cover image Gideon Smith and the Brass Dragon

Gideon Smith and the Brass Dragon

David Barnett. Tor, $15.99 trade paper (336p) ISBN 978-0-7653-3425-1

Gideon Smith, a newly minted Hero of the Empire (following the events of Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl), heads off to Britain-controlled America to recover a lost dragon and its clockwork-cyborg pilot in this fast-paced and pulpy steampunk adventure. The mighty mechanical brass dragon Apep and its unique pilot, Maria, a clockwork woman with the brain of a London shop girl, were stolen away by turncoat Louis Cockayne and last sighted south of the Mason-Dixon Wall. The search brings Gideon and his crew to gritty San Antonio, Tex.—aka Steamtown—where ruthless Thaddeus Pinch, “more machine than man,” has nefarious plans for the dragon, as soon as he can learn how to control it. Meanwhile, in Nyu Edo on the west coast of North America, a scientist prepares a secret weapon to fight a runaway from Monster Island. Barnett’s characters are drawn with broad strokes, and the many subplots make for a bumpy pace, but there’s plenty to enjoy in this gleeful mix of brass goggles, sword-wielding swashbucklers, Darwin, and dinosaurs. (Sept.)