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ePUB For Steam And Country (Adventures of Baron Von Monocle, #1) By Jon Del Arroz –

Her Father S Been Pronounced Dead Destructive Earthquakes Ravage The Countryside An Invading Army Looms Over The Horizon And Zaira S Day Is Just Getting StartedAbandoned At An Early Age, Zaira Von Monocle Found Life As The Daughter Of A Great Adventurer To Be Filled With Hard Work And Difficulty She Quickly Learned To Rely On Only Herself But When A Messenger Brought News That Her Father Was Dead And That She Was The Heir To His Airship, Her World Turned Upside DownZaira Soon Finds Herself Trapped In The Midst Of A War Between Her Home Country Of Rislandia And The Cruel Wyranth Empire, Whose Soldiers Are Acting Peculiarly Almost Inhuman With The Enemy Army Advancing, Her Newfound Ship S Crew May Be The Only Ones Who Can Save The Kingdom

10 thoughts on “For Steam And Country (Adventures of Baron Von Monocle, #1)

  1. says:

    Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths For Steam and Country is a young adult, steampunk adventure penned by Jon Del Arroz It is a light, fast paced, and action packed adventure which delivers hours of fun Sixteen year old Zaira von Monocle is a country girl who has been living alone, tending her family farm ever since her mother died and her father disappeared over two years ago While she struggles with all her responsibilities, Zaira gives it her best, holding things together as best she can with the help of her neighbor James and his parents But things are about to change A pair of strangers appear at Zaira s farm driving a new fangled steamcar Both of these individuals having known her father well, informing Zaira that Theo von Monocle was something of a war hero in Rislandia, having undertaken many secret missions for the crown against the Iron Empire, and that after two years he has finally been declared legally dead after disappearing on one of said missions The two of them having traveled to inform her of this fact and that she is the sole beneficiary of Theo s will, having inherited the farm as well as her father s most prized possession an airship Zaira is now faced with a choice stay and remain a farmer, or take on her father s role as commander of The Liliana The latter task much than merely learning how to fly a zeppelin, but requiring our young hero to win over her father s devoted crew and take on his role as a defender of Rislandia The vile Iron Empire even now preparing for war on Zaira s homeland the king needing every airship he can get into the air to ward off the new threat including the famous Liliana What should Zaira do Her home might not be safe any with the war looming, but she has no idea how to command an airship Plus, the burden of helping lead the Liliana into a war unnerves her But if she doesn t, how can she live with herself if Rislandia is destroyed What shines brightest in this novel is the realistic characters crafted by Jon Del Arroz From the young, inexperienced Zaira to the tough, confident Captain von Cravat, this story is populated with people who are uniquely different from one another, have their own character quirks Some of which are running jokes , and organically grow and develop as the narrative unfolds All of which means it is not your usual young adult story with a Mary Sue lead who does everything exceptionally well and whom everyone falls all over themselves to fall in love with Nope, the author decided to make this a young adult tale set in reality, which I deeply appreciated.I feel I also need to praise the author for his deft handling of action scenes The guy knows how to write them, write them well, and make them interesting and important to the ongoing plot No, he doesn t describe every damn riposte like R.A Salvatore, but in my book that is a good thing, since he gave me the silver screen excitement without a clinical lecture on fighting technique.As for the world building, For Steam and Country is set in a solid, steampunk world Not all of it is revealed, not every strange kingdom is highlighted, but there are glimpses of this place, its people, and its past inserted naturally into the ongoing tale The steampunk machines and contraptions scattered throughout the narrative appearing in a very seamless manner with enough detail added to clearly describe them, but the author not falling into the trap of turning every item introduction into an excuse to fill pages with steampunk techno babble And there is even tons of foreshadowing about the amazing things not yet seen to whet ever readers appetite for in the future.The only real problem I had with the book is attributed to my personal reading preferences i.e I generally do not like young adult rather than anything wrong with the narrative So while I did find this book to be a tightly scripted, fast paced, and fun story, there were parts of it regarding our protagonists slow maturation and evolving relationships which I found difficult to stay interested in, not because Jon Del Arroz did a poor job crafting those elements but merely because I don t find those sort of plots very compelling any.Even with my anti young adult tendencies, I have to say that For Steam and Country was an enjoyable read, introducing me to some interesting characters caught up in a thrilling adventure, while all around them a really cool steampunk world began to take shape All in all, I d definitely recommend it to those who enjoy young adult or fun, action packed steampunk, and I can t wait to see where Jon Del Arroz takes this series in the future, because it definitely has the potential to be a fine ongoing series, in my opinion.I received this book from the author in exchange for a fair and honest review I d like to thank him for allowing me to receive this review copy and inform everyone that the review you have read is my opinion alone.

  2. says:

    This was my introduction to steampunk fiction I ve always been interested but never actually read anything in the genre, but this one just sounded too good not to try, and the fact that it s set in a fantasy world rather than the typical steampunk setting really hit home with a fantasy fanatic like myself.Characters Memorable and colorful characters throughout The main antagonist remains behind the scenes for the most part, so a little building his character would have been nice, but it s forgivable The main protagonist, Zaira, is your typical fantasy farmbo girl She s strong and you know she ll aspire to greatness one day It s a joy to follow her as she grows into her new role, along with her pet ferret Her best friend, whom she d like to be , also shows a lot of growth throughout the story, though not as powerfully he pretty much ends up where he s wanted to be his whole life, but it s still fun to see and follow his journey.Giants Yes, there are giants, but with a twistthat s all I ll say about that it s very cool.Setting It s clear the author knows his world, even if it isn t clearly defined for the reader And when I say that I don t mean it as a negative thing, I never once found myself wondering where I was it was actually refreshing to get a feel for the world without having pages of details.The team party travels via airship, so it kinda acts as a setting in itself since you spend a lot of time on board Aside from the airship there are some clear steampunk elements, but nothing that really takes over and yells steampunk in your face while you read I d say it s mostly a fantasy story with steampunk elements, which is a good thing and is done really well.Writing An easy to follow style that keeps the pages flowing Fun, creative, and has the ability to carry the reader along these characters adventure with ease.Story The story is great, a really fun adventure through and through that s easy to get lost in There s a couple fantasy tropes thrown in that are done well There s action, character growth, some light romance, swords, guns, airships, steam, gears, myths turned twisted reality If any of that piques your interest, grab this one now Highly recommended to fans of fantasy and or steampunk, of all ages.

  3. says:

    So let s start off by saying that I love steampunk and I do not see enough of it in YA So that made me so happy when I heard about this novel I was on board and ready for it I was not let down, I love the story and the characters I love the world I love how even though Zaira was pushed to the limit and dealt a horrible hand, she kept moving on She didn t once give up She pushed through and I enjoyed her character growth I also loved how much I laughed during this book, it was fun A fun adventure and I can t wait to read the next one It s going to be great

  4. says:

    This book is a solid adventure story, with some good humor and real personality Before I say anything else, in the interest of full disclosure, I am not a fan of Steampunk I read this book solely because I enjoyed the author s other book, Rescue Run This book is definitely Steampunk I ve had discussions with folks who are hardcore into that sort of thing and they seem to like this book It doesn t go into extreme detail on the inner workings of every device, which would have really turned me off, but it definitely has a very considerable Steampunk feel to it So, all of that said, I am not the target audience for this book.As with his first book, the action is solid and frequent Del Arroz knows how to write an action scene, and he knows how often to sprinkle them in They don t get too out of hand or bog down the story It s just right His descriptions are solid Characters are described thoroughly, clothing is detailed without going overboard, and at no point did I feel like they were acting against a blank canvas He gives just enough to let you see a solid mental picture without overwhelming the reader with sensory data.Characters are differentiated from each other, with drastically different personalities Some of these personality quirks become running jokes, without getting stale It would be nice to see him throw in some different manners of speaking, dialects and whatnot, but that s just nitpicking.The ending of the book is satisfying and does not rush to a conclusion It also doesn t fall into the trap of leaving us with chapters and chapters of material with zero tension left after the final battle Tension is maintained right up to the last couple of pages The book has two drawbacks as far as I m concerned One is that it starts fairly slowly If this were a movie, the first third has a very slow build There are still a few action scenes sprinkled in, but the first act goes on quite a bit This very well may be because I am not the target audience of this book, I don t enjoy Steampunk and seeing new devices and Steampunk cities and clothing and whatnot Regardless, the first act left me feeling like I was just trudging through to get to the good stuff The second act was much better, and the third was great Once this author gets into his groove and things start moving along, it s a wild ride and I don t want to put the book down Just reaching it can be a little slow, with very low tension.The second issue is that this book has typos than I have ever seen in any book Spaces or periods will be randomly underlined, important words misspelled, paragraphs not broken up I wonder if this author used an editor or not If he did, I hope he can get his money back It almost became a game to see how long until the next one popped up This was not at all an issue in his first novel, so I wonder what happened, and I hope it s not a sign of how things will be It doesn t stop the reading, you can tell what each word is supposed to be, but it definitely stuck out I hope he employs a better editor in the future.All in all, I definitely enjoyed this book It was fun, lighthearted, action packed, and solidly amusing It was worth the price, and I ll be giving it as a gift to my nephew who happens to love Steampunk I look forward to Del Arroz s next book.

  5. says:

    The era between the Franco Prussian War in 1870 and World War I seems to make a good time frame for young adult steampunk sci fi, as there are still enough old fashioned social mor s to keep the sexual content relatively chaste but things have begun to progress enough that plucky female heroines can rise to the occasion and demonstrate heroism through their courage and intelligence So Jon Del Arroz begins his stories of Zaira von Monocle in such a time, as her native Rislandia faces off against the evil Wyranth Empire in 2017 s For Steam and Country.Zaira s mother died years ago, and when her father disappeared recently she was left alone to run the family farm, with help from her neighbors But a lawyer has found her and shown her what her father left her as a legacy his airship Although Baron von Monocle served the King of Rislandia, he was the sole owner of the ship and Zaira may now do as she pleases with it When she journeys to the capital to discuss the matter with the king, she learns that her father was quite a bit than he seemed, and that the conflict between her country and Wyranth has dimensions and dangers she knew nothing about.Del Arroz doesn t make Zaira an impossibly competent Mary Sue showing her as being very much a 16 year old doing her best in a situation well outside her comfort zone She makes mistakes, she lets people down, she puts herself and others in danger and then she learns from her errors It s a nice character arc.But it s only outlined rather than fully painted, and the majority of the other characters in the book are much less well developed Like most YA novels, the emphasis is on keeping reader interest while moving from beginning to end rather than on dawdling over character or plot points The aeronautics are assumed than explained and sometimes they or the geography involved get confusing In spite of that, though, younger readers could find a lot worse examples than the brave, honest and compassionate Zaira von Monocle who insists on equal treatment and proves herself well worthy of the same Original available here.

  6. says:

    Steampunk, for those unfamiliar with the genre, is that it substitutes super science Victorian technology for magic though they sometimes exist side by side Zeppelins, machine guns, time machines, submarines, and Tesla guns are all things which exist in worlds going through their own version of the Industrial Revolution It s a genre without a magnum opus but many books with elements of it if only a few completely qualifying FOR STEAM AND COUNTRY is one of the rare pure steampunk books and it works well as a gem that goes whole hog into the genre Tone wise, this is an incredibly light hearted and fun book akin to a coal powered Star Wars than even period fiction.Is it good or bad, though It s very good.It s a great little novel which is my favorite by Jon Del Arroz The book has the premise of Zaira von Monocle being the poor farmer s daughter who discovers her father was than the simple man she thought he was Indeed, he was the nation of Rislandia s greatest warrior and has left her his airship in his will Inheriting the incredible weapons platform, she has the potential to make her own legend It s a classic heroic tale with the benefit of taking place in a steampunk setting that reminds me a bit of the anime Steamboy or Nadia The Secret of the Blue Water.Zaira is an incredibly likable protagonist and her earnestness as well as awe at all the technology around her is infectious It s nice to have characters who are not jaded at the world and can share their sense of the fantastic with the reader It s a bit on the safe side and you might even say it s something which could classified as Young Adult but just because a work is clean doesn t mean it s chidlish Jon doesn t reinvent the wheel here but this is a very good gateway book if you want to introduce someone to the entire phenomenon of steampunk It s about the technology, the adventure, and the conflict between good versus evil If I have any complaints, it s the fact he could have gone a little serious with the names Von Cravat What s next Duchess Petticoat and Sheriff Boots It s a extraordinarily fun book, though.9 10

  7. says:

    I just finished reading an absolutely fun, action filled steampunk novel FOR STEAM AND COUNTRY was written by Jon Del Arroz It is the kind of novel that, when you sit down to start reading time gets away from you As a reader I was sucked right into the story for two very key, and important readers First, Arroz has created some of the most memorable, and likeable characters I have seen in some time You will absolutely fall in love with the lead, Zaira von Monocle She is a farmer, who is forced to become a soldier Her strength and her intensity never change They were always there But her character certainly grows as she goes from running the family farm on her own, to fighting to save the country of Rislandia and its people Second, the story is creative as all get out Could be because I don t normally read a lot of steampunk that I found this novel unique, and engrossing, and compelling But I will find out, as I may now be hooked on the genre In FOR STEAM AND COUNTRY, as I said, Zaira runs a family farm Her mother has passed away, and her father has been absent from the scene for years When Zaire receives visitors, she learns from her father s attorney that, in fact, her father has finally been declared deceased In his will, he left Zaira not only the deed to the farm, but something else Something much, much valuable.The Liliana wasn t just Zaira s mother s name It was also the name Theo von Monocle gave to his airship I pictured a zeppelin, but also an actual pirate ship that flies when reading, and finally settled on a combination of both As the heir, Zaire is now the commander of the ship, despite being just a teenager The crew, who loved her father, accept Zaire, but respect, loyalty, and trust are not given They are earned.The Wyranth are from the Iron Empire, an evil realm bent on war with Rislandia Zaira s airship demands fear normally Enemies rarely know how to fight against such a monstrous contraption However, things change when the Wyranth no longer fear the vessel, and war between the lands looks unavoidable.Worse, or potentially better, Zaira and the crew of the Liliana receive word The enemy may have prisoners in stashed inside the dungeons of the Iron Empire In keeping with her father s tradition of never leaving a soul behind, the Liliana is faced with two missions One sanctioned, one rogue Fighting alongside King Malaky, of Rislandia that is a given Rescuing the prisoners well, doing so goes without saying Literally But can the Liliana, with such a young leader, accomplish such impossible tasks The fate of an entire country rest on Zaira s shoulders The burden is there, heavy, palpable Can a teenage girl take on such impossible missions and rise to the occasion, or is Rislandia destined to be doomed, and overtaken by the Wyranth of the evil leader of Iron Empire Find out Read the book You will not be disappointed.Phillip Tomasso,Author of the Severed Empire Series,and the Vaccination trilogy

  8. says:

    I love steampunk, its storytelling, its aesthetic Having read authors like Cherie Priest, Jay Lake, and Jonathan Howard, I d come to expect a level of intelligence and refinement to the prose that this novel lacked Simple declarative sentences can be effective in the hands of an author who understands subtlety and subtext Mr Del Arroz is not that author His plodding, uninspired storytelling moves from scene to scene, teeming with cliches and dull expressions Even his protagonist s name Zaira von MONOCLE is depressingly predictable I would recommended this for reluctant readers if the storytelling wasn t so pat.Looking at all the positive reviews on and here on Goodreads, I have to conclude that this author has rallied his friend and colleagues to pack the seats as it were with five star reviews But do not believe them.This is the worst sort of fiction, uninspired and cliched Hard pass on anything else by this writer.

  9. says:

    Speaking as a conservative to whom I would expect Del Arroz means to appeal, this is one of the worst books I have read.The heroine is utterly incompetent, and it s supposed to be one of those non Mary Sues, but instead wholly fails to understand that concept, or the concepts of Capitalism, or Monarchy, or anything.Everything about this novel is irritating The idea I think is that Mary Sues are bad, therefore we should have the opposite of a Mary Sue, which is in the theory of this novel a girl who is universally incompetent, but succeeds That s what happens.Read it if you want to watch an annoying girl fail her way to a meaningless victory.

  10. says:

    Steam punk is cool It looks awesome, it opens the gate for cool ideas and stylistic choices For some reason, though, it seems a bunch of steam punk books are kind of meh Which yeah, it happens here Zaira is the only daughter of a legendary baron airship captain and just basically a freaking awesome guy everyone loved He went MIA 2 years ago, after Zaira s mother also died, so she is alone running the family farm the way she can The neighbour family is there for her though, with their handsome son It s all going kind of crappy up until people show up and tell Zaira that now his father is officially considered dead, so she inherited his airship You know, I am personally not huuuuge about teenage girl protagonists To be fair I also didn t really love being a teenage girl too much when I was one, so yeah Zaira wasn t that bad, I have seen much worse Still, the characters were the big weakness of this thing Somehow they all seemed to just do things and say things without it being real They claim to all love Zaira after 2 days of her not doing too impressive things They also point out their feelings without me buying any of it, because the depth just wasn t there The whole my dad is a legend, but I only know him as weird dad thing is awesome I love that, I love relationships like that I also prefer friendships or family relationships compared to romantic love Sue me Still, the characterisation of this thing wasn t good The people just weren t relatable and the emotions didn t cut it Which comes from another reason as well the story happens so fast Sure, people can bond over harh conditions and shocking experiences, but here I didn t buy the thing with being so so close after spending together like 3 days in total The action itself was fun, though As I said, the idea of this girl not really knowing how her father was seen was also fun I just wanted it to build up To spend some time on it all being connected, not just events and concepts that we have to believe progress in a certain way because the characters tell us so Honestly, the style needs a bit of work It was fun, though, it has a lot of potential with some technical development and work So there is that I will give the author time, I am not against reading from him Al in all a fine book Not brilliant, not the worst Oh, well Good night and let out some steam