Book Review; Mechanized Masterpieces: Victorian Classics Inspire Steampunk Stories

Mechanized Masterpieces offers eight short stories from various authors inspired by Victorian classics but re-imagined with cogs, gears, and plenty of steampunk style.

Imagine Jane Austin with cyborgs and Charles Dickens with airships. What would a steampunk take on Frankenstein be like? Or the Phantom of the Orchestra with mechanical dancers? You will find out in this intriguing and amazing set of stories.

The inspirations are Jane Eyre, Sense and Sensibility, David Copperfield, A Christmas Carol, The Little Match Girl, The Phantom of the Opera, and Frankenstein. In some cases, only characters have been borrowed, and in others, plot elements are also included, especially in the Frankenstein stories and The Little Boiler Girl, "which probably has the closest resemblance in spirit to The Little Boiler Girl.

All of the stories here feature excellent writing and editing and are enjoyable. Personal favorites of this reviewer are "The Little Boiler Girl," "The Clockwork Ballet," based on The Phantom of the Opera, "Our Man Fred," featuring Ebenezer Scrooge's nephew Fred as the dashing main character, and "Lavenza, or The Modern Prometheus," based on Frankenstein.

Certainly, Mechanized Masterpieces would be an excellent introduction to steampunk for novices, and it will appeal to seasoned steampunk fans as well. Of course, a familiarity with the classics will enhance the reader's enjoyment, but even a superficial knowledge of the original stories will be sufficient. The anthology is highly recommended.

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