Arcadia Snips and the Steamwork Consortium is a murder mystery, an adventure, and comedy all rolled into one fun novel. It takes place in a city called Aberwick where steamworks, machines, cogs, gears, inventions are all over the place hence, it should be categorized under steampunk. It’s about a girl named Arcadia Snips (would rather be called, ‘Snips’) who was called to solve a mystery in order to avoid prison time. With the help of a feminist, the son of family of scientists, and various other characters, Snips has to prevent the destruction of Aberwick and dodging a few enemies at the same time. Along the way, many past secrets are discovered, concerning herself, her father, and friends.
This is actually one of the first steampunk books I have ever read and enjoyed. I never really set my foot in the genre and am glad I started out with this book to get me into it. It was a fun read, never boring, exciting, and well written. I loved the wit and quirkiness that goes with it. Everything in the book just seems to fit hand in hand and everything just fell into place. I wasn’t prepared for the ending, (which was great! and could be classified as a cliffhanger) and the different inventions mentioned in the novel were interesting and very imaginative. The novel was fast paced and the action sequences were well written and well done. You will definitely not be bored with this novel.
I liked how it switched back and forth, from the past, and then into the present. It gave you a clear understanding on how events came to be and explains why things in the present are the way they are. The chapter titles are crucial and it’s important for the reader to read these carefully. It summarizes the chapter without getting the reader confused as the book does contain a lot of characters and plot, and it goes at a very fast pace. You won’t be dissapointed with the action and fighting scenes and if this book were a movie, it would be an amazing one.
The characters in this book are numerous, but if you pay attention the main ones, then you won’t get as confused or lost. Arcadia Snips would obviously be a favorite. I loved her wit, her humor (I love that ‘Susan’ part) and her grittiness. It reminded me almost of a female Oliver Twist but with a lot more bite and a spine of steel. The rest of the characters are very likable and the villains are exactly that (your classic evil guy). In a way I would have liked to see Arcadia and William together, it did seem like it was going that way but it’s hard to say. They’re like partners in adventure, but there’s an underlying feeling of romance budding. It’s very small and vague, but you can see it’s there. They’re very different personality wise, but I think they would make a rather nice couple as they compliment each other nicely.
The only criticism of this book would be it’s extremely fast paced, the reader would have to pay attention closely to events. Which should not be a problem as it’s interesting enough to get your attention anyway. Some may consider the plot to go just a little too fast, with no real character development, but then again, this book is meant to be a quick, fun read and not something to be deeply analytical about.
Overall a wonderful adventure to read! I really am hoping there will be more Arcadia books out as I’m sure the adventure will not stop there. I recommend this novel to all those who love the steampunk and science fiction genre. However those who are in for something different, with humor and a fun fast paced adventure, do check this book out. You will not regret it.
I give it a 9 out of 10.