Wednesday, July 14, 2010

Thomas Riley by Nick Valentino

Thomas Riley
by Nick Valentino

Published: 2010
Genre: Steampunk, Action, YA
Paperback: 288 pages
Rating: 3

The industrial revolution sparked an inventive firestorm that inspired people across the earth to delve head first into the seemingly endless endeavor of science, alchemy, mathematics and metallurgy with a fervor the world had never seen. Rivaling any surge in human knowledge in history, this new industrial way of life was fueled on harnessing the power of steam, gases and the limitless imagination of the human mind.

Description from the amazon:
For more than twenty years West Canvia and Lemuria have battled one another in a constant war.

From the safety of his laboratory, weapons designer Thomas Riley has cleverly and proudly empowered the West Canvian forces with his brilliant designs. But when a risky alchemy experiment goes horribly wrong, Thomas and his wily assistant, Cynthia Bassett, are thrust onto the front lines of battle.

Forced into shaky alliances with murderous sky pirates in a deadly race to kidnap the only man who can undo the damage--the mad genius behind Lemuria's cunning armaments--Thomas' own genius is put to the ultimate test.

My two-bits:
In-a-word(s): shaky alliances

A lot of fight and flee action which is in keeping with characters who are in the weaponry business. Also, a touch of romance, just a touch.

While I loved the steampunk elements of the book, sorry to say, I didn't really gel with any of the characters.

Zombie sighting:
It will render him like a zombie for eight to ten hours per dose, Thomas said.
-chapter 3, page 37

Excerpts from interview on Tor:
Did you set out to make this book a specifically steampunk adventure? Or did it just grow that way?

From the get go, I wanted to write a steampunk novel. From page one, the story just seemed to write itself. There is so much available to the genre that I ended up having a lot of fun with the freedom of the subject matter and the boundless world that it provides. I wasn’t sure how strict I was going to be with the story, but instead of writing what would have looked like a text book of scientific procedures, I took liberties with some of the weaponry, mechanics and science which to me makes everything a little more fun. I was a bit obsessed for a while about say, what kind of acid will eat through metal fastest, but after a while I broke free and concentrated on a healthy mix of real science, exaggerated science and pure thrills and adventure.

What hopes do you have for your book, placing it as you did within the steampunk subgenre?

The ultimate goal is that readers enjoy it. The story is packed full of thrills and adventure and I think people will have fun with it. I’m not seeking fame or fortune, I’m simply expressing the need to tell stories and have a good time doing so. I understand by writing a steampunk novel that I’ve got a niche audience, but that’s great with me. Sure, I want the book to do well and sell, but I’m really gunning for giving people a good story and a good experience instead a watered down read for the sake of selling books. By experience, I’m referring to the things that come along with this book. I have a host of plans that will make Thomas Riley more of an interactive experience. The first wave of this is the Sky Pirate enlistment program I have on the website. Readers, fans, or curiosity seekers can go, sign up and immediately get hand made and stained enlistment papers, flight credentials and their own number that will be used later down the road at Cons and such for exclusive contests, giveaways and tons of fun and free material.

I got my official papers (enlistment paper, badge and postcard) after signing up for the Sky Pirate program:

*** Steampunk book giveaway ***

Signup to win this book here and/or at Cecelia Bedelia's (if you haven't already).

::= SteamBoyz schedule =::

Imagination Designs
Images from: Lovelytocu