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Society of Steam #02: Hearts of Smoke and Steamby Andrew Mayer
Synopses & Reviews
Superheroes and steampunk come together in 19th century New York.
Sir Dennis Darby has been murdered, the Automaton has been destroyed, and Sarah Stanton has turned her back on a life of privilege and comfort to try and find her way in the unforgiving streets of New York. But Lord Eschaton, the villain behind all these events, isn't finished with her yet. His plans to bring his apocalyptic vision of the future to the world are moving forward, but to complete his scheme he needs the clockwork heart that Sarah still holds.
But she has her own plans for the Automaton's clockwork heart--Sarah is trying to rebuild her mechanical friend, and when she is attacked by the Children of Eschaton, the man who comes to her rescue may be the one to make her dreams come true. Emelio Armando is a genius inventor who had hoped to leave his troubles behind when he and his sister left Italy for a life of anonymity in the New World. Now he finds himself falling in love with the fallen society girl, but he is rapidly discovering just how powerful the forces of villainy aligned against her are, and that fulfilling her desires means opening the door to a world of danger that could destroy everything he has built.
The Society of Steam takes place in a Victorian New York powered by the discovery of Fortified Steam, a substance that allows ordinary men to wield extraordinary abilities and grants powers that can corrupt gentlemen of great moral strength. The secret behind this amazing substance is something that wicked brutes will gladly kill for, and one that Sarah must try and protect, no matter what the cost.
"While faster-paced and smoother than May 2011's The Falling Machine, Mayer's second Society of Steam adventure is confusingly plotted, zipping from one confrontation to the next while hand-waving the heroes' repeated escapes. The Paragons, a steampunk Justice League, have degenerated from superheroism to egomania and amorality after the death of their conscience, Sir Dennis Darby. Villainous Lord Eschaton's evil plans proceed apace, and Sarah Stanton, as the Adventuress, must battle them with the help of Emilio Armando, a young mechanical genius who falls in love with her at first sight. References to a double-amputee as a 'half-man' with 'wriggling stumps,' Emilio's appalling fake Italian accent, and gratuitous torture scenes undermine Mayer's genuinely innovative tale of poor but honest steampunk heroes bootstrapping their way to victory." Publishers Weekly Copyright PWxyz, LLC. All rights reserved.
About the Author
Andrew P. Mayer is the author of The Falling Machine and Hearts of Smoke and Steam, books 1 and 2 of the The Society of Steam trilogy. He is also the author of a short comic story titled "Creepy: Om Nom Nom" published by Dark Horse Comics that was anthologized in Myspace Dark Horse Presents, vol. 3, and in New Creepy Anthology. He is the chief creative officer for Mob Science games, where he creates social games for Facebook. Previously he worked as a game designer and creative director for Sony Psygnosis, the Cartoon Network, and PlayFirst. Visit him online at www.andrewpmayer.com
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