Title: The Effluent Engine
Author: N.K. Jemisin
In: The Mammoth Book of Steampunk (Sean Wallace) & The Mammoth Book of Gaslit Romance (Ekaterina Sedia)
Rating Out of 5: 5 (I will read this again and again and again)
My Bookshelves: Easy reading, LGBTQI, Steampunk
Format: Short story
5th sentence, 74th page: Jessaline beheld the honest shock on her face and felt some guilt for having troubled her so.
Jessaline is on a mission to save her people. But what she finds could end up saving herself.
Reading the title of this short story made me think it was going to be really funny. And a little quirky. And it really wasn’t. There was discussion of minorities, freedom and prejudice. All topics that I love to read about and sink my teeth into on a frequent basis.
Jessaline is on a mission to save her countrymen from the horrors of conquest and the taking of their freedom. Yet, on the way she ends up finding something much better – true love. Or at least, that’s how it seems throughout. And the fact that it’s a woman based in “olden times” just makes it all the more engaging. I kind of loved that the love story in this was about two women.
With a backdrop of a steampunk world with one of the leading females being a scientist, this story shows the power of others and how inner strength can shine through. Whether you are living in your brothers shadow, or hiding amongst the shadows as a spy…
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