Jack Fletcher, a nanoelectrical engineer and his sister Hallie are having a discussion in Jack’s lab one morning when an accident sends them, well, they’re not sure where. Instead of being in the lab when they wake up they’re Captain Octavia Pye’s airship, the Tesla. Captain Pye and her crew are surprised by the intruders to say the least. Pye’s crew is worried about the prospect of the two strangers being pirates, and Octavia cannot give them assurance without exposing a secret of her own. Eventually, the crew realizes that Jack and his sister mean them no harm, and Octavia, Jack, and engineer Mr. Mowen devise a plan to get the two of them out of there. However, Jack and Hallie end up personally involved in the ongoing conflict between the Prussian Empire, Mongolians, and the mysterious rebels of the Black Hand.
I definitely enjoyed Steamed. After having read The Parasol Protectorate books I started looking for more steampunk books, and this is one that popped up on Goodreads. One thing that I noticed while reading Steamed is that a huge part of the story was the romance between Jack and Octavia with the fantasy/steampunk element on the side as opposed to mostly fantasy/steampunk with a little bit of romance fit in there as was the case when I read the Parasol Protectorate books.
There are two things I have to admit to. First, a love/hate relationship with the ending of the book. A part of me thinks that Octavia’s final confession puts her and Jack and Hallie on a more even playing field, and a part of me thinks it makes things too perfect. However, the ending doesn’t take away from overall enjoyment of the book. Second, I expected this to take place during the Regency or Victorian period, but it actually takes place in present day. Again, not something that detracts from the overall story, but something that screwed with my mind a bit at first.
I spent a good portion of my time reading Steamed laughing. A couple of the crew members, Mr. Francisco and Mr. Piper are two incredibly outrageous characters, and they have some of the best lines. Steamed was a fun read, plain and simple, with the added benefit of an interesting story line and great characters. Definitely recommended to anyone who doesn’t mind some romance in their books.