My experience with the new steampunk fantasy For Steam and Country, began when the author Jon Del Arroz approached the Uprising Review about promoting his new book release. I was excited to further one of our primary goals at UR of helping out our fellow upcoming writers and loved the idea of being the first to publish the prequel to the novel on UprisingReview.com. While I certainly expected quality work from Jon’s sophomore novel, For Steam and Country managed to far surpass these expectations and truly blow me away.
Just after I hit publish on his prequel titled The Battle Cry of the Liliana, I started reading it. George, one of our other editors at the Uprising Review was the one who had looked it over, and I hadn’t yet had chance until it was my job to get it on the site. The prequel takes place several years before the book begins and really captures the true imagination and charm of the story in a way that really inspires the reader to go pick up the book. As soon as I finished it, I knew that For Steam and Country was going to be a book I was proud to help promote.
What really blew me away about Jon’s book was that it was so familiar. While that may sound like a bad thing, it is anything but. For Steam and Country is like a great home-cooked meal. You want to go back and keep eating not because it is some new exotic dish, but something familiar that you know that you already love. For me, For Steam and Country was a book that brought back memories. When I was growing up, it was so easy for me to get lost in a book. But over time, it seems that becomes harder and harder to do. Maybe that’s because it’s just too easy to get distracted nowadays or I’m just older, more experienced and simply not as easily impressed. Whatever the reason, For Steam and Country brought back that feeling of being truly lost in another world.
It’s clear that Jon has really mastered the art of telling a great adventure. For Steam and Country picks up for a bit of fast paced action—and then gives you a chance to breathe at just the right moments. And the plot is not without its share of surprises either. Jon also does a great job writing characters that the reader can really understand and connect with. While he does a lot of things really well in For Steam and Country, it is clear one of his strengths as a writer is in his ability to write great dialogue. Each character is captured perfectly in their dialogue and you can really get a sense of their unique voice and personality. It’s really quite a rare trait and while I would say it is the icing on the cake, in reality it’s why Jon is able to write characters so well in the first place.
For Steam and Country is a fun steampunk novel that has everything you could want from an adventure. Jon is rather daring, not for writing something we’ve never seen before, but for writing something we have seen many times before but managing to make it unique and full of imagination. It truly is a great book that allows you to easily get connected with the characters and escape into the world of Baron Von Monocle.
You can also check out Jon Del Arroz on his blog delarroz.com