Friday, September 5, 2014

The Ugly Tin Orrery

The Ugly Tin Orrery: A Penny Dreadful Review

            Even the railways are not safe from pirates in The Ugly Tin Orrery, another delightful novella about the pirate Marta Ramos. I enjoyed this almost as much as the other works I’ve read by the brilliant author Rachael Acks.
            The first thing that struck me about this novella was the Diabola – truly the Engine that Could. It is a delightful mechanism which allows pirates to travel from one rail line to a nearby rail line with the assistance of pistons, steam, and very precise math. It is an ingenious device, really, and I do enjoy that Rachael Acks thought to equip her pirates with it.
            As usual, Captain Ramos and her man Simms wind up investigating a murder, but this time it ends up being a much larger conspiracy than simple revenge or money. No, this murder leads them to treachery and espionage at the highest levels of this world’s government.
            Rachael Acks paints this adventure with deft strokes. She wastes no words, but I feel the Captain’s final decision was a bit too pat and conveniently made. A few more words here would not have been amiss. I would have liked to see a bit more fallout from the death of a character I rather liked as well, but on the whole this is a great little adventure.
            The plot is quite thrilling, describing a dashing robbery, a violent bar brawl, and a cheeky prison break. It is a week in the life of the daring, enchanting – and possibly mad – Captain Marta Ramos. I think I will never tire of reading these adventures. Captain Ramos may be one of the most delightful characters ever penned.
            I give The Ugly Tin Orrery four gears out of five. It is an excellent read in a series of excellent reads from Musa Publishing.

Your Correspondent From The Bookstore,

Penny J. Merriweather

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