“Bodacious Creed” by John Fesmire

As steampunk novels go, this is a good one. There is always a certain amount of tongue-in-cheek in this genre, but too many authors use it as an excuse to show how funny they aren’t. If there is such a thing, “Bodacious Creed” is serious steampunk. Sure, there’s an over-the-top riotous quality to the setting and the plotline, but like any good Sci-Fi/Fantasy, the characters are realistic, reacting with honesty to the wild and wonderful world that they think is normal. And, through them, we accept it as normal, too.

The story revolves around a heart-of-gold brothel madam/mechanical genius, who moonlights – or would that be daylights – as an inventor. Her robotics skills allow her to raise from the dead a bodacious lawman who died trying to catch a master criminal, in the hope that he can succeed at the task. A close personal connection to the dead man complicates things.

So the plot runs on, with the typical wild-west social setting superimposed on the standard 1890s sci-fi technology, resulting in gunfights and electronic tracking hounds, a brothel with a science lab in the basement, a bounty hunter who isn’t sure which side he should be on and other such delights.

If I had to complain, I must say the book is a little long. There is a spot about two-thirds of the way through where I felt the author was spinning the wheels a bit, full steam ahead, going nowhere, and the action needed to fast-forward to the end. The other point I must mention is the lack of polished editing. The word is “shone,” not “shined,” a slip that had plenty of time to irritate me, since a lot of the story takes place at night.

However, the flat spot is soon over and the action picks up again, leading to a frenetic and violence-filled climax and a fairly satisfying ending. Which means there has to be a sequel.

Recommended for Fantasy, Sci-Fi, and steampunk fans,

4 out of 5 stars (4 / 5)



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