When Jackie first offered me The Falling Machine by Andrew Mayer I really had no idea what to expect. I’d never heard of the book or it’s author, but I’m always willing to try something new. Also, it didn’t hurt that I’ve been having a good streak with steampunk novels. As it turns out, The Falling Machine is helping to continue tear down my misconceptions of this surprisingly fun genre.
In 1880 women aren’t allowed to vote, much less dress up in a costume and fight crime…
But twenty-year-old socialite Sarah Stanton still dreams of becoming a hero. Her opportunity arrives in tragedy when the leader of the Society of Paragons, New York’s greatest team of gentlemen adventurers, is murdered right before her eyes. To uncover the truth behind the assassination, Sarah joins forces with the amazing mechanical man known as The Automaton. Together they unmask a conspiracy at the heart of the Paragons that reveals the world of heroes and high-society is built on a crumbling foundation of greed and lies. When Sarah comes face to face with the megalomaniacal villain behind the murder, she must discover if she has the courage to sacrifice her life of privilege and save her clockwork friend.
Steampunk superhero mystery. Those three words should sell you on the book alone. I know that if I was given those words I’d have perked up at reading The Falling Machine immediately. As it was, the short blurb really only gave me a vague idea. So with nothing more than my hope that The Falling Machine would, at the the very least, be interesting; I dived into it. It was surprising for me to find that more than anything The Falling Machine is a mystery. Sure there were tons of the mechanical doodads that steampunk is known for, but what kept me most enthralled with the story was the ‘who dunit’ aspect. I wanted to know who the traitor was, and at multiple points in the story I was forced to change my theories as new evidence was revealed.
The revelations happened quite often too, so there wasn’t any stagnation. That made for a story that was easy to get through and I was able to quite easily focus on the characters. Everybody, from young Sarah Stanton all the way to the mechanical marvel that was Tom, had a personality all their own. I especially loved Sir Dennis. Although there wasn’t a whole lot of him personally in the story, his ideas and character affected events and people throughout the entire story.
Overall, The Falling Machine by Andrew Mayer can certainly be put very firmly in the ‘win’ category. It had mystery, cool gadgets, and charming characters. I’d be remiss if I didn’t recommend The Falling Machine by Andrew Mayer to anybody on the market for a great story.
Also reviewed by: Graeme’s Fantasy Book Reviews