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The Romulus Buckle series is an exuberant, swashbuckling tale of a dystopian future set in Los Angeles and populated with a great cast of over the top characters. The story is packed with non-stop action and adventure and really sets a great bar for inventive steampunk romance.
Romulus Buckle is the young captain of the Pneumatic Zeppelin - part of the fleet of his father's clan, the Crankshafts. When the leader of the clan (and Romulus' adoptive father) is kidnapped, the Buckle and his Zeppelin will travel across the Los Angeles landscape, fight prehistoric monsters, clan armies, and more - all the while assisted by his capable crew.
I really enjoyed this book - it's a book that has a strong enough plot, great world building, and all the adventure you'd expect from a pirate type adventure. There are even moments of amusement and humor thrown in at some of the situations in which Buckle finds himself. Add in Martians, Los Angeles ruined and under snow, and some inventive steampunking (where steampunk IS intrinsic to the plot and not set dressing) and you have a great read. Los Angeles natives will especially appreciate this book and its ruined Southern California locations.
I listened to the Audible version of this book and it was just a bit too over the top, though I appreciated all the characterization the narrator put into the reading.
In all, this is a gem in the steampunk or dystopian genre.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful
Sometimes, no matter how you try, you can't get into an audiobook.
It can be the premise. In this case, I LOVE the premise.
Sometimes, it can be the delivery. In this case, Daniels is passable.
So, why did I have so much trouble with this audiobook, starting it over numerous times to make sure I was hearing it correctly, re-evaluating the plots and the "believability" of the work?
Let's figure this out by looking at what good writing does for the reader or listener.
Good writing takes us on a journey that must, by the very genre's nature, suspend disbelief. It's a requirement. This is done by more than interesting action sequences, which this work DOES have. It requires solid world-building combined with a believable lead character.
There are other important factors to successful writing, but on these two key factors, the work falls short. Romulus Buckle is too perfect, with no flaws that accompany a great story. As to the good sequences, they just don't come together as a WHOLE work of exceptional world-building. Tolerable, but not worthy of an Audible credit.
I keep these negative reviews short when I deliver them, because they should be short and to the point. It's my hope that Preston will step up his game in the future.
There are SO many other works that deserve your attention here at Audible, both fiction and non. Explore those instead.
19 of 23 people found this review helpful