Review: ‘Steam City Pirates’ by Jim Musgrave

Steam City Pirates

Pat O’Malley Steampunk Mysteries
Jim Musgrave
English Majors Editors and Publishers, LLC

Pub Date: Dec 1 2013

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Like Alice’s rabbit, a strange “mechanical-like man” leads 1869 New York Detective Pat O’Malley down into the world of steam power. A group from the future calling itself the World Scientific Advancement Society for Progress is living secretly beneath Central Park. These pirates are inventors whose only goal is to keep the Earth in the Steam Age in order to save it from a future nuclear holocaust. Five alien assassins from other universes are ordered to kill O’Malley and his group, and each alien has a unique ability to do the job. As the Steam City Pirates build a steam-powered amusement park on Coney Island, O’Malley and his group are hunted down in the streets of New York City. The future of the world is at stake in this mystery and adventure featuring a twisting plot, steampunk time travel, steam men duels, crafty inventions, and monsters from other planets.

It had everything going for it – time travel, mystery, airships, piracy, prostitutes and natty suits – and yet I couldn’t get on with this book. I’ve been trying to read it for almost three weeks and struggled. The narrative style irks me, I find the characters uninteresting and not at all rounded. In fact I found most of them irritating.

I did enjoy some things about this book, the little details though such as the well thought -out  mechanical and scientific explanations, the religious discussions and comparative philosophies.

I think it would have helped if I’d read the first three books in the series, as there were many references to previous adventures. As it was, I was just confused as well as irritated.

Recommended? Maybe, if you’ve read the three previous books.

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