Title: Golden Dragon
Author: V.E. Ulett
Publish Date: October 30, 2016
What's the Story?:
From Goodreads.com: "Romance, Intrigue, and Airships - Code Black Book 1
Kodio Blackwell is caught between East and West. When a Code Black
arises she is recruited by Lord Q, head of British intelligence and
airships, who helps Miriam escape Iran only to press her into service of
the Crown. Will Miriam survive when she's put aboard the airship
Nonesuch—with her captain, crew, and a Hell-Cat of fearsome
reputation—and the assignment to rescue the niece of a Dutch ally taken
captive in the South China Sea?
Golden Dragon is a witty new steampunk adventure, set in the Romantic age of Byron and Shelley."
My Two Cents:
"Golden Dragon" is the first in a steampunk series geared for YA readers by V.E. Ulett, an author whose previous writing has been in the historical fiction realm. This book is historical fantasy and opens a very exciting new world for readers. Miriam thinks danger has passed when she escapes Iran until she is forced into service to the British crown. Miriam has to rise above her initial fears in order to forge a new life for herself aboard the Nonesuch, a ship that has much more than meets the eye. Filled with a healthy dose of magic and adventure, this book is a promising opening to a new series.
Miriam is a great character. Due to her sex and the time in which she lives in, she at first seems a little limited in what she can do to affect what direction her life takes. She figures out quickly how to use what she has in order to make an impact. I also love that she is very much a character off of the beaten path. Her backstory is so interesting and it makes a great set-up for all that she goes through in this book. The secondary characters are also great and I loved how the author is able to weave together quite the motley crew of different characters. It adds to the interest of the book for sure!
As I mentioned before, V.E. Ulett has written historical fiction before this book. In fact, Miriam is related to some of the characters in Ulett's Captain Blackwell books. I loved that she did that! It made Miriam feel a little more real to me. I think the rich historical detail makes this book feel very grounded in fact and lends to the world building throughout the book. World building is always very important to me in fantasy books and this book definitely has a lot of good world building and detail that makes it easy to picture what Miriam's world is like.
This is the first steampunk book that I have ever read and wow, was it a good introduction to this new world! I am very excited to see what new adventures will await the characters in the next book!
This is a solid pick!