Steampunk!

7:00 AM



If you haven't figured it out already, I'm a huge fan of steampunk. I write it most of the time, and read it when I can get my hands on it. Unfortunately this isn't often - there's a lack of good YA steampunk and I haven't found as much of it as I would like.

(If you didn't know, steampunk is a subgenre of science-fiction that focuses on the steam-powered, clockwork world of the 19th century. It's a very loose genre, so there's lots of different types of steampunk - some take place in the future, some are an alternate historical fiction (like my very own Pariah), some are more sci-fi than others, lots are paranormal, etc. - but all of them tend to feature airships and gears and cogs and clockwork and Victorian-era inspired clothes. It's very cool.)

For you all, I've rounded up my favorite YA steampunks. You've probably seen some of them already, since like I said I haven't been able to find very many. But hopefully some of them are new to you. (I've also linked the titles to their respective Goodreads pages, so you can add them. I'm nice like that sometimes.)

Tally-ho!

Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld 


This is the big YA steampunk, the one I notice a lot, and it's a perfect example. Leviathan takes place at the beginning of an alternate timeline WWI, which is cool in itself, except to add to that it features steam-powered, gritty war machines and - you'd never guess - genetically-engineered animals. And living airships. It's a very, very odd book, and it's lucky I didn't know all the specifics before or I wouldn't have picked it up. But Westerfeld makes the world believable, somehow, and it's incredibly rich and fantastic. The main characters, feisty and quite simply awesome Deryn and the Austrian prince Aleksander, can hold their own and are actually hilarious, with lots of clever banter and exciting action. (There's not a lot of romance, too, if you care about that.) It's a well-written, complex story, and also happens to be an equally incredible trilogy, so it's definitely worth a read. 



Apparently there's more than one of these, but I've only read Airborn, the first, so that's what I'll talk about. It's got a less fantastical, more historical feel than Leviathan, although this one has its share of imaginative creatures, like most steampunk. This one follows the adventures of Matt Cruse, a cabin boy on an airship, and the following escapades of said airship. It's exciting. The characters are good. The writing is wonderful. Airships are cool. There are airship pirates. Need I say more? If you're not into stuff as weird as Leviathan, this one has a similar feel and is just as good. 



I just read this one recently, and absolutely loved it. Like most steampunk, it's exceedingly weird. Don't believe me? This is an adaption of Moby-Dick. With giant moles and other giant wildlife. And trains instead of ships. Yeah. It's post-apocalyptic, and there's lots of cool train lore. The writing is odd and different, but in a good way that fits the story. Sham, the main character, isn't your stereotypical character! He's smart and funny and unique and I appreciated him a great deal. He also has a pet bat. It's wonderful. This one's a good fun read - I got through it in a day - if you can get past the totally bizarre world. 



I reviewed this book just last week, as a matter of fact. This one, like Railsea, takes place in a quite bizarre future sci-fi world, but there's a good helping of steampunkiness, too. You can see the review for more information, but it features a steampunk prison and ah-may-zing characters and a totally epic, totally bewildering world with a twisty story. It's great! 



As usual, this book is totally bizarre. Like, really bizarre. This one, as far as I can tell, is some kind of alternate England sort of thing, featuring junkheaps that move and a boy who can talk to objects and well, I won't ruin the surprise for you. It's rich (as is a theme with steampunk) and full to the brim with interesting objects. The writing's weird, but it fits the weird and quirky and altogether likable characters that inhabit the world. It makes you want to explore! Another good fun one. 



This one is a little less steampunk than the others, but great all the same. It's darker, too. It's about Conor, who I personally really admired, a young man who's wrongfully pronounced a traitor and thrown into a dank, horrible prison. The catch? This hopeless prison is on an island, and the only way off is to fly. So Conor works on putting together a flying machine, and it's very impressive. It's set in Ireland, and it has sort of a...salty feel to it. I haven't read this one in a while, but I do remember loving it. 

What about you? Are you a fan of steampunk, or no? Have you read any of the books above? What did you think about them? Have I convinced you to read any of the books above? Comment away. Let's talk steampunk. 

You can find my Goodreads here, so we can talk books even more! I'd love to discuss and share with you all. 

(Note: My short story project, A Year of Short Stories, is up and live! Do consider checking it out. I'll love you forever and ever if you do.)

31 comments

  1. Oh, thank you so much for this! I used to listen to a lot of steampunk music, and am just getting back into it. I've been looking out for some steampunk reads, but the ones I seem to find generally get not-so-good reviews. I'll definitely be looking into this!
    Beth x
    www.thequietpeople.com

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    1. I haven't explored steampunk music that much...dabbled in it, but clearly I need to dig deeper as someone who claims to like steampunk, haha. I have a hard time finding good steampunk too, so I'm glad you like it!

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  2. I love the concept of steampunk. I wish there were more books out there in the genre, so thanks for sharing some recommendations. :D
    The only steampunk related thing I have ever experienced was a twist on The Christmas Carol as a play at our local theater. They had super cool costumes, and the set was amazing. It was very Victorian/steampunkish. (new word. xP)
    Someday I shall write a steampunk novel. And read yours, since it sounds amazing. :)

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    1. Right? I think it's growing, so hopefully we'll see more YA steampunk in the future, because it really is an amazing little genre.
      Oh my gosh, that sounds amazing. That's such a fun story and one that I've always enjoyed, and to steampunk it with cool outfits...I'm jealous. xD Steampunkish should totally be a word. I use it all the time.
      Awww, thank you! It's a really fun genre to write.

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    2. Hopefully!
      WE SHALL MAKE A NEW PETITION!

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  3. Thank you SO MUCH for this! I've been wanted to get into steampunk for ages but had no good recommendations. I probably wouldn't just trawled some Goodreads lists if I hadn't seen this, so thanks. =D

    The one Steampunk fantasy book I have, I really enjoyed. It was Empire In Black And Gold by Adrian Tchaikovsky and it was definitely a unique read. Consider this post officially bookmarked.

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    1. Oh, you're totally welcome! It took me FOREVER to find steampunk books to read, because like you, I couldn't find any good reccomendations. It's not a very big genre right now. :/ I'm super glad this was helpful.

      Ooh! I hadn't heard of that until now, but it looks AWESOME. Definitely putting it on my TBR.

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  4. Leviathan!!
    Gosh I loved that book. If I were to recommend anything, it would be 'The Stuff of Nightmares" by James Lovegrove. It's basically steampunk Sherlock Holmes and it's amazing. Highly highly recommended. Another one I liked was Etiquette and Espionage by Gail Carriger. It's a girl's school who teaches them to be proper and be spies at the same time. Also werewolves and such.

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    1. Yes~ Leviathan~

      Ooh, that sounds fun. I'd heard of the Etiquette one and it didn't look like my sort of thing, but I think you've mentioned the Sherlock Holmes one and it sounds interesting? *adds it*

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  5. *madly runs to library* I've never heard of steam punk but it looks amazing. I should give this list a try... thank you for introducing me to these books... now I will disappear from reality for a few hours. goodbye. :)

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    1. YES. GO READ ALL THE THINGS. YOU HAVE MY BLESSING.

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  6. hi hi hi! I found your blog via twitter and I very much like it :)
    I've been meaning to get into steampunk because I adore steampunk cosplays and it seems very interesting. I've only read one steampunk series before and was kinda looking for more. So thank you! I'm going to have to remember these or write them down....lol. Thanks!
    You got yourself a new follower :)

    princessfaithm.blogspot.com

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    1. Hiya! I'm so glad you found your way over here, and I hope you don't regret following! :D *is not good at welcoming people*
      Steampunk cosplays are GORGEOUS. I'm kinda sorta putting one together, or trying to, because I really do love them. Thanks so much for reading!

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  7. I've never really been able to get into the concept of steampunk books, but I've never read one either. I would really like to give it a try though! There does seem to be a lack of it :/

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    1. Yeah, it's definitely not a genre for everyone, which is totally cool. :) But worth a read if you haven't before!

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  8. I don't think I've ever read a steampunk book, which does not makes sense to me. I love both historical fiction and science fiction, and steampunk sounds like a blend of the two, so why haven't I read any books in the genre yet? Thanks for all of the recommendations. Leviathan and Railsea both sound especially good.

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    1. You need to read some, definitely! GO READ ALL THE THINGS. xD It's a weird genre, but a good one, in my opinion. I'm glad I have so many to recommend now! And Leviathan and Railsea are my favorites, yeah :)

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  9. I really need to start reading more steampunk. The books you've reviewed all seem so odd and fascinating, and the books I've read were quite good. I feel oddly as though I read Airborn a few years ago, but cannot quite remember if it was that or merely a book with a similar cover.

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    1. Yessssss you dooooo. *hands you all the steampunk*

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  10. I don't read a lot of steampunk but I've always wanted to read more of it so this is really helpful! I have been wanting to try Incarceron for some time now.

    Thanks for sharing, hun <33

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    1. Go read it! It wasn't my most favoritest book EVER, but it was definitely a good read and worth picking up. And the steampunky aspects are quite fascinating - like most steampunk actually, haha. Thanks for reading!

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  11. Steampunk is an amazing genre, and I wish there were more steampunk books written. I've actually read Leviathon, Incarceron, and Airman, Airman being one of my favourite books ever. But I haven't read the other couple, so thanks for the recommendations. The retelling of Moby Dick sounds particularly interesting. I don't think I've heard of a retelling of that particular book before.

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    1. And here I thought I was the only one who loved Airman! But I've met several of you who said it's one of your favorites, which makes my heart very happy. xD Oh, yes, Railsea was INCREDIBLE. I haven't even read Moby-Dick, and I really, really enjoyed this one. It's always exciting to talk to people who have read some of these steampunky books!

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  12. I don't really read steampunk....I've only ever liked Incarceron. HONEST! That's it! I wasn't fussed with Steel Lily and a few others that I can't remember the titles of. lol But I want to read Rail Sea! OMG I WANT IT SO BAD. I love retellings. x)

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    1. Ah, Cait, I won't hate on you for it....for now. :P It's not a genre for everyone, and you liked Incarceron, so that's cool. BUT YOU SHOULD READ RAILSEA. IT IS BEAUTIFUL AND ODD.

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  13. I LOOOOOOOVE Airman. Just saying. And I tweeted about it and saved the post to read for later. I don't usually read steampunk, although I enjoy watching steampunk movies. I don't know why. I've gotten into a sci-fi/fantasy sort of trend, lately, and so I haven't had much time to explore outside my genre. Thanks for the recommendations! :)

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    1. Yes! It does seem like a book you'd like, so I'm super thrilled about that! :D I actually haven't seen any really steampunk movies o.0 Clearly I need to remedy this.

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  14. Ahhh, so cool!!! I'll read these sometime!

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  15. I've read (and loved!) the Leviathan and the Airborn series. They're both amazingly awesome!
    Adding the others to my TBR! :)


    Alexa S. Winters
    thessalexa.blogspot.com

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