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Posted October 12, 2012
It would be quite easy to dismiss "Steampunk Rat" by Madeline
Holly-Rosing as just another piece of genre fiction and pass it by
without reading it. To do so would be a mistake. In a mere
forty-six pages, using the elements of the "steampunk" genre, Ms.
Holly-Rosing has woven a fascinating tale, an unwithering look at
the attitudes and dynamics of the uppermost class of the type
which gained Jane Austen and Charlotte Bronte such enduring fame.
The story itself follows a young man, a genius inventor with a
soft heart, who has earned the ire and disapprobation of his
powerful grandmother by being uninterested in business, wealth and
power. His compassion for an alley rat struck by the family
carriage which stimulates the construction of two marvelous
artificial legs for the rat earns the special wrath of his
grandmother and his finding of a flaw in his grandfather's
magnificent ship design earns him her contempt.
Nevertheless, Jonathan uses the rat to save the day during a major
crisis and also demonstrates to the upper crust that perhaps
compassion, respect and justice might achieve far more than
contempt, command and control.
A fascinating read for all, not just steampunk fans. 8.9 out of 10.