Archive for Katie Macalister

Yep, It Had Me ‘Steamed’ All Right.

Posted in Books, Entertainment, Writing with tags , , , , , , , on May 30, 2012 by urbannight

When I first started reading Katie MacAlister, I didn’t know if I would like her.  It took her a couple books to get her feet under herself and I really started to like most of her books.  But this one was awful. 

It starts with a very Twainish male lead, Jack, in a world that doesn’t seem to be our world and yet is not a steampunk world.   A scientist and Quaker (which is also not believable in the characterization) who seems to land in outragious adventures everytime he tries to go on vaction.  Think Huck Finn crossed with McGuiver or something similar.

Then an accident happens in his lab that throws him into another world.  An accident that isn’t at all believable.  Nanotech and Helium?  An accident with an experiment that would have been in a ‘clean’ room rather than a room where his sister could just wander in off the street and cause the accident.   Or if not a ‘clean’ room, then at least one with a lot more security.

Then we see the world of the female lead, Octavia.  It is supposed to be a ‘Steampunk’ world but it is more of an alternative history because the world’s political structures seemed to have diverged before the Victorian era and the Industrial Revolution. 

The back-story about her and her most recent romantic relationship is fairly interesting.

But the book falls apart as soon as Jack and Hallie from ‘our’ reality find themselves in the alternate ‘steampunk (NOT)’ reality.  For starters, he never takes it seriously.  He treats it like he has landed in a world-sized, science fiction convention. 

For a romance writer, she uses some the worst of the outdated concepts that authors moved away from a good 20 years ago or so.   

It went downhill so fast that this is one of the few books I’ve ever spent money on that I actually stopped reading.  It was so bad I couldn’t even justify giving it away. 

The sad thing is that if she had kept the two worlds completely separate, she would have had two really interesting stories to tell.  The attempt to force them into one story was a failure.

It seemed like a writing experiment that didn’t work but got published anyway because her name has a big enough following.  They realized they could make a profit off it before word of mouth got around about how bad it really was.