What Steampunk Can and Should Be – A Review of The Dead Isle by Sam Starbuck

Occasionally Random Book Reviews


It’s been a good long while since I last read anything in the steampunk vein. This isn’t because I’ve tired of it – far from it, to be truthful, since I really enjoy the genre and would love nothing more than to keep reading as much of it as I can. But it’s been difficult finding steampunk that I really enjoy; my last steampunk read, The Map of Time by Felix J. Palma, turned out to be a disappointment, and has put me off the genre for a solid five months.

My primary problem is a certain lack of subtlety, and a lack of solid characterization and plot in favor of what some have termed “world-building.” The difficulty with steampunk is that it is, in my opinion, a fairly young genre, one that hasn’t properly established its own conventions and tropes. It’s still groping around in the dark in that…

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