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This image was taken from Amazon.com for review purposes under Fair Use Doctrine.

First off, before we get to my regular Wednesday review, please let me wish you all a happy Fourth of July. I love my country, which was one of the main reasons I served it for ten years as an active-duty Sailor, and I still serve as a DOD instructor. God bless our country, bless our service members, and may we hold true to the principles under which our great nation was formed.

Spolier Free Summary: For Steam and Country by Jon del Arroz is a story about Zaira’s life is thrown off course when her dead father’s will places her on the deck of the last remaining air-ship in the empire. She’s face with the choice to leave the life she thought she’d have or embrace the life her father led, the same life that took him from her. Her life grows even more difficult when she encounters the Wyranth Empire, the empire behind her father’s death. This was my June Book Cover of the Month winner.

Character:  I’d say this was the strength of this story. There were issues I had with it, but the characters are proactive (for the most part). Zaira does seem to be a pretty standard character for YA novels. She’s the unsure, female on her own fighting to prove she’s tough enough. The trope is more of my problem than the execution of the character. My frustration is that Zaira seems to pretty much go with things.  She does however, start coming to her own in the book, which gives her a pretty decent character arc. Constant reminders of how like her father she is annoyed me as a reader even more than her as a character. I felt like there was a missed opportunity here since her father had been absent for much of her life. Rather than investigate that potential conflict, the book focuses mostly on plot-driven events.

Arroz
This image of Mr. Arroz was taken from his webiste for review purposes under Fair Use Doctrine. 

Description: Other than the non-stop references to her similarities to her father’s physical traits, the description of this book is, what I feel, good for a steampunk novel like this. As always, I stress I’m not one who loves a lot of detail in description. For steampunk lovers, there might not be enough of those little, minute details the genre loves so much, but I wasn’t bothered at all.  I saw what I needed to, and my imagination took care of the rest.

Thanks for reading,

Matt

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