Clockwork Samurai by Jeannie Lin

December 8th, 2015 kimbacaffeinate Review 54 Comments

8th Dec
Clockwork Samurai by Jeannie Lin
Clockwork Samurai
by Jeannie Lin
Series: Gunpowder Chronicles #2
Published by: Penguin
Genres: Historical Fiction, Steampunk
Source: Publisher
Purchase: Amazon
Goodreads
Rating: One StarOne StarOne StarOne Star

National bestselling author Jeannie Lin’s Gunpowder Chronicles continue as a woman left adrift by the fall of a Dynasty attempts to reclaim her family’s honor... As a physician, Jin Soling can see that the Emperor is cracking, relying on Opium to drown his troubles. The Ch’ing Empire is failing, and war with the British is imminent, but the man to whom Soling was once engaged has a bold idea to save it. A leader within the Ministry of Engineering, Chang-wei suggests an alliance with Japan, whose scientists claim to have technical advancements that could turn the tide of the war. But Japan has kept itself in isolation for the last two hundred years, cutting all diplomatic ties with the Ch'ing Empire. Chang-wei must enter the island nation in disguise to seek an alliance—an alliance forbidden by the Japanese shogunate. Seeking to escape the politics of the imperial court, Soling arranges her own passage on the airship to Japan. But once they land, Chang-wei and Soling become targets of the shogunate's armored assassins. Caught between two empires, in a land distrustful of foreigners, the deadly war machines are the least of their worries...

ARC REVIEW historical scifi well written

The Clockwork Samurai by Jeannie Lin is the second book in the Gunpowder Chronicles set against the backdrop of China’s Qing Dynasty. This alternate steampunk historical is a delightful read, with fleshed out characters and incredible world-building.

Clockwork Samurai is such a wonderful tale. While not quite as strong as its predecessor I could not help but get lost in the vivid world Lin creates. I absolutely love the setting and the descriptive and authentic feel Lin brings to the story and characters. Jeannie Lin weaves in steampunk elements and danger as our heroine Jin Soling and her former intended Chen Chang-Wei embark on a mission to Japan.

When the story begins, Jin Soling is a physician for the Emperor’s concubines. Events force her to seek another position and she is astonished when she finds herself on board a ship accompanying Chen to Japan.

The characters have depth, and Lin pays particular attention to their behavior providing an authentic portrayal of characters from 1852 right down to mannerisms. I love getting inside Jin’s head. I have come to respect her wit, loyalty and quest for knowledge.

The plot unfolds slowly but I was so busy absorbing the world and catching up with Jin Soling that I did not mind the slower pace. As we enter, Japan things get interesting as the suspense and danger increase the further we travel into forbidden areas. I loved the karakuri automatons and the detail will delight fans of steampunk. Danger, new friendships and a wonderful look at Japan made this tale a worthy read.

There is a subtle romance and despite the lack of page time, I found it to be a powerful one. Lin has a wonderful “show not tell” approach giving scenes weight. It delivered all the feels despite the low-heat level. I am eager to see how the romance will progress.

Opium issues, and concerns for Western evasion along with the Emperor’s refusal to accept there is actually a threat are mentioned throughout. The ending completed the journey to Japan, strengthened our characters relationship and set us up for the next novel.

Clockwork Samurai offers a light, enchanting tale set against a time-period I found riveting. I highly recommend this series to fans of steampunk, historical fiction and alternate historical fantasy.

About Jeannie Lin

USA TODAY Bestselling author Jeannie Lin grew up fascinated with stories of Western epic fantasy and Eastern martial arts adventures. When her best friend introduced her to romance novels in middle school, the stage was set. Jeannie started writing her first romance while working as a high school science teacher in South Central Los Angeles. After four years of trying to break into publishing with an Asian-set historical, her 2009 Golden Heart Award–winning manuscript, Butterfly Swords, sold to Harlequin Mills & Boon. Her books have received starred reviews in Publishers Weekly and Library Journal with The Dragon and the Pearl listed among Library Journal’s Best Romances of 2011.

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About Kimberly
Kimberly is a coffee loving book addict who reads everything fiction in YA, NA, and Adult. She's a self-professed Whovian, Supernatural, and Sherlock Holmes junkie, She enjoys sharing books, tips, recipes and hosting the Sunday Post. The coffee is always on and she is ready to chat... Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

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54 Responses to “Clockwork Samurai by Jeannie Lin”

  1. Jenny

    I haven’t read steampunk in a while Kim and I can’t even remember the last thing I read that was set in China, alternate history or otherwise, so this sounds like such a fascinating read! I’ll have to go back and read the first one though, I like to start at the beginning:)
    Jenny recently posted…Review: Sweetest ScoundrelMy Profile

    • kimbacaffeinate

      LOL, I review so many I am not surprised, but I did and loved it 🙂 you can click on series above and it will take you to my review 🙂

  2. Heidi

    Oh this one sounds wonderful. Reading your review, it reminded me a bit of Jay Kristoff’s Stormdancer. I will have to add this to the TBR.

  3. Kristin

    I don’t see very many alternate history stories but a steampunk/fantasy! Fantastic!!! I’m going to add the first book and see if I get to it. At the very least, I’m going to add it to my Amazon wish list 😉 You always open my eyes to books I’d never find on my own… thanks!!!!

  4. Maureen Beatrice

    This sounds like an interesting read. Haven’t heard about it before. I was wondering.. Is it difficult to follow who is who with all those Chinese names? I’m so bad with names I’m wondering if I could keep up with all those Lin’s and Jin’s. But I do love historical novels so maybe I just need to try it out sometimes.
    Maureen Beatrice recently posted…Review ‘Cinder’ by Marissa MeyerMy Profile

  5. Stormi

    This sounds interesting, how sci-fi is it? I can handle futuristic gadgets and things like that but I am not a fan of the over my head scientific talk of some sci-fi. 🙂
    Stormi recently posted…Teaser Blast ~ AsleepMy Profile