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The Future that Never Was
Air pirate Albion Clemens hies off to Europe to search for his foster father, Captain Samuel Clemens. When he enters a pub he starts a brawl and in the process gains two more passengers who later become part of his crew – a buxom constable from Scotland Yard and a seditious journalist. As it happens, Albion is in Europe at the same time that several national landmarks are stolen by a behemoth that has the Queen of England worrying about whether the Empire is next.
While the writing is interesting, there was so much going on it was hard to read. First and third person viewpoints were used and this became unwieldy. There were several chapters where the POVs changed mid-chapter. There was a lot of information dumping in the guise of both narrative and dialogue. Reading the story felt as though the author wanted to put all the research or chapters that could have been set aside for another story, into one book. More streamlining is needed for this steampunk novel to move full steam ahead.
Nevertheless, this is a different take on the steampunk genre. Most stories tend to explore the contraptions invented had the Industrial Revolution taken a different path, and the world remained stuck in the Victorian Era. Using Mark Twain as a pivotal character will likely bring about a chuckle or two.