Book: Clockwork Tangerine (Novellette)
Author: Rhys Ford
Genre: M/M Steampunk
Heat level: Mild
Rating: 3.5 out of 5 stars
I did like this novella/novelette. I’m slowly discovering works of steampunk and getting into the genre; I have friends who are in it all the way and have costumes and everything. There is definitely something cool about the classy Victorian era mixed with some weird science and technology. As far as the steampunk is concerned, I think Rhys did a really good job. One character, Robin, specializes in creating robotic limbs, eyes, and other mechanical devices mimicking life. While this was a shorter piece of fiction, I enjoyed the details given about his inventions.
The area that felt less developed for me was the developing relationship between Robin and Marcus, Viscount of Westwood. While I appreciated staying true to the Victorian feel in the prose, dialogue, and manners of conduct, I would have liked to see more scenes to illustrate their growing affection for each other. There was a lot of time covered in a short amount of pages, and I feel like I missed out on some of the good stuff. I would have liked to hear the witty banter and time the men spent together rather than have most of it summarized. (The bedroom scene after Robin wakes from his injuries was great. I wanted more scenes like that.) I also really liked the whole hurt/comfort thing in the beginning. I just felt like once that was resolved, a lot of the tension was lost.
So I found this an enjoyable tale, but not really a memorable one. I wish there had been more emotion and just deeper risks and rewards for the characters. It felt like a light jaunty piece. I just think it could have been much more.