They are paranormals that were killing paranormals for the government to begin with. Great mystery with good surprises and twists. I enjoyed it.
The narrator was pretty good too.

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
3 out of 5 stars
By Norma Miles on 01-11-18

Half human and full on mad.

In Railroad City, Missouri, some years before the events in this story, an explosion had taken place and a number of the inhabitants had beenchanged by the mysterious blue glowing megatrite, giving them super powers, some obvious and others less so. Although they had actually saved the day from invaders in the past, they were now unwelcome in their society and hunted down and killed. one such abnormal is the first person narrator of this book but she has a survival plan, working for the hunters, destroying her own. She is Madam Aston and she lives on by being useful to the authorities.
Another survivor from the beginnings of the changes is Professor Flag Epsom, who lost an arm and a leg in the explosion but gained chromoscopic vision, a way to see time moving backwards. He is also useful. These two protagonists are put together in a very uneasy alliance to solve a murder.

A clever mix of Steampunk and paranormals, these tales from the Rails stories are always good fun, thoughtfully written with a strong sense of atmosphere. And this book is certainly no exception as it also includes a mystery to be solved. Unfortunately, the chosen narrator, Amy Pastor, was the wrong choice for this story; although she made a good attempt and her voicings of the characters were mostly distinctive, they were unconvincing and her Scottish accent for Epsom was something very bizarre which could never have seen the shores of the United Kingdom. This was all rather distracting, especially combined with the rather deadpan text reading which occured despite her reasonable intonation. At first it was fine, but after a short while this reader found it very hard to concentrate on the story, focusing instead on the peculiarities of the reading.

I do recommend this story but better to read the book in print form rather than listening to the audio version. I have to thank the rights holder of The Unsubstantiated Chamber for gifting me a complimentary copy, at my request, via Audiobook Boom.

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