Monday, July 3, 2017

Review: Ghost Machine: A Gothic Steampunk Novel

Author: Kristen Brand
Started reading: June 20th 2017
Finished the book: June 28th 2017
Pages: 265
Genres: Steampunk
Published: December 30th 2016
Source: Got a digital copy from the author
Goodreads score: Not enough ratings
My score:
Ella Rosenfeld is a lunatic. Locked away in the remote Auttenberg Asylum, she undergoes torturous treatment to cure her hallucinations. Yet the longer she remains within Auttenberg’s austere halls, the more gruesome her visions become, until Ella is sure she’s seeing ghosts, and Auttenberg’s doctor knows it. He doesn’t plan to cure her; he wants to study her ability by dissecting her.

Ella refuses to accept her fate. She assaults her captors, scales the asylum fence, and finds sanctuary in the castle of Baron Viktor Szarka. Young and arrogant, the baron offers her protection, but he’s rumored to have locked a woman in the asylum to hide his dark past, and he has suspicious dealings with Auttenberg’s doctor. Unable to trust him, Ella must uncover the conspiracy surrounding the asylum, her visions, and the baron’s secret...or join the rest of Auttenberg’s ghosts.

My thoughts
I've never actually read a Steampunk Novel. I was intrigued by the synopsis of this book, which starts with; "Ella Rosenfeld is a lunatic." I was like YEAH! That's something interesting, something new, a POV I've not seen often.
I was surprised by this book and I was in doubt whether to give the book 3 apples or 4 apples. But since I can name more Pros than Cons, it's not more than fair to give the book 4 as a rating!

  • Adventure: I love the fact that this is not a "small" book with just a person locked up in an Asylum trying to figure something out. And by small I mean, just one or two settings and a pretty simple story, No! This book pretty quickly evolved in a book with a lot of adventure and action in it! I was surprised by this take on the book, and I liked it a lot.
  • Reminded me of Bioshock Infinite: I've played Bioshock Infinite within a day or two. I loved the game, the atmosphere it brought with it and this book just reminded me of it! I got the same vibe in this book and this addition made it even better for me.
  • Killing characters: Something I can adore in a writer. Not afraid to kill some important characters. I actually did not expect it anymore at a certain part. But some killing is involved, I can tell you that!
  • Severe injury: Ella has a pretty severe injury at some part in the book. I like the fact that this comes back often, since she is bothered by it and it discomforts her a lot. Writers sometimes give their characters an injury or a disability and forget to point out why this is bothering the character. In this book the injury felt real and was not forgotten by the writer.
  • Depth in main character: Sometimes I could understand Ella pretty good, but at some part I was asking myself: What does this girl like? What are her character-traits? What are her weak points? I felt like Ella was doubting herself sometimes and it made me doubt her as a main character as well.
  • What time is this?! Like I said; It reminded me of Bioshock. It has this early 1900's vibe around it, but also has something futuristic. I couldn't place this book somewhere in time and it confused me a couple of times. Maybe this could have been pointed out a bit better, or it could be on purpose of course...
This book has a futuristic, but also back-in-time feel to it with certain steampunk and sci-fi elements. I can't explain it any other way.
I liked the different aspects, since the book also contains adventure, action and the necessary feels.
Especially the different aspects in this book, made me give the book 4 apples. Also the fact that it reminded me of one of my beloved games, was great!

Other opinions about this book
"Ghost Machine flawlessly blends various elements of both steampunk and the gothic in everything from the setting to the style and characters... a gem among the many self-published ebooks of Amazon."
- The Gothic Librarian

Did you ever read a steampunk novel and do you have recommendations?