Worth a Look: “Flash Gold” by Lindsay Buroker

“Eighteen-year-old Kali McAlister enters her steam-powered “dogless sled” in a race, intending to win the thousand-dollar prize and escape remote Moose Hollow forever. The problem? Fortune seekers and airship pirates are after her for the secret to flash gold, her late father’s alchemical masterpiece.

With her modified rifle and a pocketful of home-made smoke bombs, Kali wouldn’t normally hide from a confrontation, but taking on a whole airship single-handedly is a daunting task. Unfortunately, the other racers won’t assist her–they’re too busy scheming ways to sabotage her unorthodox sled.

When a sword-slinging stranger shows up, wanting to hire on as her protector, she’s sure he has ulterior motives, but he’s the only one interested in helping her. The question is…why?”

This book has been on my “to read” list for quite some time…more time than I care to admit.  Well, I finally got around to reading this novella.  Generally speaking, Steampunk is not my thing.  Sure, there are the occasional exceptions to this, but not many.  I think this is why it took me so long to finally give this series a try.  I now kind of regret putting it off.

I really enjoyed this first Flash Gold adventure by Lindsay Buroker.  It was a lot of fun.  It was action from the word “go” with absolutely no let up.  Seriously, it was action set-piece after action set-piece.  This was good and bad.  I was quickly swallowed by this world and read the whole thing in one sitting (it’s a rather short work, but still…).  Granted, the non-stop action left little in the way of characterization, but that is not the point of this work.  It serves as a crazy, action-filled story to introduce the world and characters to the reader.  It succeeds at this goal, leaving in depth characterization for later (I hope).

The key component to this work, for me is the interaction between the two main characters.  It is well done and the chemistry is phenomenal.  The dialogue between the two is both functional and entertaining.  Granted, it is too well polished a banter to be realistic, but this is a fantasy novel, so who cares?  Seriously, this is a great duo that makes a bleak world, seem not so bleak.

I can’t recommend this novella enough (even if you usually shy away from all things Steampunk).  It came out in 2011 and is the first of five in the series, so I am a little late to this particular party, but I am so glad I showed up for it.

Flash Gold

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