By Christine Bell
Published: 25 April 2011 by Carina Press
Read: 27 April – 28 April 2011
Review copy provided by the publisher via NetGalley
I'm a time pirate - born in 1810, now a 21st-century woman. I travel through time trying to right wrongs without disrupting the fragile balance between what is and what can never be.
That's why it's vital that I go to 1836 and find the man who conned my brother out of his Time Travel Mechanism as quickly as possible. If the technology falls into the wrong hands, it could change the world as we know it. The notorious Duke of Leister definitely qualifies as the wrong hands. An amateur scientist of the slightly mad variety, he's bound to figure out how to use the TTM sooner rather than later.
I knew this wouldn't be easy. But I wasn't counting on him being as sexy as hell. Or winding up chained to his bed...
The Most Fun I've Had All Year
This book had me at "time-pirate". No, that's not true, it had me at the brilliant title. No, that's not true either, it had me the moment I saw the gorgeous cover. Somehow I just knew this novella would be good, and I was not disappointed. The Twisted Tale of Stormy Gale was the most fun I have had reading a book all year.
The book is a mix of steampunk and time-travel romance, which I thought worked very well. Bell has described it as "steampunk light" because of the lighter tone. The humorous aspect was just right, making the story funny but not silly.
Stormy, or Dorothy (yep, after that Dorothy), is one of those characters I would love to have as a friend. Left to fend for herself on the streets of London when her mother abandoned her, Stormy is tough, brave and relies on her "steely time-pirate resolve". The story is written from her point of view, and Bell has given her a witty and no-nonsense voice. Her partner in crime, her younger brother Bacon, is endearing and innocent; constantly making mistakes, but still the eternal optimist. As for the Loony Duke... Well, he's not just a hot body (though he certainly is that too).
I love how the Victorian era and the 21st century come together through Stormy. Although she grew up in London in the early 1800s, she is now firmly a 21st century gal, and sees the past through modern eyes. Her references to modern pop culture are hilarious and had me giggling throughout the story. Star Trek, Batman and moonwalking – it's all there.
I was completely engrossed in this tale, alternately laughing out loud and fighting back tears, which is no mean feat for such a short story. My only complaint is just that: it was too short! There are so many elements to explore further, and I would have loved to spend more time with the characters and get to know them better. But I hear Christine Bell is working on a sequel that will be a full-length novel (sqee!), and I cannot wait to revisit the world of Stormy Gale.
My rating – because I thoroughly enjoyed every second of it:
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