Heart of Brass by Felicity Banks is published by Odyssey Books , “where books are an adventure”. This book certainly is an adventure! AND you get a bonus story in a Choose Your Own Adventure supplement. More about that soon.
Society doesn’t allow young men to marry science experiments.
Straight from that first line we steam into enormous fun. Emmeline Muchamore needs to marry and fast to save her family from penury. But ..
Mrs Dawes was unlikely to appreciate the sight of her perspective daughter in law steaming violently from between the breasts.
Our heroine must take action to prevent this, understandably, as any well-bred young lady would, but what she does is disastrous. In just one day she plunges from the eligible ranks of London’s high society to a grim prison ship.
(From the Blurb). “She is unable to explain her actions without revealing she has a steam-powered heart, so she is arrested for theft and transported to Victoria, Australia – right in the midst of the Gold Rush.”
To keep her brass heart a secret Miss Muchamore adopts one desperate measure after another. She is even forced to associate with, sniff, an Irish currency lad, Patrick. What a come-down for a British lady. But through it all, equipped with her probability parasol, her very special pet rats and her affinity with the mysterious properties of metals, our Emmeline hangs firmly on to her bonnet.
This new horizon was mine. It just didn’t know it yet.
Felicity Banks has created a heroine whose foibles and prejudices only add to her strengths. I loved the droll lines delivered on every page. Readers might also become intrigued by the pivotal events in (non-steampunk) Australian history referenced in this rollicking story. A special mention too for Elijah Toten, artist of the eye-catching cover.
The second book in the Antipodean Queen series is Silver and Stone “Emmeline, Matilda, and Patrick have sworn to rescue Patrick’s mother from the infamous Female Factory prison, but when a vengeful police officer tracks down their hideout, things get worse fast.”
Magic in the Mail: Emmeline’s Empire also puts you in the world of Emmeline Muchamore. “It’s a tale of secrets, hope, aeronauts, lighthouses, first love, and fruit ices for all.”
Felicity Banks has also written Monster Apprentice.
“When pirates threaten the tiny hidden island of Luar, Dance knows her home has only one hope of survival”.
After the Flag Fell, by Felicity Banks
With Heart of Brass, you also get a second book. Yes, two for the price of one, more in fact, because After the Flag Fell is a Choose-Your-Own-Adventure style bonus which picks up after the exciting finale of Heart of Brass. YOU can choose what fate befalls the characters! There are all sorts of scenarios to act out. Mawson Bear’s Guardian spent another two hours engrossed in the possibilities – meeting terrible fates too often and going back to make new decisions and try again for a nicer ending.
As for Mawson Bear’s Baffled Bunch: as you can see by plonking a paw here, once they were inspired by After the Flag Fell they Got-Up-To-Things all over the house when no-one was looking.
Of ‘Bright World’: Great book, well written and extremely engaging. Bonus it is all about bears!!!! Marvellous !!!!!!!’ Reviewer Navaron on Amazon.