Friday, May 29, 2020

The Engineer by C.S. Poe

1881—Special Agent Gillian Hamilton is a magic caster with the Federal Bureau of Magic and Steam. He’s sent to Shallow Grave, Arizona, to arrest a madman engineer known as Tinkerer, who’s responsible for blowing up half of Baltimore. Gillian has handled some of the worst criminals in the Bureau’s history, so this assignment shouldn’t be a problem. But even he’s taken aback by a run-in with the country’s most infamous outlaw, Gunner the Deadly.

Gunner is also stalking Shallow Grave in search of Tinkerer, who will stop at nothing to take control of the town’s silver mines. Neither Gillian nor Gunner are willing to let Tinkerer hurt more innocent people, so they agree to a very temporary partnership.

If facing illegal magic, Gatling gun contraptions, and a wild engineer in America’s frontier wasn’t enough trouble for a city boy, Gillian must also come to terms with the reality that he’s rather fond of his partner. But even if they live through this adventure, Gillian fears there’s no chance for love between a special agent and outlaw.

Based on the short story, "Gunner the Deadly." Entirely revised, newly expanded, and Book One in the exciting new steampunk series, Magic & Steam.

Book 1
Buy Links

Amazon US  ~  Amazon UK  ~  Amazon Au  ~  Amazon Ca
B&N  ~  Google Play  ~  iTunes  ~  Kobo  ~  Smashwords

Reviews by the Wicked Reads Review Team

I don’t read a lot of steampunk, so I won’t even pretend to be well-versed in the genre or the terminology, so please accept my apologies in advance for any mistakes I might make. Perhaps it’s because the movie Wild Wild West was my first exposure to steampunk, that I tend to enjoy Old West themed steampunk the most. Then again, it could be that steampunk makes Old West stories and romances more enjoyable for me. That Poe added elemental magic to the storyline merely insured my rapt attention and I was engrossed. Suffice it to say, I absolutely loved The Engineer and read it twice before writing my review because I enjoyed it that much.

Assuming this series is headed in the direction I think it is, The Engineer strikes me as Hamilton’s and Gunner’s extended meet-cute. No, it’s by no stretch of the imagination a romantic comedy, but their first encounter certainly held quite a bit of charm despite the shootout Hamilton found himself in the middle of upon his arrival to Shallow Grave, Arizona. Then again, I did find Hamilton’s first display of magic and Gunner’s seeming disappointment at not being Hamilton’s intended arrestee to be amusing. So yeah, definitely a meet-cute in my book. And it just gets better as the two men put their differences aside in order to work together to bring down an even bigger threat.

Despite The Engineer being a novella, Poe manages to pack quite a bit of story and character development into it. While we only get a few tidbits of information, Gunner remains a mystery to readers and Hamilton throughout the book. However, it is Hamilton who is the focus of the development this time around. As a magic caster with the Federal Bureau of Magic and Steam, Hamilton uses his magical abilities to bring the bad guys to justice and make the world a safer place. But after meeting Gunner and witnessing how the residents of Shallow Grave treat the outlaw, Hamilton is forced to see that the world isn’t as black and white as the government would have him believe – and that a very thin line separates him from Gunner and the shades of gray that make up Gunner’s world. It is through this reevaluation that Hamilton realizes that sometimes people do bad things for the right reasons. And that the Tinkerer’s inventions weren’t the only things capable of explosions in the story. Talk about some chemistry! I just wasn’t ready for the story to end when it did and not because it wasn’t complete or left me on a cliffhanger, but because I wasn’t ready to say goodbye to Hamilton and Gunner. At least I know there’s more to come, so I’ll be over here, waiting impatiently for book two.

C.S. POE is a Lambda Literary and two-time EPIC award finalist, and a FAPA award-winning author of gay mystery, romance, and speculative fiction.

She resides in New York City, but has also called Key West and Ibaraki, Japan, home in the past. She has an affinity for all things cute and colorful and a major weakness for toys. C.S. is an avid fan of coffee, reading, and cats. She’s rescued two cats—Milo and Kasper do their best to distract her from work on a daily basis.

C.S. is an alumna of the School of Visual Arts.

Her debut novel, The Mystery of Nevermore, was published 2016.

Connect with C.S.

Facebook  ~  Twitter  ~  Instagram  ~  Website  ~  Goodreads
C.S. Poe's Curious & Mysterious Facebook Group

Reviewers on the Wicked Reads Review Team were provided a free copy of The Engineer (Magic & Steam #1) by C.S. Poe to read and review.

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