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Review: Her Sky Cowboy by Beth Ciotta

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Her Sky Cowboy
Author: Beth Ciotta 
Release Date: Nov. 6, 2012
Publisher: Signet
The Glorious Victorious 
Darcys #1
ISBN: #978-0451238474
Genre: Steampunk
Format(s): Paperback (352 pgs), e-book
Book Source: Publisher
About the book:
Amelia Darcy has no interest in marrying well. Her heart belongs to the sky and the dirigibles of brass and steel that swoop over Victorian England. But when her father, an eccentric inventor, dies, the Darcy siblings are left with scrap metal—and not a penny to their names. Their only hope to save the family reputation and fortune is to embark on a quest to discover an invention of historical importance in honor of Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee.
Armed with only her father’s stories of a forgotten da Vinci workshop, a mechanically enhanced falcon, and an Italian cook, Amelia takes flight for Florence, Italy. But her quest is altered when her kitecycle crashes into the airship of ex-Air Marshal—and scandalous dime novel hero—Tucker Gentry.
Tuck agrees to escort Amelia to her destination, but the two are challenged by political unrest, a devious sky pirate, and their own sizzling attraction. Soon the pair is dragged into an international conspiracy that could change the course of history…again.
What Una is talking about:
I admit, I am still a bit of a newbie when it comes to Steampunk.  However, I enjoy the melding of technology and historical within my romance.  I jumped at the chance to read the first in this steampunk series, The Glorious Victorious Darcys.  Although I had a bumpy start and I am still a bit wary, I enjoyed Her Sky Cowboy and look forward to the next novel in this series.
Ms. Ciotta has introduced the reader to an interesting mythology in this new steampunk series.  It seems an accomplished inventor created a time machine that was debuted at the World’s Fair, causing quite a stir.  Unfortunately, that time machine that went 100 years into the future…then returned with people from the 1960’s (referred to as Mods) in order to prevent wars.  This Peace War caused a significant shift in history.  Those that came back remained (because I believe the time machine was destroyed).  Those of the era, Victorians (Vics for short) that somehow bred with these Mods produced Freaks.  So named because due to the fact that one parent came from the future, caused their eyes to be a kaleidoscope of color…and they seem to posses an unusual skill or talent.     
What I find fault with is the way the mythology is revealed.  I was incredibly confused for most of Her Sky Cowboy, trying my best to figure out the modern references.  It really never clicked for some reason until over halfway through, when I realized that these Peace Rebels came BACK in the time machine that was used at the World’s Fair.  I kept finding it odd, references to electricity, dabbling in solar power, early “pagers” and the like. Once this was blatantly pointed out and explained, much more of the world made sense.  It’s like it all clicked into place, much to my relief. Here is an excerpt that illustrates my point (this takes place before the aforementioned explanation).

The skies of Paris were less congested and not nearly as polluted, but, looking down, she saw the city itself appeared nearly as choked with humanity.  As was typical of this altered age, the Industrial Revolution had melded with bits and pieces of twentieth-century technology.  Steam power thrived, yet electrical power gained momentum by the day.  Amelia noted the endless industrial smokestacks and the factories that housed enormous electric generators.  

Suffice to say although that truly frustrated me, the characters kept me intrigued in and reading Her Sky Cowboy.  I thoroughly loved Amelia and her quirky nature.  By contrast, I enjoyed Tuck’s laid-back nature.   This was not a typical alpha male and stubborn and forthright female.  They seemed very much well suited, complementing each other.  The journey they go through was passionate and heartfelt.  I thoroughly enjoyed their chemistry and especially the banter.
However, there are a few moments where when Tuck speaks, his accent doesn’t always read well.  It took me quite a bit to realize when he says, “I swan” he was saying “I swear”.  Not that it is a big deal…but for some strange reason, I can understand Dunkirk and his scottish brogue better than Tuck and his cowboy dialect.  If it didn’t happen on several occasions, I would never have figured it out.  It is a pet peeve of mine…sometimes reading dialect can completely enhance a story while other times it can really just frustrate me.  Luckily, there are only a few occasions where I found difficulty in Her Sky Cowboy, but I feel I should share this since it did occur enough to irk me a little bit.
Overall, I enjoyed this new novel and the world that is created.  There is a e-novella that comes out next summer that I look forward to reading along with the next novel due after.  Considering the “big bad” is still out there after the Darcys, I just have to keep reading.  If you enjoy steampunk and are looking for something different and fun, you might want to give Her Sky Cowboy a shot.
Unas Rating:

Liked it, but I had some issues – recommend (B)


Purchase Info:
Her Sky Cowboy: The Glorious Victorious Darcys
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