The Chronicles of Steele: Raven: A Steampunk Fantasy Novel

The Chronicles of Steele: Raven: A Steampunk Fantasy Novel

by Pauline Creeden


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The Chronicles of Steele: Raven: A Steampunk Fantasy Novel by Pauline Creeden

This is the complete Steampunk Fantasy novel - all four parts of the serial in one volume! Also includes bonus features not found in the episodes ~

Human life has value.
The poor living in the gutter are as valuable as the rich living in a manor.
The scoundrel is no less valuable than the saint.
Because of this, every life a reaper takes must be redeemed.

Raven has lived by this first tenet since she was trained by her father to become a reaper. But since his death, she's been spending years redeeming the lives she's taken. By her count, she's even and it's time for that life to end. If she settles down and becomes a wife, she might just feel human again. But on the way to the life she thinks she wants, the baron of New Haven asks her to complete a task which she cannot ignore... Just when Raven decides to give up on her life as an assassin, she's pulled right back in.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781502357595
Publisher: CreateSpace Publishing
Publication date: 10/17/2014
Pages: 334
Product dimensions: 5.00(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.70(d)

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The Chronicles of Steele: Raven: A Steampunk Fantasy Novel 4.4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 15 reviews.
indiebrag More than 1 year ago
We are proud to announce that RAVEN by Pauline Creeden is a B.R.A.G. Medallion Honoree. This tells a reader that this book is well worth their time and money!
ReadersFavorite More than 1 year ago
Reviewed by Kim Anisi for Readers' Favorite I am usually not into steampunk, so I hesitated a bit when I picked up The Chronicles of Steele: Raven by Pauline Creeden, but the plot sounded so interesting that I thought I should give it a try. I was not disappointed, and was pleasantly surprised. Raven is a reaper, some sort of assassin with a rather interesting moral code: for every life they take, they have to actively save one. Raven, even though she is still quite young, thinks that she has done enough, would like to be somebody's wife and finally have a normal life. Life had a different plan for her, though. A baron trusts her with the life of his little brother, Darius, who might be murdered by his own father because he thinks his son is possessed (mechanical things start going haywire when the young lord is around). Raven is asked to take Darius to a witch who will perform an exorcism - and if that didn't work, the baron asked Raven to take the boy and make sure he gets to a safe place. Of course, Raven accepts the mission, and naturally the mission does not turn out to be that simple! The Chronicles of Steele: Raven by Pauline Creeden not only impressed me with the plot and the smooth flow of the writing, but also with the design of the book. It's such a rare thing these days to see a nicely formatted and well designed ebook that doesn't just follow the standard template. I loved how the chapter numbers looked, and that there was a quote at the beginning of each chapter. Some of them are rather quote-worthy, too! I also did not feel that the steampunk theme was too overwhelming, which was nice. I was worried there'd be mechanical terms all over the place but there were not. I thoroughly enjoyed the time I spent with this book!
Crickerz More than 1 year ago
I I just finished this series and I have to say it is five stars! Loved it! The characters are well developed and it was easy to connect with the lead protagonist Raven. I loved the concept and having a strong female lead who not only can hold her own with men but is better than the men is wonderful. Raven is a Reaper a job most often associated with men not only is she a reaper she is perhaps the best reaper, only one other may have been better than her and that would be her father. This book jumps right into the action and just keeps going which is another reason I love it. The setting of the book is very creative and unique. This is the complete series in one book so no buying three other books just to finish the story because it is all here. Grab this one if you love action and fantasy. I will be picking up other books from this author. Excellent book!!!
BookLoversLife1 More than 1 year ago
Raven is a reaper, not the dead kind but one who assassinates people, and lives by the reaper code. If you take a life you have to save a life. Raven is trying to redeem herself and is very close to giving up her life as a Reaper. She is on her way to ask the man she loves to marry her when she is nearly knocked down by a steam powered horse. She jumps out of the way but she can see that theyoung boy in the carriage will not survive if she doesn't help him. She leaps to action and manages to save the boy, Darius. In thanks for saving the boy, the Baron of New Haven pleads with her to take Darius to somewhere safe before he is killed. People think Darius is possessed because every so often he has fits, and during the fit things explode around him. He was taken to the Bishop to be exorcised but it didn't work and now he will be killed. Raven has no choice but to agree because if she saves this boys life again then she will be even. But just when Raven thinks her life is settling down, she is thrown back into the world she wants to leave.  I loved this book!! I haven't read many steampunk but what I have read I've enjoyed and this is no different! Raven was kick ass!! Her father didn't want her to become a reaper but after her mother was killed he agreed to train her. She is at the stage in her life now where she just wants to settle down and maybe have a family with her first love but is drawn back into life on the run. I loved her character!! She is so tough but so kind as well. She really takes Darius into her heart and will do anything for him.  All the characters are extremely well written. Darius is a little cutie, Raven is kick ass and I loved Jack Green! He is tough but fair and you can see that he isn't happy with what he was sent to do to Darius. I loved seeing his relationship with Raven grow as well. I can't wait to see where it goes.  Pauline Creeden has managed to create a very intriguing world that I definitely want to know more about. Its an action packed ride and one I devoured. This is the perfect blend of everything rolled into a wonderfully written book. Its jam packed with enough action, adventure, danger and twists to keep everyone happy! Raven is a must read!! I can't wait to check out more from Pauline Creeden and hope to see more from Raven and Jack!! 
zoeyrosehawthorne More than 1 year ago
~Thanks to the author for providing the copy in exchange for an honest review~ Stunning. And I don't mean stunning more than I mean it now. Raven is... absolutely brilliant. No, wait that's an understatement. Raven is right up there. Wow. I just loved Raven. Raven herself was an amazing main character and heroine. But she's a wounded one.Raven pulls through though, with the help of her father's friend Monroe. Captain Jack Grant. A brilliant supporting character. Darius is completely innocent, and while we met Solomon, he was a great character too, protective of Darius. The Beginning was strong, and I thought the plot was well structured and broad. I looked at Pauline Creeden's website after I finished Raven, and I found that she is an award-winning author. Too bad I hadn't heard of her.She's amazing. Now, talking about the middle- The Wood Witch was a formidable enemy for Raven and her allies. This was very fabulous. Touching. Raven in general was powerful and moving. Raven is afraid to fall in love, due to a mistake she made the first time. But Monroe helps her through it, a willing ally and friend, when she needs one. The duke is evil, as expected. Pauline Creeden- a must-read author.
kirstyviz More than 1 year ago
Raven Steele is a Reaper; an assassin who has to redeem herself by saving a life when one is taken. As possibly the only female reaper, Raven is totally bad-ass! She is smart, stubborn, knows how to rock a corset and uses her weapons (or even someone else's!) skilfully. Raven does not take her profession lightly but when we meet her she is considering giving it all up to settle down and become a wife. This is until she saves Baron Darius and begins perhaps the most dangerous assignment of her life. Although Raven is still a reaper at heart, in becoming Darius' protector she now puts his needs before her own and risks her health to keep him safe. Pauline Creeden chooses to evolve the relationship between Raven and Darius like a romance. Initially, they are shy and uncomfortable in each other's presence but they seek reassurance, especially after the first attack on them and Raven's discovery that the love of her life is now married. As they continue their journey, Darius is scared and Raven is broken-hearted but they manage to bring out the best qualities in each other. Darius begins to act like a 'normal' boy and a softer side of Raven emerges. This story is a rich and exciting steampunk fantasy, made sharper by Pauline Creeden's descriptions of people, places and events which invite the reader to use all of their senses and enter Raven's world, " Snow pelted raven's face. Like icicles, the flakes stuck to her eyelashes, but she trudged on through the knee-deep snow. She ignored the burning sensation in her exposed skin while the wind blew at her back. Wisps of her hair pulled free from her bun and lashed about her face. The snow glowed seemingly of its own accord, lighting the winding mountain trail." Pauline Creeden develops the relationship between Jack Grant and Raven in such a way that we expect a romantic side-plot but there is only a small hint of love, which I think makes the story all the more unique. Volume One of The Chronicles of Steele covers a variety of genres, meaning that it has a greater appeal to a range of readers. It would be a great book for someone in a 'slump' who is looking for a different and exciting story.
Tina_Chan More than 1 year ago
First of all, can we please all take a moment and admire this gorgeous cover? *moment of silence* Thank you. I personally thought the cover of Raven was totally unique--I love how the different elements all somehow come together. Alright, enough cover gushing and onto the actual book review :) It's been quite a while since I've read a steampunk book (probably why I signed up for this tour in the first place.) I was not disappointed. Raven proves to have all the "musts" in a steampunk fantasy--clockwork and zeppelins and corsets and a dash of kick-assery. Yes, I did just make up a word. I could imagine the bustle of crowds on cobblestone streets, humans mingling with mechanical mans. I think the world building and descriptive aspect of the novel was Creedon's strong point. I enjoyed how she wove details into the plot without slowing it down. The novel is told from dual POV: Raven Steele (awesome name, no?) and Jack Grant. Raven's trained her whole life to be a reaper--whenever she takes a life, she must redeem it by saving a life. A pretty cool concept if I don't say so myself. The reapers used to work for the nobles, but due to some bad political blood, they are now considered to be at the bottom of the society. I enjoyed the fact the Raven worked in a career field traditionally dominated by males--there were some stereotyping she had to overcome, which made the story that much more interesting. Jack Grant is a character I liked well enough. However, I think I would've liked him better had he been fleshed out more. As the captain of the Duke's guard, he has been given orders to hunt down Raven after she is accused of "kidnapping" Darius, the young son of the Duke. However, he must struggle to choose between obeying his orders and listening to his conscience as the Duke's plan for assassinating his own son begins to unravel for all to see. The plot was fun enough, if not a little bit predictable. But hey, it was still a solid plot and got it's job done. The pace moved along at a good clip--perhaps even too fast as some places. I guess the biggest quip I had with Raven was the romance between Jack and Raven. Although it definitely wasn't an insta-love scenario (I mean, Jack was trying to kill her...not exactly the best way to win a lady's heart), I still felt like their relationship was a bit forced.  I would've liked more build up--more showing, less telling of their relationship development, if I may say so myself. Overall, Raven was a satisfying read and is sure to satisfy steampunk lovers. Readers of fantasy and a "hero's journey" type of story should enjoy this novel as well.
EMMacCallum More than 1 year ago
Raven, is a reaper and as such must adhere to certain rules. I liked that the beginning of each chapter was a lesson, possibly taught by her father or a hint at what she needed to overcome. She isn't a flawless character. She kicks butt and is resoundingly human.  As for the adventures, I enjoyed how it wasn't linear. We were teased with snippets about Raven's past and her expectations of the future. It made her interesting to learn about and kept the story moving.  I felt as a reader that I was compelled to read the next chapter for Raven. Her ward, though important to her, isn't as much of a concern for me. Same with the romantic interests or any of the other character (including the villains which is a surprise to me). Instead, I'm compelled to understand how she evolves as a character throughout the story. There is a fantastic adventure that doesn't stand still. The main character's development was especially wonderful and the detail put into the steampunk world was interesting. I liked that there was brass horses and weaponry attachments via magnets. Like I said, the detail was fascinating. To conclude, I enjoyed the end of the book. Beyond "The End",  you'll find a deleted scene, a list of tips for aspiring authors and other tidbits by Creeden herself. I found this personal touch a cherry on a otherwise beautiful cake. 
EmilyAnneK17 More than 1 year ago
In Chronicles of Steele: Raven, by Pauline Creeden, Raven Steele is a Reaper, a highly trained assassin and bodyguard who lives by a code of honor. Unfortunately, not all Reapers live by that code, making them all banished from New Haven. On her way through the city, she saves the life of Darius, the Duke’s younger son. Despite the ban against Reapers, the Duke’s older son hires Raven to protect Darius from his own father and take Darius to the Wood Witch to be cured of his peculiar condition. But Raven and Darius are hunted by the Duke’s guard. Raven was a very interesting book. Many aspects were new to me and I enjoyed all of very much. For one, the term Reaper made me hesitant about the book at first, but when I realized it was merely an assassin-bodyguard, I accepted it as an appropriate term for Raven’s occupation. I enjoyed the steampunk world Pauline Creeden created in Raven. From automated horses and Zeppelins to magnetic clothing and crossbows, this world captivated me. Before Raven, I had never read a book in the steampunk genre, only watched a few movies here and there. I love the unique spin on the Victorian era, the new inventions, and the sweet clothing styles. And Darius, with his destructive effect on machines, would surely have caused chaos on many occasions. At the beginning of every chapter is a principle of teaching that Raven would have learned that corresponded to the chapter’s content. This insight into the things Raven and other trained fighters learn was interesting and might be helpful to relate to warriors in the real world. The plot never rested long before more danger and action occurred. Because Raven was originally a series of four episodes, there were noticeable climaxes and cliffhangers leading into the next episodes. Each of the episodes was well written and distinct but they flowed together very well to create this completed book. I appreciated the code of honor Raven and a few of the other Reapers followed. This code stresses the importance of human life by requiring those who follow it to save a life for every one they take. It was supposed to make them see the value of human life as well as humble them by making them realize they are not gods. It is also a kind of redemption. Raven eventually realized that only God can redeem her for the deaths she caused and take away the guilt but that saving a life was still important. Overall, I Chronicles of Steele: Raven was a very interesting and insightful introduction to the world of steampunk. I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
donniedarkogirl More than 1 year ago
I'm a fan of serial storytelling where parts of the story come in episodes spread out over time. The Chronicles of Steele #1 contains four episodes, and I'll be reviewing all of them here.  I really enjoyed reading the episodes and even better, I read them back-to-back. It would have been difficult to wait for each one, but I wouldn't have minded. My anticipation would have just built up, and all of this together means the wait would be worth it. After finishing The Chronicles of Steele, I know this is definitely true.  I love Raven. She's a reaper who wants to settle down and become a wife but an incident early on ends up sending her on yet another mission. Once she's on this mission, that's all she focuses on though she had been on her way to give up being a reaper and live a "normal" human life.  Reapers aren't magic, but they are highly trained to anticipate outcomes ahead of time and to fight and to be mentally prepared. They are so well trained they seem like they use magic. Raven was taught to save a life for every life she has to take, which keeps a reaper balanced and reminds him (with the exception of Raven, most reapers are male) all lives have meaning.  The plot is captivating and laid out well, and the steampunk elements are seamlessly blended in giving the world Creeden has built vibrant life. Captain Jack caught my eye early on. I remember thinking I hoped to meet up with him again sooner rather than later. Though he's the enemy, it isn't quite that cut and dry as you'll find out.  Jack and Raven are playing a game of cat-and-mouse. She's always one step ahead of him, and I couldn't help but be amused every time he realized that. He sees her strength and recognizes her vulnerability. There's more to him than just what you see on the outside.  I think The Chronicles of Steele might just be my absolute favorite book by Pauline Creeden now - it's that fantastic! I received a copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.
Leaor More than 1 year ago
4,5 stars. kind of hard to review without spoilers because the synopsis tells you almost nothing. Raven is a girl who is a reaper. That means that she kills people but for every life she takes she has to redeem one. She goes somewhere, stuff happen , does some stuff, ending. Amazing! first of all I have never read steampunk before, because I had no idea what steampunk was. But I liked it. I liked Raven very much as an character. she was interesting and deep. the characters were older in this book, Raven was 25 I think, but you couldn't really tell.  I fellt every emotion that Raven fellt, it was just beautifully written. It has a double POV and that was done very good. there was an clear difference between the 2. only thing I saw as a flaw was the worldbuilding. I actually have no image in my head about the world. Most of the story is in the woods so I just think about trees. But I did not have a huge problem with it because it is a stand-alone.
lrhubble More than 1 year ago
An excellent book Reaper Tenants: All human lives are valuable. The poor are just as valuable as someone rich and living in a manor. The scoundrel and the saint are equal in value. For these reasons for every life a reaper takes they must redeem one. Raven has lived by the first tenant of a reaper since she was first trained by her father. Though since she lost her father she has spent the time redeeming the different lives she has taken. Now by her count she is even and she can now put the assassin life behind her. She thinks she can feel human again if she settles down and becomes a wife. On the way to the life she thinks she wants she is given a new task to complete by the baron of New Haven. It is a task she just can’t ignore. Just when she thought she was done with the life of an assassin she ends up pulled back in. This is a fun book with all the elements that makes for a great steampunk novel. The action keeps coming right up until the very last page. The characters are interesting and keep the story moving at a fast pace that makes for a book that is hard to stop reading. With all the twists and turns that the story takes it will have readers wondering just what will happen next. Readers will not be disappointed with the twists and turns. The heroine is strong and determined and makes for a very likable character. It will also leave readers wanting more from this world and from the characters. received a review copy
SoIReadThisBookToday More than 1 year ago
Be as gentle as a dove but as cunning as a viper. Preserve one’s self with intellect, and know when it is time to be either the dove or the viper. Hell is yourself and the only redemption is when a person puts himself aside to feel deeply for another person. - Tennessee Williams I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells. Fantasy is a necessary ingredient in living, it's a way of looking at life through the wrong end of a telescope. Which is what I do, and that enables you to laugh at life's realities. - Dr. Seuss Here is an admission. As much as I have been interested and charmed by the concept of Steampunk, I have never read a book in the genre. Given the opportunity by the publisher to read Chronicles of Steele: Raven I can say that I am glad I waited. It is, in a word, delightful. Raven Steele lives in a world of contradictions and extravagances of the surreal kind. Steam powered horses and mechanical humans live alongside flesh and blood beings. Dirigibles crowd the air while Victorian dress resides alongside leather and sword bearing private guards. Medical advances proceed alongside alchemy, and witchcraft is very real, in a sort of ‘physics meets alchemy meets herbology’ mashup. Sword and sorcery meets Victorian in an utterly enjoyable manner. The contradictions are charming and well written, a perfect introduction to a genre I was unfamiliar with. Raven is a Reaper. Once the private (and very fatal) bodyguards and assassins to the Duke, they were disbanded when their leader, Raven’s father, refused to murder the Duke’s wife on his order. Hounded from the castle, his own men set upon him, her family flees, only to lose her mother to murder at the hands of the other Reapers. Trained by her father to be a Reaper in order to ascertain her safety from those who would murder her, Raven has travelled the lands, searching for redemption. A tenant of Reaper training, redemption is given through giving back a life for every life taken – and Raven’s balance sheet is nearly complete. But freedom and real life are jerked from her grasp when she rescues the young Baron of New Hope, Darius. The child is handed over to Raven by his elder brother, Baron Solomon Goodhope, who entreats her to save the child from his murderous father. The evil Duke means the boy to die for supposedly being infested by a demon. But the story is much more, and much less, than the Duke believes. And when he sets his guards on Raven and Darius’s trail the consequences will be deeper than he could ever have expected. Friends will become enemies and enemies possible friends as Raven begins a desperate cross-country race, by dirigible and train, horse and on foot, first to find the Witch she has been tasked to locate to cure the child, and then to save him once again from those who would murder him. Those who should by all rights keep him safe, but will kill in the name of the Duke, no matter how insane the order may be. His conscience could not agree with what he was about to do. But orders were orders. And as captain of the guard, Jack always followed them to the letter. Honor is found in the oddest places – but the boundless knee-jerk bone-headedness of mindless adherence to command structures and orders, even when deeply twisted and evil, is readily apparent. As well as a type of debilitating naivety on the part of people who should know better. But there is also a smile around every corner at the unexpected, the quaint, and the captivating. All of these things make the story appealing on so many different levels. Not only that, but there is an undercurrent here, another story line lying just below the surface which makes me eager for the next installment to the series! While all these things are wonderful, there is one thing that bothered me. It may seem a small thing, but to me it is important to the presentation of the book. I was completely discombobulated by the cover. It presents as the cover for a Shamanistic Fantasy novel more than anything else. It is gorgeous, without a doubt, but it has absolutely no continuity with the story line. It is disconcerting to say the least. Without looking at the blurb I automatically expected the book to be on par with Patricia Briggs’s Mercy Thompson series, or possibly Ilona Andrews’s Kate Daniels series. Not for a true Steampunk novel. But again, it is a small thing that will possibly be of no interest to other readers. I highly recommend this book for its strong heroine, well written story, and (yes, here is that word again) charming world building. Oh, and I was surprised to find that this is listed as "young adult" - but not in a bad way. It is a great story for young and young at heart. I will be watching anxiously for Darius’s story, the next in the Chronicles of Steele. And I will definitely be checking out others in the genre. I am hooked! I received Chronicles of Steele: Raven from the publisher in return for a realistic review. All thoughts are my own.
SBMorales More than 1 year ago
This was such an amazing read. The story line grabbed my attention right from the start. The wonderful writing by Creeden transported me into her world. I just loved the main character, Raven. She is strong, caring, dutiful, and just badass. The steam punk theme added to an already amazing story. This is my first read from Creeden and I can't wait to read more of her work.
TrinityJo More than 1 year ago
Okay, feel like I should start off saying this: Steampunk is not a genre I read often. I have tried a couple but they usually don't hold my interest very well. So why on earth did I want to try this one, you ask? Well, because Pauline Creeden has surprised me before with another of her books, First Impression. And, once again, I found myself enjoying a genre that I didn't beforehand! The characters were well done and I found myself easily growing to care about what happened to them. As for the steampunk aspect, I found that it didn't bore me. A few that I have tried in the past throw SO many gadgets that I find a somewhat hard time getting into the plot. Not so with this one. In my opinion, there was just enough to be interesting but not detract from the storyline. I did enjoy this, although would have liked just a BIT more at the ending (no, not a cliffhanger). However, I do believe there will be another (not really a series, just another character's story) and I look forward to that one (and, hopefully, will see what I'm wanting to see...sorry if I'm vague, but don't want to give any spoilers *wink). I would definitely recommend this book! I received a complimentary e-copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.