03 June, 2011

Book Review: Flash Gold by Lindsay Buroker

Published: March 2011

Series: none
Source: Author via Book Lovin' Bitches E-Book Tours, no other compensation given for an honest review

From Good Reads:
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?

My Review:
I've previously read work by Lindsay Buroker, and have been very impressed with the amount of detail that goes into her adventure stories. Because she does write true adventure books. They might fit under genres or sub-genres like fantasy, science-fiction or steampunk, but the one thing that Buroker writes well is a rip-roaring adventure story.

FLASH GOLD is no exception.

This time around, Buroker brings to the page Kali MacAlister and her extremely mysterious "partner", Cedar. I have to admit that I really wanted to learn more about Cedar. FLASH GOLD doesn't really explain his background, just how he came to be in Kali's orbit, and why he seemed so eager to help her in a sled-race across the Yukon. I found myself wanting Buroker to bring up his history, or delve a bit deeper into his background. In fact, I remember having the same feeling about her character, Sicarius, in ENCRYPTED, and feeling so psyched when he had his own story, THE EMPEROR'S EDGE.

Kali was just as fascinating a character. Though she is a woman alone in the Yukon (or perhaps, because she is), Kali is no shrinking violet. There are times when Cedar jumps in to help her from villains, but there are just as many times that she is utterly capable of taking care of herself, even in the face of people who aren't that concerned about whether they capture her dead or alive.

The steampunk aspect of the novel really captured my attention. This is one of the things that I love about reading Buroker's books. Yes, they are undeniably fantasy, but she always adds a little something in each story line that makes it unique and intriguing. In ENCRYPTED, there was code and code-breakers. In THE EMPEROR'S EDGE, there was counterfeiting. Each story is driven by an idea that seems like it's never been done before.

FLASH GOLD could certainly never be confused or lumped in with anything I have read before. Even with the brevity of the page numbers, this is a complete story that I enjoyed reading. Fans of a pronounced romance might hesitate with this one, but any readers who love an adventure, a little bit of danger, and a woman who can make mechanical dogs, will want to check this book out.

4.5/5 for plot
4.5/5 for characters
4/5 for language

My Rating: 13/15 (4 stars) Highly Recommend

Find the author at:
Website | Twitter | GoodReads

Purchase book at:
Barnes and Noble | Smashwords | Amazon

Available formats: E-Book, NookBook, Kindle

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