Title & Author: The Flash Gold Chronicles (Books 1-5), Lindsay Buroker
Genre & Publication Date: Steam-punk/Fantasy, Between April 1, 2011 – April 8, 2016
Book Description: (To avoid spoilers, the following is from Book One only): “Eighteen-year-old Kali McAlister enters her steam-powered “dogless sled” in a race, intending to win the thousand-dollar prize and escape remote Moose Hollow forever. The problem? Fortune seekers and airship pirates are after her for the secret to flash gold, her late father’s alchemical masterpiece.
With her modified rifle and a pocketful of home-made smoke bombs, Kali wouldn’t normally hide from a confrontation, but taking on a whole airship single-handedly is a daunting task. Unfortunately, the other racers won’t assist her–they’re too busy scheming ways to sabotage her unorthodox sled.
When a sword-slinging stranger shows up, wanting to hire on as her protector, she’s sure he has ulterior motives, but he’s the only one interested in helping her. The question is…why?”
First Line (From Book One): Kali McAlister tapped a wrench against her thigh as she contemplated her invention.
My Take: This novella was provided to me by the author for review.
Here I’m reviewing the Flash Gold Chronicles as a whole, with some emphasis on Book One to avoid spoilers.
Set in the Yukon Kali has her sights set on getting out of her dead-end hometown–particularly since she’s an outcast there–and exploring the world in an airship of her own making. She’s smart, she’s inventive, and she’s got great snap to her (read: doesn’t take any crap). Obviously, she’s my kind of gal and I loved reading about her and the adventures/mishaps she ran into.
As is typical of this author’s work, these novellas are fast, fun, and in general pretty lighthearted. Here I thought Buroker added in some great depth to her heroine. Kali’s heritage is mixed between two peoples, and her family’s past is troubling. As such, she never feels like she belongs. This is part of what spurs her to carve out her own future somewhere else…if she can just get her hands on the funds to escape that Yukon town.
Enter the mysterious stranger, Cedar. He shows up at an opportune time in Book One to hire on with her. He’s got mad skills with a rifle (and sword). He’s accommodating and keeps a respectful distance, but there’s something elusive about him. Hints of something that don’t quite add up. Finding out what that was–along with rooting for Kali–had me running through the pages.
The Magical: All the elements of the Steampunk genre with a couple of extra twists. While there are airships and rifles, these little books add a few gear works of their own just to keep things interesting. Fantastically creative.
The Mundane: Most of the books were in Kali’s perspective (third person POV) but then switched to hers and another protagonist’s perspective by the end books. I didn’t mind this too much, and the other POV was interesting, but I would’ve preferred we stay with Kali.
Summary of Thoughts: Currently Book One is FREE for the Kindle, and the others range from $1.99 – $2.99 with a few options to buy three at a time or four at a time at a lesser price. The fifth and final book just released in April. Great adventure throughout all five novellas. No lag, no info dumps. And most importantly since this is a series, no repeats of any scenarios. Everything is expertly woven together and I really cared about the main characters. The novella length seemed just right for these. And like a good sandwich–with spicy mustard, none of that mayo business–I gobbled them up. Highly recommended!
Many thanks to author Lindsay Buroker for providing a copy of the series to review!
Side note to my readers: You may see Lindsay Buroker’s work come up here on a semi-regular basis as I’m on her team of early reviewers (woo!). Reviews will usually post around release time for her new books, so if you love her stuff keep an eye on the “Next Up” image on the right-hand side of the blog page:)
Curious what others thought? Check out the reviews for Book One here
Want to know more about this author and her work? Explore her website here