Title: Rescue, or Royer Goldhawk’s Remarkable Journal
Author: Amy Leigh Strickland
Format: Paperback, published by Matter Deep Publishing
What is one to do when he witnesses the woman he is enamored with taken by strange men and hauled onto an airship? Well, if you’re Royer Goldhawk and it’s 1883, then you do exactly what author Amy Leigh Strickland wants you to do. You and your best friend and a woman that may or may not care much for you take off on a cross country trek to save the girl, only to discover so much more action and adventure!
Rescue, or Royer Goldhawk’s Remarkable Journal is the first book in at least a two book series by Strickland that is presented exactly as what its title states it is, a journal. The prologue slides the reader right into the tale by establishing that a child of the title character has discovered a journal that Goldhawk kept, a secret to the unnamed child. The many twists and turns unfold in perfect precision both for the narrator and the reader, taking us all on a journey that literally makes it feel as if we are standing right beside Goldhawk and his team of derring doers. That’s a task many writers try, to give the reader an immersive experience, but very few succeed at. Strickland not only succeeds, but she takes the story and wraps it around the reader in such a way that not only do we want to follow the action, but we want to know the people involved, to not only uncover the reason behind the kidnapping of Goldhawk’s enamored, but to watch as Goldhawk and America Loveguard verbally spar, to see the conflict between Seavers and Cutteridge, two potential allies who join along the way, and to simply be a part of what happens. Strickland weaves words in a way that makes the reader want to be fully invested in what happens.
This is definitely a book steeped heavily in steampunk influences, and that’s okay. But the best part of that is that Strickland doesn’t simply write a steampunk adventure. There is enough genre blending and even mashing going on within Rescue to make it interesting to nearly every type of reader. The undercurrent of mystery that flows through the narrative is quite engaging and added to the thrill of discovery as it unfolded page after page.
Perhaps the best part, however, of this book is the characterization. Strickland not only breathes life into Goldhawk and company, but she makes them solid, makes them real. She has created a cast of characters that readers will find it impossible not to care about, not to want to know, not to want to follow. This is so true that on the night I’m writing this review, I just became aware there was a book two and I now own it on Kindle. Not just because I want to know where the story ends, and yes, Rescue does end on a cliffhanger, a well executed one, but also because I want to see what becomes of these people that I got to know while reading the book.
Rescue, or Royer Goldhawk’s Remarkable Journal is a full on five out of five pages. It is a fantastic read in every way.
A full loaded pistol for this one, six out of six bullets. Characters, plot, cover, structure, everything is a direct hit with this one.