Thursday, November 03, 2011

SF/F: All Men of Genius by Lev AC Rosen

Lev AC Rosen’s debut is smart, thoughtful and even oddly timely. An intelligent, muscular work of steampunk with a strong central female character and a full load of steam. A great balance and a perfect mix.

Violet Adams is a genius. A brilliant inventor and maven of all things mechanical, she wants nothing more than to attend London’s prestigious Illyria College, a scientific academy. But since it’s the Victorian era and a world that is strangely different and oddly the same, Illyria won’t accept Violet because she is a woman.

Undeterred and determined but this sexist turn, Violet decides to register as her twin brother, Ashton. Getting in as Ashton is not as difficult as Violet fears. Her troubles really begin once she’s in, including a couple of romances that could be problematic no matter what happens.

All Men of Genius (Tor) is funny, smart and charming. Rosen creates his steampunk world with care, then tells his story with conviction. Violet is a wonderful character and Rosen’s debut should find favor with a wide swath of readers. In a year filled with great steampunk, All Men of Genius can be included with the very best. ◊

Sienna Powers is a transplanted Calgarian who lives and works in Vancouver, B.C. She is a writer and conceptual artist.

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