Steampunkery- The Native Star by M.K. Hobson

Details: Mass Market Paperback, 387 pgs.
Published: Aug. 31st, 2010 by Spectra

isbn: 0553592653 (ISBN13: 9780553592658)
Reading Level: Adult
Received from: Purchased (and signed!)

In the tradition of Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell, this brilliant first novel fuses history, fantasy, and romance. Prepare to be enchanted by M. K. Hobson’s captivating take on the Wild, Wild West.

The year is 1876. In the small Sierra Nevada settlement of Lost Pine, the town witch, Emily Edwards, is being run out of business by an influx of mail-order patent magics. Attempting to solve her problem with a love spell, Emily only makes things worse. But before she can undo the damage, an enchanted artifact falls into her possession—and suddenly Emily must flee for her life, pursued by evil warlocks who want the object for themselves.

Dreadnought Stanton, a warlock from New York City whose personality is as pompous and abrasive as his name, has been exiled to Lost Pine for mysterious reasons. Now he finds himself involuntarily allied with Emily in a race against time—and across the United States by horse, train, and biomechanical flying machine—in quest of the great Professor Mirabilis, who alone can unlock the secret of the coveted artifact. But along the way, Emily and Stanton will be forced to contend with the most powerful and unpredictable magic of all—the magic of the human heart. 

My Thoughts:
Holy craperoni!  This book was GOOD!  Okay, so let me tell you why this book blew me away.  First of all although this was an adult book it was done in a way that made it feel similar to a YA.  It’s really hard to explain that, but basically it took the best of YA mixed with the best of an adult fantasy romance.  Let me be clear though, this is NOT YA!  The characters are adult.  But the romance was all full of sexual tension, there wasn’t any sex but there was plenty of tension!  And there wasn’t the irritating behavior that you get in YA because these characters were mature adults.  Not that they didn’t make any stupid decisions, but there weren’t many and they did as well as could be imagined in the situations they were thrown into. 
I just felt a different vibe from this book.  It took so many elements I love and it completely skipped the things I hate, or that annoy me at least.  I think that’s what made this one so good for me. 
The second half was better then the first half, but the first half was good too.  It’s just the being introduced to the world and the characters that drew it out a bit longer.
The world created in this book is amazing!  It’s very focused on magic.  Witches, Warlocks and all the different kinds of magic.  Those that draw their power from blood, from the earth, and from the emotions of others (that ones hard to explain).   Although we see a bit of zombies in the beginning it was a very brief thing and turned out to not really be something that was revisited.  So don’t read this book for just zombies.  There were Steampunk elements but it is definitely not heavily Steampunk oriented.
The characters were amazing!  I found maybe one point that I was annoyed with Emily but it turned out that that thing that annoyed me is what made it all the more amazing when she opened her mind to new things and accepted the world a little differently.  And Dreadnought, well, the author did an amazing job making him immensely appealing.  I don’t recall any description of him, though I know she described him in the beginning, all I remember is that he dressed very well.  And we got bits here and there.  But really, I have a picture in my head and I’m sure it’s probably nothing like she’s described him.  But I wouldn’t want him any other way.  Oh yes, he is a fabulous character!
I found this book impossible to put down and I’m SO glad I had the opportunity to meet the author and found her brilliant book!  
I give this one the full 5/5 moons!
You can find M.K. Hobson at her website
You can purchase at your favorite bookstore and be sure to preorder the second book, to be released April, 2011!  You can use any of my affiliate links and all proceeds will be used to fund contests here. 
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  1. I’m reading this now and I can’t agree more! Esp …it took the best of YA mixed with the best of an adult fantasy romance. — that’s exactly the feel of this book. So glad you loved it!

  2. Ooh, they mentioned Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell at the beginning? That’s my favorite book, so I am SO reading it. Plus, your review made it all the more appealing! I cannot wait to get my hands on it. =D

  3. Man, every time I read your reviews I come across a title I have that I need to read sooner rather than later! If only there were more hours in the day. Great review!

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