Sunday, February 14, 2016

Railroad Rising: The Black Powder Rebellion - by J. P. Wagner - Part fantasy, part adventure, and part steampunk

3 of 5 Stars     Review copy

On the surface Railroad Rising: The Black Powder Rebellion seems like it could be a lot of fun.  Part fantasy, part adventure, part steampunk, magic, even a touch of romance.  What's not to like?

There were a number of things I enjoyed in this work.  For example, the story is solid.  A magician, named Cartogg, and his armsman come to the aid of the king when he is ambushed at the opening of a railway he has had built for his people.  Cartogg proves himself worthy and is soon in the service of the king.

It's a good thing the king has Cartogg, since the rebels have magicians of their own.  Aside from magic, the magician also shows an aptitude for steam engines and gliders and soon incorporates both into the king's arsenal.

My biggest problems with Railroad Rising: The Black Powder Rebellion was its repetitiveness. Again and again, throughout the story, Cartogg is worried that he will lose favor with the king and the possible consequences of such an occurrence.  I can understand his feelings, but not the author's need to remind us incessantly.

The writing is capable, but I found the storytelling to be lackluster.  What strengths there were in this book were found in the relationships between the characters.  In the end, I'm glad I read Railroad Rising: The Black Powder Rebellion, but if there is a sequel I don't think I'd be likely to go there.

Railroad Rising: The Black Powder Rebellion is available as an e-book from EDGE-Lite, an imprint of Hades Publications, Inc.

Railroad Rising: The Black Powder Rebellion has been published posthumously, as the author passed away in 2015, my condolences to his family and friends.

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