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Tuesday, April 16, 2013

The Machine God by Meilin Miranda (Reviewed by Mihir Wanchoo)

Order Black Mercury HERE
Order The Kaiser Affair HERE
Order The Machine God HERE
Read FBC's Review of Lovers And Beloveds
Read Melissa's Review of The Kaiser Affair
Read Qwill's Review of Black Mercury
Read The Drifting Isle Chronicles - A new way to tell new stories ( A guest post by Joseph R. Lewis)
Read When Collaborating, Say Yes! (A guest post by Meilin Miranda)
Read On Machines And Talking Birds (A guest post by Charlotte E. English)
Read The Kaiser Affair - A fantasy thriller and travelogue to The Drifting Isle Chronicles (A guest post by Joseph R. Lewis)

AUTHOR INFORMATION: MeiLin Miranda came back from the dead to write books. In 2006, she suffered a cardiac arrest and realized it was high time to get on with writing fiction after 30-plus years of professional nonfiction writing. Her main series is the fantasy epic saga An Intimate History of the Greater Kingdom, and she is a co-creator of the shared steampunk fantasy series The Drifting Isle Chronicles. Her influences include Ursula K. LeGuin, Anthony Trollope, Jane Austen, Patrick O'Brian, Georgette Heyer, MFK Fisher and Neil Gaiman.

She can't seem to get away from writing stories set in the 19th century (or something like it) no matter what she does. MeiLin lives in Portland, OR with a husband, two kids, two cats, a floppy dog and far, far too much yarn.

OFFICIAL BOOK BLURB: One thing makes life in Eisenstadt bearable for exiled Professor Oladel Adewole: the island floating a mile above the city. He's an expert in world mythology about the island, but no one's ever been there or knows how it got there.

When a brilliant engineer makes it to the island in her new invention, the government sends Adewole up with its first survey team. The expedition finds civilization, and Adewole finds a powerful, forbidden fusion of magic and metal: the Machine God.

The government wants it. So does a sociopath bent on ruling Eisenstadt. But when Adewole discovers who the mechanical creature is--and what it can do--he risks his heart and his life to protect the Machine God from the world, and the world from the Machine God.

FORMAT/INFO: The Machine God is seventeen chapters long with a singular third person narrative voice via Professor Oladel Adewole. This is a standalone story and is a part of the Drifting Isle Chronicles of which there will be a total of four books released this year. The e-book edition was self published on April 4, 2013 by the author with the paperback edition to follow. The cover art is by Elsa Kroese.

ANALYSIS: In regards to the Drifting Isle Chronicles, I first heard about it last year and was lucky enough to talk to Joseph R. Lewis who was the main person instigating the project. He spoke about it a bit in his interview and since then I’ve been tracking it. In the last few weeks Joe contacted me and said that they were going to release three novels currently with one more to come later this year. There have been a series of guest post wherein an overview was given about the world as well as each author spoke about their own book and their favorite aspect about the shared world. Here are the guest posts:

A couple of years ago, a few blogger friends and I had done a multi-story review. I decided to ask those fine folks again for their help and Qwill and Melissa graciously volunteered their time. So for the three DIC novels it was decided that Qwill would review Black Mercury, Melissa would take a look at The Kaiser Affair and I would focus on The Machine God. So today here’s my review of The Machine God and Melissa has also posted her thoughts about The Kaiser Affair on her blog followed by Qwill’s Black Mercury review on Thursday (18th April) on the Qwillery (REVIEW POSTED).

With The Machine God, Meilin had mentioned in her guest post as to how she got selected for writing about it. This book deals with a very crucial aspect of the storyline as it focuses upon Inselmond, the Drifting Isle that is located above the city of Eisenstadt. This story occurs a bit after the events of Black Mercury as the Island has already been discovered. Thus certain events lead to the inclusion of Professor Oladel Adewole, who is a Jero native and connoisseur of old, lost languages. He is also a polyglot and lover of coffee and perhaps the odd man out in academia. He looks often to his friend Karl Deviatka for support against the university chancellor who seems to dislike Adewole on sight and tries to prolong his official position. He however gets chosen because of his aptitude and soon finds out that the people of the drifting isle have a secret. A secret, which in the wrong hands might lead to an apocalypse, and that secret is what is the Machine God?

Meilin Miranda lovingly crafts this story about an outsider who is lost on personal and professional levels but strives to do the right thing always. With this story we get a third person perspective on the events of the story however it doesn’t rob us of the intimateness as often experienced via the first person narrative storylines. The main protagonist is an endearing person and the author’s characterization marks him out splendidly. This tale while being a story about discovery of a new island is also about personal discovery in regards to several characters and that includes a wise owl that makes appearances throughout. The story slowly unveils all the issues at hand and though takes its time; the prose and world presented keep the reader fascinated for the entire time. Lastly the story unveils a rather dark turn of the world’s history and I’m hoping the founding chroniclers decide to explore it in the future as well.

Drawbacks to this tale are that it features a slower paced storyline as compared to The Kaiser Affair or Black Mercury however those story lines demand such a fast pace. With this story, it will depend on the readers to decide whether the pace matters in the enjoyment of this tale or not. Lastly some characters are mentioned and make an appearance and leave the stage very quickly, this is due to the fact that they are making cameos. Such appearances might confound certain readers and it will be good if they read this overview post by Joseph Robert Lewis to get a better sense of the story and world presented within.

CONCLUSION: Meilin Miranda writes a fascinating story about a person’s search for the greater good. The Machine God is a story that I enjoyed thoroughly. I would recommend this story heartily for those wanting a well-nuanced storyline. The Machine God is a good way to start the Drifting Isle Chronicles and I’ll be sure to check the other titles ASAP.

Note: To read Melissa’s review of The Kaiser Affair by Joseph R. Lewis, click HERE. To read Qwill's review of Black Mercury by Charlotte English, click HERE.


Unknown said...

You know when I meet Adewole in The Kaiser Affair, I thought it would be neat to have a story with him in it. This sounds like a neat version, and one we learn different secrets with?

I can see it being a slower pacing, knowing his profession. :) Sounds like a brilliant man.

Thank you greatly for the chance to do this multi-blog review. :)

The Reader said...

Hi Melissa,

Very true, Adewole is a great character and the way Meilin has written the story. It makes for a good read.

Please let me know how you find it whenever you get to it.



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