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Railroad! by Tonia Brown

Serialized Steampunk Adventure in the American West 

Railroad is a fast pace story of gadgetry, gunplay and grit.

Join us as we follow the strange stand-alone train known as the Sleipnir (pronounced Schlipnear); eight cars of free traveling steam powered might. Able to lay her own tracks, as well as pick them up again, the train is a marvelous feat of engineering, and as an unbound entity she can travel anywhere her master desires. The only trouble is the trouble she attracts. Her owner and creator, one Professor Hieronymus J. Dittmeyer, can’t seem to help but catch the attention of all manner of unwanted and odd characters. From run of the mill out laws to world-class super villains, the crew of the Sleipnir needs protecting and they need it fast!

Enter Rodger Dodger, deadeye marksman and all around vexed soul. Dodger finds he is inexplicably drawn to the Sleipnir and her crazy crew, though he is reluctant to return to the work of a gunslinger after a dreadful history of bloodshed and violence. At the request of a restless spirit, Dodger takes on the work, straps on the biggest guns this side of the Mississippi and soon finds his life will never be the same again. (Which is just fine with him because he didn’t like the one he had anyways.)

On a train that can go anywhere, anything is bound to happen!

A complete novel

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Listed: Mar 16, 2011


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Review of the first volume

By lizo27, member

Apr 27, 2014: After reading the first volume of this serial, I must say I am hooked. The writing is crisp and clear, despite the occasional grammatical misstep, making for quick and easy reading. The steampunk elements are creative and it’s clear that a great deal of thought has been put into how these elements would would function. Dodger makes for a likeable and engaging narrator, and I’m already intrigued by the secrets he’s keeping.

So what keeps it from being a four-star? The pacing. Despite the chapters being quick reads, I had a problem with the plot. The way the train functions and the fact that Dodger will take the job are established in the summary, so drawing those reveals out for three chapters and the entire volume, respectively, seemed a bit excessive. On the other hand, the information about Boon was stuffed into a single chapter.

Despite some issues with pacing, this is a fun read, and I can recommend it to anyone who enjoys steampunk or westerns.

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