Not too far in the future, four authors whose books I have read and very much enjoyed will be doing an author event that would be close enough to consider if it worked with my schedule. Alas, it does not. But if you will be in the Lansing, Michigan area on the evening of August 9, you could go see Stephanie Burgis, Jim C. Hines, Merrie Haskell, and Patrick Samphire at Schuler Books. Here’s the Facebook event page.
Meantime, I recently read this novella by Patrick Samphire set in the same world as Secrets of the Dragon Tomb, which he was kind enough to send me as a review copy. I’m keeping thoughts brief only because I’m short on time, not for lack of book love.
The Dinosaur Hunters by Patrick Samphire. Five Fathoms Press, 2016.
Sixteen-year-old Harriet lives on Regency-era Mars in the care of her married older sister, who has just gotten it into her head that Harriet needs to be safely married off. Harriett is appalled, but jumps at the chance to help her bumbling police inspector brother-in-law Bertrand save his job by helping him track down the notorious thief the Glass Phantom. That villain is reported to be in the area with designs to steal a fabulously expensive necklace from the Countess von Krakendorff. (In this world, dinosaurs are still alive on Mars, though rare.) Since the Countess is heading on a dinosaur hunting expedition beyond the wall that separates the dinosaurs from civilization, Harriett disguises herself as Harry and heads out with Bertrand. There will be airship travel, lots of characters with secrets, ancient artifacts, curious Martian wildlife, and of course, encounters with dinosaurs.
I enjoyed Secrets of the Dragon Tomb quite a lot, but this story, featuring a girl dissatisfied with her social lot and determined to find more in her life, was a little bit more to my taste. The details of the curious Martian wildlife and artifacts are just as delightful, and the attention to the social mores of the by-gone era as precise. There’s also more of a look at the former natives of Mars – I would really like a fuller exploration of this topic! The story is also aimed a little bit older, involving an actual murder (though of a disagreeable character.) I wasn’t quite sure that all the ends were tied up – but as the story is left open for sequels, I shall happily wait for more. All in all, I thoroughly enjoyed The Dinosaur Hunters.