People with wings, freedom fighters, engineers, (mad) scientists and more — these are the characters that make up the pages of Smoke and Steam.
The anthology is comprised of four short stories by four different authors, respectively, “Wings Over Staria” by J.C. Rock, “Hekatite” by Karen Garvin, “Heart of the Matter” by Michelle Schad and “Freedom for a Foster” by Cathryn Leigh.
This does mean you get four completely different tales and writing styles, meaning there’s a chance you won’t like every story as much as the next.
I would say they’re all rather enjoyable stories in their own right. I connected with some more as their writing styles were more to my taste. But I didn’t find any story to my dislike, and that’s all you can want from an anthology. There wasn’t a single one I thought was bad.
My only real issue with Smoke and Steam is that there are only open endings. Even the one where a story arc is completed, so to speak, and a character goal reached, you still wonder what happens next.
It’s a stepping stone in an ongoing series, which is great for people wanting to get into those series, or already into them, but not so much for someone who just wants to pick up a book with steampunk short stories. So beware of that. But if you’re looking for a new series to dip your toe in, definitely put this one up for consideration.