A Midsummer Night’s Steampunk

By Scott E. Tarbet

A Midsummer Night’s Steampunk

By Scott E. Tarbet

Book Description

When a priceless invention is stolen half a world away, four unlikely adventurers are caught up in an international intrigue that could cost them their lives. Only Pauline Spiegel, a gifted young engineer and artificer, possesses the knowledge to maximize the weapon’s potential. With the help of the man she loves, the soldier she is supposed to marry, and her best friend, she must see its schematics to safety. Their only obstacle: a gauntlet of asylum inmates long on “modifications” and short on conscience, who will stop at nothing to deliver both Pauline and the plans to Kaiser Bill. At Pauline’s side fight a ragtag group of semi-mechanical veterans, and an army of jewel-encrusted micro-mechs who have swarmed London to retrieve the device with the power to control the world.

Immerse yourself in this Steampunk retelling of a Shakespearean classic, replete with the newfound wizardry of alternative Victorian technology, mistaken identities, love triangles, and deadly peril, set against the backdrop of a world bracing itself for war, and Victoria’s Diamond Jubilee.

Check out the Reviews!

Review by Karen Pellet, Author of "The Spectrum Mom" Series:

This story reignited my love for Shakespeare. In a world of steam-powered mechanics, “A Midsummer Night’s Steampunk,” set in turn-of-the-century London, England, weaves a tale of political intrigue, romance, and engineering marvels that will keep the reader immersed for hours. Tarbet utilizes the same core story as Shakespeare’s play “A Midsummer Night’s Dream.” The star-crossed lovers–Pauline Spiegel-apprentice artificer to the Queen of England and her love, Alex McIntyre, Pauline’s dear friend, Clementine Hozier with the infamous Winston Churchill. In a masterful steampunk-homage to history, the roles of the meddlesome fairies include the three enterprising Queens are played by the historical matrons–the Dowager Empress of Germany, a gifted female scientist & artificer, plus the wealthy American-born mother of Winston Churchill. Even their well-loved characters of the fairies and the mechanicals find their home in this reimagined world.

Tarbet weaves his words like those of a master storyteller, deftly aligning four simultaneous plots so that I cared what happened to each individual character until the last page. His use of historical detail made the mechanical veterans, mischievous Queens, and the young at heart leap off the page. With the humor of Shakespeare, Tarbet does not shy away from the issues of equal rights and colonization by utilizing well-known characters from history in an entertaining way. His use of sensory details, pacing, and in-depth research make this story engaging and a pure joy to read. The more I dove into the layers of A Midsummer Night’s Steampunk, the more I couldn’t wait to see what would happen next. And not that I am finished, I feel a need to return once more to the original Shakespearean tale.

Review by Jennifer Hunsaker:

To be honest, I read this book with a chip on my shoulder. Sometimes reinventing classics goes horribly awry. Let me rephrase that. Most of the time, reinventing the classics goes horribly awry. But A Midsummer Night’s Steampunk did so in a way that is just charming enough to make Shakespeare’s play accessible to a new generation. (I will say that using micro-mechs in place of the fairies was ingenious.)

The relationship between Pauline and her father, the need to prove yourself against the odds, the banding together of an unlikely group of heroes… all highly relatable themes for the YA genre, keep you engrossed in the story.

I will say this. If you are unfamiliar with “A Midsummer Night’s Dream” or steampunk lore, this book will feel like being dropped in the middle of a world and being expected to know how to navigate it. And the first several pages will feel like a blatant rip off of Peter Jackson’s interpretation of “Mortal Engines.” Stick with it. Your patience will be rewarded with a light, easy read once you acclimate to the new world Tarbet is presenting.