A Thrill Ride From Start to Finish
FMG's story fully commits to her steampunk universe, not just the steampunk aesthetic. She uses authentic Victorian terminology, mannerisms and social structures to ground her story in realism and descriptive worldbuilding to explore how an alternative true steampunk universe might operate. While her setting is immersive, it doesn't wholly define the story. Every facet of steampunk woven into FMG's narrative serves the distinct purpose of moving forward each character's journey. You will find no extraneous window dressing here!
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You would think that a story that contained so many action sequences would not lend itself well to the written word, but then again you haven't read FMG's writing. She is meticulous in her word choice and detail, yet doesn't go overboard or indulge in purple prose. The result is a visual, dynamic story that constantly keeps the reader engaged in the action, whether it be a motorcycle race, fight scene, or masked ball. There is no scene that leaves you wanting for imagery or lush description, even in passages that include many characters.
I can't end this review without talking about the growth between the leading man and lady, Soul and Maka. The gradual development of their relationship from rivals to partners, partners to friends, and friends to lovers is organic and believable. 'Aetherion' reminded of what made me ship those two characters in the first place.
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