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Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl    by David Barnett Amazon.com order for
Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl
by David Barnett
Order:  USA  Can
Tor, 2013 (2013)
Hardcover, Softcover, e-Book
* * *   Reviewed by Ricki Marking-Camuto

I was at first drawn to Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl because of its steampunk elements, but David Barnett has crafted much more than your standard steampunk. Yes, two hallmarks of steampunk airships and automatons play a major role in the story, but there are also ancient artifacts, Egyptian curses, and vampires.

Gideon Smith has spent his whole life in the small fishing village of Sandsend, knowing that the most exciting thing that would ever happen to him would be taking over his father's fishing boat. However, when that day comes all to soon, he cannot help but mourn the loss of the hope of adventure he reads about in World Marvels & Wonders, his favorite penny blood. When it soon become evident that the demise of his father and the boat's crew has an otherworldly element, Gideon enlists the help of Bram Stoker, who is in Sandsend researching his next novel. Stoker, however, is more interested in the vampire that just arrived in Sandsend than the frog-like creatures that Gideon believes are responsible for his father's death. So he sets off for London to find his hero, Captain Lucian Trigger. Along the way, he picks up Maria, a mechanical girl with odd memories of London. It soon becomes apparent that all is not what it seems as Gideon learns that the world at large is not as he dreamt it and a hero is not what he expected.

The steampunk and adventure elements combine in Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl to create one heck of an amazing tale. Gideon is the perfect everyman set against the larger-than-life people he meets on his journey. David Barnett also does an excellent job of bringing everything together in a logical way and ending the story in a most plausible manner. Hopefully, there will be more adventures on the horizon for Gideon Smith.

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