Monday, October 31, 2011

What Is Steampunk? (The Clockwork Dark)

I'm reading The Nine Pound Hammer by John Claude Bemis, and finding it noteworthy.  Here's my note.

This is the first book in a middle reader series that markets itself as steampunk (the series title is The Clockwork Dark, "clockwork" being a very common steampunk flag-word), and it's a little 'punky, in the person of its villain.

But it's only secondarily steampunk.  Primarily, it's one of those middle reader series (like the Percy Jackson books) in which the protagonist's adventures involve him in existing mythology.  Only here, the existing mythology is the folk lore, tall tales and traditional legendary characters of North America.  Which makes this book, on a high concept level, Percy Jackson adventuring inside the Uncle Remus Tales, with a steampunk twist and -- for extra goodness -- a side of Carnivale.

Very cool, and pretty strong for a debut novel.  I recommend it.

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