Read Gideon Smith and the Brass Dragon by DavidBarnett Online


Nineteenth century London is the center of a vast British Empire, a teeming metropolis where steam-power is king and airships ply the skies, and where Queen Victoria presides over three quarters of the known world—including the east coast of America, following the failed revolution of 1775.Young Gideon Smith has seen things that no green lad of Her Majesty’s dominion shoulNineteenth century London is the center of a vast British Empire, a teeming metropolis where steam-power is king and airships ply the skies, and where Queen Victoria presides over three quarters of the known world—including the east coast of America, following the failed revolution of 1775.Young Gideon Smith has seen things that no green lad of Her Majesty’s dominion should ever experience. Through a series of incredible events Gideon has become the newest Hero of the Empire. But Gideon is a man with a mission, for the dreaded Texas pirate Louis Cockayne has stolen the mechanical clockwork girl, Maria, along with a most fantastical weapon—a great brass dragon that was unearthed beneath ancient Egyptian soil. Maria is the only one who can pilot the beast, so Cockayne has taken girl and dragon off to points east.Gideon and his intrepid band take to the skies and travel to the American colonies hot on Cockayne’s trail. Not only does Gideon want the machine back, he has fallen in love with Maria. Their journey will take them to the wilds of the lawless lands south of the American colonies—to free Texas, where the mad King of Steamtown rules with an iron fist (literally), where life is cheap and honor even cheaper.Does Gideon have what it takes to not only save the day but win the girl?David Barnett's Gideon Smith and the Brass Dragon is a fantastical steampunk fable set against an alternate historical backdrop: the ultimate Victoriana/steampunk mash-up!...

Title : Gideon Smith and the Brass Dragon
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9780765334251
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 352 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Gideon Smith and the Brass Dragon Reviews

  • Bob Milne
    2019-02-25 09:26

    The first Gideon Smith adventure was one of my top 3 reads for 2013. Exciting, adventurous, and exceptionally well-told, Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl was part steampunk science fiction, part old-fashioned horror story, and part penny dreadful romp around the world. I enjoyed every aspect of it, from the concept to the characters, and came away wanting more. Fortunately, not only was there room for a sequel, but the cliffhanger ending absolutely that demanded it.Here we are, just over a year later, and David Barnett has delivered admirably on those sequel demands with Gideon Smith and the Brass Dragon. This installment swaps out the old-fashioned horror for old west adventure, but adds even more steampunk science fiction to the mix. It's a book that surprised me several times with the direction it took, avoiding the genre clichés towards which it seemed to be teasing us, and (of course) setting up several plot threads for a third book.The story opens with a mechanically augmented Charles Darwin, marooned in the lost world of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, slowly succumbing to rust and ruin. He and Stanford Rubicon are the last survivors of the HMS Beagle II, with the rest of the crew having either fallen to their deaths or been eaten by dinosaurs. Just when all seems lost, they are rescued by Mr. Gideon Smith, "Hero of the effing Empire," and Aloysius Bent, his chronicler for World Marvels & Wonders. From there, we briefly follow the heroes home to England, only to dispatched just hours later to the shores of America, where the brass dragon (and, presumably, Maria) have been spotted.It's in the alternate history of America that Barnett's second adventure really shines. The Mason–Dixon isn't just a line here, it's a solid wall to rival that of China's great one. The America to the north is one of skyscrapers and dirigibles, still loyal to the Queen; while Texas, Louisiana, and the Confederate states to the south are lawless, old west towns full of slavery, prostitution, and black magic. As for California, it was ceded to the Japanese long ago, with the remnants of Spanish occupation still putting up a good fight around them. It only takes a few small twists in the history of the American Revolution to create this world, with at least one forgotten hero making a surprise return later in the story.The fact that Gideon does find Maria and the brass dragon should come as no surprise, but the ways in which she has changed certainly do. At the risk of spoiling the story, I won't say much about her role, except to say the Japanese provide a worthy foe . . . and there is an escaped Tyrannosaurus Rex to be dealt with. Rowena Fanshawe once again gets to play heroine of the airways, while Louis Cockayne's story is brought full circle with a very satisfactory revolution. Bent doesn't have as much to do this time around, but he's an effing marvelous for sarcasm and comic relief.While I didn't enjoy Gideon Smith and the Brass Dragon quite as much as the first book (it's pacing is slower, and America is a distant second to Egypt in terms of setting), it's still a great read that has left me hungry for a third helping. What further surprises or settings Barnett may have in mind, I have no idea, but I'll hazard a guess that the oft-referenced Jack the Ripper may finally pit himself against Smith and team.Originally reviewed at Beauty in Ruins

  • Andy
    2019-03-20 07:37

    We start with a scene straight out of the lost world (Insert Jurassic World for you youngsters!) & I eagerly anticipate Doug Mc Lure to save the day.... instead we are introduced to a coal fired hydraulically adapted Charles Darwin. Such wonderful imaginings! And we’re offThe gang returns with Aloysius Bent, red-top tabloid journalist personified & much to enjoy about his “direct” mannerisms whilst Gideon Smith, the hero, is a little more reserved & reluctant, thrust as it is into the limelight in this adventure – you’ll have to read the prequel to see why. And there’s Rowena the dirigible pilot who thrusts herself repeatedly at the blind & naive Gideon Smith at just about every opportunity much to Mr Bent’s chagrin...... if I were 30yrs younger......! Very much in a carry-on film kinda way I would say which is all good fun as the mood takes you. It does mine as does so many folklore characters, events, places et al that slip into the lines of text that makes you stop & grin when you come across them, adds to the allure of the book.There’s much more world building in this but it’s covered neatly via introductions at the start of the opening chapters. New York is at the heart of the British Empire on the new continent after the revolution was quashed at source in Lexington with the collaborators rounded up & dealt with, you can even see the traitorous Sam Adams pickled head on display in Boston! God Save the Queen! Japan has extended her empire on the West coast & seized what was once called San Francisco & poses the biggest threat to the Empire in the New world which is also represented by the French (New Orleans), the Spanish, the confederacy (AWI never happened) & the Texans who are a lawless, trigger happy bunch living by their own rules....... Hmmmm I did say alternate reality didn’t I?Folklore characters appear, if not be name than by a remarkable similarity.... Zorro – YES really! Jim Bowie too & YES the man with no name.... Clint eat yer heart out! I’ll let you discover the rest.For lovers of steampunk, there are many characters that fall into automatons & those fans of alternate realities’ this is a very enjoyable series to follow & recommended.We also start with a monster & we end with another fiendish....... :) More adventures to come!

  • Fantasy Literature
    2019-03-19 13:36

    Gideon Smith and the Brass Dragon is David Barnett’s steampunk follow-up to Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl, and continues that first book’s solidly entertaining plot, even as it shares a few of the same missteps. As this is a direct sequel, there will be spoilers for the first book, so readers beware.In book one, Gideon is proclaimed the Hero of the Empire for his part in saving London and Queen Victoria from an attack using a magical/technological marvel shaped like a dragon (it also flies and belches fire). His companions included:Maria, a mechanical girl with a human brainBent, a cynical journalist with a love for alcohol and spiced sausageRowena Fanshawe, the “Belle of the Airways” airship pilot... Read More:

  • Tabitha (Pabkins)
    2019-02-25 14:31

    Another fine adventure, Gideon Smith and the Brass Dragon takes our young adventurer to the Americas where he visits New York and sets off for Steamtown, Texas (aka San Antonio) chasing after Louis Cockayne who stole the Brass Dragon with Maria piloting it. Steamtown which has seceded from British America is ruled by a madman obsessed with steam technology and there is a world of trouble all over this wild west type setting for Gideon and company to get into.A constant change of scenery and perspectivesWhile there was a large cast in the first book, this one blows it out of the water with how frequently the perspectives jump around. This wasn’t necessarily a bad thing but I could see how it might be offputting to some readers if they prefer books where they follow around just one or two characters. Myself however, whenever I encounter a book that has a large cast of characters I start keeping track of them in my reviews with mini descriptions of each. That way I have them all listed for the future if I ever go back to look at the review to remember all of the characters more clearly and just in case they appear in a future book. So here they are. I did not put them in order of importance. Some of them only get very few chapters or even smaller sections within a chapter.Charles Darwin – yes that Darwin! Here his life has been prolonged by steampunk science and his body runs on coal. We see him and his colleague marooned on an island together that is inhabited by dinosaurs. (a very minor role only in the beginning)Professor Rubicon – a professor and colleague of Darwin that organizes an expedition in search of the ‘Lost World’ of dinosaurs. (very minor role)Gideon Smith – new Hero of the British Empire, young adventurer, in love with the mechanical automaton girl Maria. He is sent in a mission to the Americas to revive the Egyptian Brass Dragon and hopefully rescue Maria. He is accompanied by Aloysius Bent, the fat and poorly mannered journalist who is now his personal chronicler of his adventures and Rowena Fanshawe the aerostat pilot.Aloysius Bent – we don’t really get his perspective since he’s constantly just trailing along after Gideon, drinking, binge eating and farting up a storm. Charming fellow that one.Rowena Fanshawe – aerostat pilot, an enterprising young woman somewhat enamored with Gideon and for all of her bluster she has a really good heart and will see justice done.Louis Cockayne – a pirate, thief and card shark. He stole the brass Dragon along with Maria but has now lost them and is at the not so tender mercies of the king of Steamtown.Inez Batiste Palomo – Spanish daughter of the governor of Uvalde, a Spanish settlement that has been practically abandoned by their government, in love with Chantico.The Nameless – an outlaw that has the uncanny ability of being at the right place at the right time for helping folks out of nasty situation, he’s been on a search to find “America.”Jed Hart – acts as a guide to Gideon and Bent when they go on a mission into Steamtown. But he’s more then what he seems.Thaddeus Pinch – a Texan and self styled king of Steamtown, aka San Antonio. A den of wretched lawlessness, slavery and all other such nastiness. His body has been augmented in quite nasty ways with steampunk technology. eeeyuck. LOLRancher Oswald Ackroyd – a cattle rancher who lives close enough to Steamtown to be harassed by the ruffians employed by the steam king. (Very small bit where his pov appears)Haruki Serizawa – a science officer in Nyu Edo. He is hard at work on a creation that is supposed to protect the city from something very dangerous.Chantico – young Native American man in love with Inez.All the cogs are turning in this adventureIf you were a big fan of the first book Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl as I was then I have no doubt you’ll likely enjoy this new adventure. Because whereas the first book was steampunk Victorian London, seaside towns and Egyptian tombs this book gave us an entirely new adventure mixing the wild west steampunk San Antonio as a hive of villainy, a young New York, and a westernized Japanese city – oh and lets not forget The Lost World. Who wouldn’t want to throw a dinosaur into the mix. I have to admit I was really surprised at that one. I’m thinking we might see more of that in the next book.Ultimately, the fact that there was SOO much going on in this installment could either work for the book or against it depending on the type of story you enjoy. I for one still love the style of mad dash adventure. It reads just how I would imagine Gideon’s penny dreadful novels would. Chalka packed full of action with some scenarios that could border on the ridiculous but only add to the fun.

  • Alasdair Stuart
    2019-03-20 13:55

    Gideon Smith is a hero of the Empire now, after his role in saving London from the Brass Dragon. That’s the official version anyway. The truth is far more complex; Gideon, while trained now, is still untested. More importantly, he’s a hero Of The Empire, meaning he goes where he’s told. But, when he’s called to assist in a matter in New York, Gideon finds himself crossing paths with the treacherous Louis Cockayne once again.Mechanical Girl is a fantastically smart, fun piece of steampunk and here, with the worldbuilding out of the way, David rolls his sleeves up and cranks every, presumably brass, dial all the way up to eleven. As well as a continuation, and resolution, of the cliffhangers from the first book we get a detailed look at this universe and it’s far more complex, vibrant and realistic than even the first book suggested.The key to that is the relocation to America. In this universe, it’s a patchwork of foreign interests with the Spanish, British and Japanese all holding the parts they want and doing their best to ignore the parts they don’t. This leads to the book’s first big idea; The Mason-Dixon Wall. Ostensibly a barrier between the North and South of the US it’s actually barely more than six feet tall and sparsely patrolled. The centre of America in this world is a blank canvas but it’s one that’s far less romantic than Wild West movies tend to favour. Instead. It’s a country where political systems clash and individuals are faced with the choice to stand and fight or compromise themselves for survival. That idea; personal freedom versus survival echoes up and down the book and it’s never stronger than in the sections dealing with the West and the mysterious figure uniting those overrun by the lawless forces of San Antonio, aka Steamtown. This is the first and only place the book skews openly supernatural and it works beautifully; simultaneously evoking exactly the old west tropes you want but laying them out in a very different and hugely fun way. The Zorro analogue we meet here, El Chupacabra, is the most fun I’ve seen and I’m hopeful David’s not done with them or any of the other characters that aide Gideon, Bent and Rowena in their mission.And there’s plenty of them too. The uneasy split on the American continent gives him the opportunity to not only place Gideon in a larger context but create a far more nuanced world than the traditional ‘Britannia rules the waves’ approach some steampunk leans on. Instead, the Empire here is not only a powerful force but one that’s far from unopposed and may very well not be entirely altruistic. The conflict between Gideon’s desires and his assignments is a clear moral dilemma that’s being set up as a major thread of the series and it makes the books something truly unique. There’s steampunk derring do by the ton certainly but there’s also a healthy dose of moral complexity and ambiguity, darkness when required and a lot of beautifully done character work. The payoff to the Louis Cockayne plotline in particular is fantastically powerful and, like the end of the first book, spins the entire series off in an entirely different direction and at a much higher speed.Plus no one can do mayhem like David Barnett. As well as the gunfights, fistfights and chases he throws in a bracketing plot that is just joyously done. When Darwin being kept alive by an exo-skeleton is a minor plot point you know you’re in for a good time and the big finish here is a wonderful, immense action scene that, yet again, is grounded in the characters at its heart. This is another great entry in one of my favourite series. It balances elements of espionage, action, science fiction, horror and steampunk to explore a world that’s both entirely different from ours and refreshingly morally complex. It’s a world that needs Gideon Smith, even if sometimes it may not deserve him and a world I look forward to returning to very soon.

  • Paul
    2019-02-22 10:33

    Dinosaurs, heliostats, and mechanical girls...It's got everything you could want, but there's a point in this book where it's just too much. It's like if you loved candy, and somebody fed you candy until you were sick. Steampunk, dinosaurs, cowboys, Egyptian magic and ninjas...I enjoyed it at first, and would still read it again, but yeah - too much of a good thing.Oh, and a note on the ebook version - the formatting is terrible. Just awful. It's not just that sometimes people are talking in the same sentence, or occasionally a sentence gets a new line for the last word, it's the frequent jump in perspective to an entirely new character in a different place and time with no indication - very unprofessional proofing on this.

  • edifanob
    2019-03-18 15:54

    The steampunk adventure of Gideon Smith and Maria, the mechanical girl continues with action and mystery in an alternate America and the Lost World of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle.I liked it as much as the first book. Now I look forwad to book three which seems to take place in England and the mentioning of Jack the Ripper in the title is promising

  • Vanessa
    2019-03-05 11:26

    After the exciting events of GIDEON SMITH AND THE MECHANICAL GIRL , Gideon has been dubbed the Hero of the Empire by Queen Victoria, and sent off on quests that only heros can accomplish. Gideon isn’t quite sure what it means to be a hero, other than his stories end up in the penny dreadful World Marvels & Wonders, as recounted by Mr. Bent, the journalist who follows Gideon around.The one assignment Gideon is waiting for is the one that means he can search for the missing brass dragon Apep and the clockwork girl he loves, Maria. He gets his chance when Apep is spotted over Texas, and Gideon heads toward America.However, America is not the one you and I are familiar with: the Japanese run California, the Britisth defeated the rebels in the Revolutionary War, the South is firmly ensconced behind the Mason-Dixon Wall. And Texas is an entity unto itself, where Steamtown is lorded over by Thaddeous Pinch, part machine, part human, and completely insane. The only law is Pinch’s law, otherwise the townspeople do what they want–unless you’re a woman then you work at the brothels, are Negro and work in the coal mines, or have somehow earned the wrath of Pinch and his henchmen then you’re probably dead.Gideon is his usual honorable self, but now he has some training under his belt and can handle himself. However, fighting skills doesn’t necessarily mean he’s improved as a strategist, and his plans usually involve running headlong into the fray. Rarely do ‘strategies’ like that end well, even if he means well. Along for the ride is Aloysius Bent, the reporter from MECHANICAL GIRL that I couldn’t stand, and I still can’t. There’s the pilot Rowena, who remains as cool as when we first met her, although her pining for Gideon picks up steam. We meet some new interesting folks, though, such as the nameless man, Inez, Hart, and Chantico. And of course the evil Pinch.The setting is interesting, as far as steampunk goes, the world a different place than we know it. It’s these dynamics of politics, change in history, and technology that drives the story forward…because otherwise the narrative would fall flat. Barnett writes with so much filler that I ended up skimming more than usual. Sure I get that if readers haven’t read the first book there’s back story they’d need. But otherwise there’s so much blather (lots of navel-gazing, etc) and I just wanted to get on with the story. It’s the same as in the first book where I complained about the pacing. Here, the story doesn’t really get going until almost halfway in. That’s a huge build-up timeframe where a few events happen, but it takes a long time before threads start connecting.Finally everything comes together in a more cohesive way than in MECHANICAL GIRL, even if it gets pretty zany…which isn’t a bad thing. Both books use impossible scenarios, with our heroes getting out alive despite the odds. Not that there aren’t casualties. In all Barnett tells an exciting story and is clever enough about it to keep readers entertained.Recommended age: 17+Language: Yes, lotsViolence: Fairly frequent, although not gruesomeSex: Referenced several times***Find this and other reviews at***

  • Wendy
    2019-03-10 09:39

    What a cracking read!I knew I'd set course for a rollicking adventure of epic proportion from the get-go when I read that Charles Darwin had shipwrecked the Mayflower on a Jurassic Park style Island, and I discovered he was fuelled by a furnace in his abdomen fed tiny bits of coal. Yes, this is a tale where imagination knows no bounds. And that’s only the beginning.Very soon, a magnificent woman in her flying machine will ferry a team across the globe to complete a quest to save the girl (a mechanical girl), oh, and maybe a brass dragon too. Well, it would be rude not to!Here, Gideon Smith, the Hero of the Empire, will cross paths with a Nameless Stranger in the Wild West, but not as we know it. He will protect the innocent, right the wrongs of wicked villainy from a half-man half-machine called Pinch, while battling his henchmen who terrorise anyone that enters their town and beyond it. But things don’t always go according to plan and our good guys will find themselves in all kinds of hot water…Each chapter finishes with a suspenseful pause making you crave the next. The re-writing of historical events was first class, just casually dropped into conversations, as if these were the authentic versions. This tale is packed to the brim with bizarre and unique characters. But the journalist, wind-breaking champion and king of the one-liner, Aloysuis Bent, took centre stage for me. I’d have loved to have seen much more action from Gideon, whose name is featured in the title of the book. Then again, Bent was a tough act for anyone to follow! Right. I’m off to have a nosy at the other books in the series, as that one was quite a ride.My thanks to the publisher for providing a paperback copy of this book for review.)

  • Bad Cookie
    2019-03-23 15:53

    This was an exciting story. When I read the synopsis on the back of the book, I wasn't sure I'd like it. That was mainly because of the idea of a human being in love with something that- with the exception of her brain- isn't human. It seemed a little odd to me but as I read, I found myself warming to the idea. In the world these characters live in, it seems that this kind of couple- though not accepted by everyone- is more likely to be tolerated than they would be in our reality. Sometimes, I'm not enthusiastic about the presence of romance in the books I read, but it didn't overwhelm the story. It was just the right amount mixed with loads of action- gunfights, mechanical dragon fights (versus headless mechanical being, a dinosaur, and a grotesque man who fancies himself a king), and many lives saved from the clutches of evil. I look forward to the next installment in this series and find that I must go back and read Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl. When I randomly selected this off the new book shelf in the local library, I didn't realize it was a part of a series. Well, I'm glad that fate and the book gods brought it and I together.

  • Jasper
    2019-03-19 07:53

    originally posted at: few weeks ago I read the first book in the Gideon Smith series, The Mechanical Girl, I actually postponed reading this book after I read how enthusiastic several other reviewers got about it, because the sequel, The Brass Dragon was still a few months away. My experience is when you read series you always want the next book and when I finished The Mechanical Girl I had precisely that feeling. David Barnett really pulled all the plugs associated with steampunk and create one great romp of a story, using several of the established steampunk elements but giving them their own twist, the same counts for the alternate history facts that he employed in his story. Really good and solid stuff. The Mechanical Girl took the story all to the depths of the pyramids in Egypt where a dragon, Apep was freed in the end. I already new the title of the sequel, The Brass Dragon, so you can quite assume that when I read about a giant dragon taking to its wings. The Brass Dragon is a direct sequel to The Mechanical Girl. Our young adventure, and want-to-be-hero Gideon Smith has now been crowned to the full fledged title of Hero to the British Empire and has completely taken over the job of his own hero Lucian Trigger. Gideon's story with Maria, the mechanical girl, has also already featured in a penny dreadful novel. Just as with the opening in The Mechanical Girl, David Barnett really knows how to open a story. This time around the focus is on Charles Darwin who got stranded on an island and the living is harsh. When all the hope seems lost and when he is attacked by dinosaurs, yes really dinosaurs, a Tyrannosaurus to be exact (how fricking cool is that by the by) Gideon and his party step in to save the day and thus opens up the book with a first mission of Gideon. After savind Charles Darwin and his remaining few crew they head back to England but not before naming the island where Charles Darwin resided as "the lost world" does that ring any bells.. ? Anyway once they are safe and sound in London once again, Gideon is readily called back in to action to stop a weapon of mass destruction. A giant brass dragon has been spotted somewhere across the ocean in the New World, a place called America! But others bells do also start to ring in Gideons ears with the mentioning of this brass dragon, namely, Maria, the automaton from Einstein whom we got to meet in the first book and who won over Gideon's heart. So now Gideon travels with much higher stakes to America not only for the brass dragon but also for a possible re-uniting with his lost love. But along the way, the road is paved with treacherous deceit, something appear way to nice then they should be. David Barnett created a very unique feeling to his world in The Mechanical Girl with a steampunk London and later traveling towards the exotic Egypt. The setting that he creates within The Brass Dragon is once again very inventive and David Barnett mashes up some interesting themes. When I was just a few pages in I tweeted that The Brass Dragon was off to a good start. Dinosaurs. Who would have dared to guess that! I wouldn't in my wildest dreams. I really liked how he used several other popular references in his story hinting at Jurassic Park. Besides this prehistoric references, David Barnett again has a mash-up of several others as well, think of a quasi Spanish/Aztecan one a well with quetzalcoatl and of course, since the story takes place in a America not the vision of them. It's pretty cool to read about and it once again comes to show that David Barnett has got quite the imagination. One aspect of the book that makes The Brass Dragon a fast paced read is the narration that is used. Now after finishing The Mechanical Girl is looked into what penny dreadful books really were and now I have come to the conclusion that David Barnett not only used them in his own story for the references towards the fiction that Gideon liked to read featuring his favorite hero, Lucian Trigger, but also that he has written The Brass Dragon in this way a fast paced, eventful, action packed kind of story. They are the adventure of Gideon Smith and friends. (I don't know whether this truly is the idea, but I got that vibe). All in all I am a big fan of the writing style that is employed, the one that David Barnett uses shows a very clear focus on the plotline and you also get to see the complete world in all it vibrant colors. The characters that you follow in this adventure are the not-to-be-missed Gideon Smith who has now become the new Hero. In the first book he had to learn a lot, going from a fisherman's boy to dealing with the supernatural: vampires and lets not forget a mechanical girl with the brains of a real person and a mechanized dragon. In the first book he was a bit naieve and that is totally normal being placed into a completely new surrounding as an agent for the crown and all the weird affairs that take place in some of the darker recesses of the world. It's not that Gideon didn't accept it, but it feels that in The Brass Dragon he has come to terms with it, embracing his new task and looking at the perfect "agent" not letting his emotions take the upperhand... well this is hard when you are looking for the girl you love, and which makes Gideon more than just an agent. It was a big plus to see how Gideon lost his patience and cool on more than one occasion when it came down to Maria, affectionate wise. Just as with The Mechanical Girl there are plenty of memorable characters to like. First off the introduction with Charles Darwin was one of my favorite openings ever, later introducing some of the SPanish and Japanse important players and lets not forget Aloysius Bent and some of the other trusted companions of Gideon. Their are a hoot. With The Brass Dragon solidly David Barnett continues the success of The Mechanical Girl. Again he has managed to create a truly unique setting with his world, this time around not focusing on Great Britain but on an alternate version of America that is ruled by several different nationalities, the Americans, Spanish, British and Japanese. The characters, though a with a bit less historical reference for me were again a treat to read about. I do have to concur with a fellow review who said that The Brass Dragon was just a bit different in producing the same feeling as The Mechanical Girl, I think this for me was owed to the fact that these parts of history were further away for me. However this didn't take away just what a very clever and more importantly cool story David Barnett has written once again. Especially when Apep shows just what he is made off! In the end of the book David Barnett does offer giant cliffhanger with a possible lead into the third book. What are you waiting for? Get reading!

  • Cherry Allen
    2019-02-25 11:39

    It is amazing how a story can reach out of the pages of a book, take firm hold of you and pull you in. I lost substantial patches of my days reading this book and cannot, for the life of me remember those hours at all. I am convinced I was not here and was in fact, following Gideon Smith and Aloysius Bent gallivanting round America – and enjoying myself hugely all the while. This is the second instalment of a wonderful steampunk science fiction series which also dapples in fantasy, penny dreadful and a hint of romance – a very bizarre romance at that. The storyline was bursting with mystery from the very beginning keeping the reader guessing the whole way through. Riddled with surprises, fascinating new characters – some wonderful, good people, others, less so – and lots of twists and turns, this new addition to the series surpasses all expectations and rounds it all off neatly at the end. With, of course, some new beginnings hinting at another instalment. As expected from the previous book, this adventure leads Gideon and Bent on Maria and Louis’ tail to retrieve the brass, fire-breathing weapon and, of course, Gideon’s true love. This isn’t all, however, as we’re introduced to the alternative history of America and get a good long look at Steamtown and its King so briefly mentioned in the first book. In order to avoid spoilers I will say no more about the story. The characters, working together again were wonderful to catch up with. Rowena Fanshawe, the courageous Belle of the Airways, Aloysius Bent, the disgusting but lovable comedy character, Louis Cockayne, the pirate of the skies, Maria, who comes into her own in this second instalment, and of course Gideon Smith, the Hero of the empire. I was sorry, I have to admit, not to have heard from Stoker or Bathory in this book but I hold my hopes high for the third novel. I get attached to great characters. All in all; wonderful, gripping, funny, heart-warming, tense, addictive, sensational. Thanks for reading. Now read the book. For all scavenger hunters:The Hunt is on: “’Gideon,’ said Trigger, ‘while you were up here we decided we would still travel to Egypt tomorrow. I need to know what happened to John. Countess Bathory wishes to take vengeance against the Children of Heqet – and whoever their master might be – for the murder of her husband. Mr. Stoker is accompanying the Countess, and Mr. Bent…’‘Mr. Bent’s not letting go of the story of the decade.’ Bent said, cackling. ‘What about you, Smith?’ #Gideonscavhunt”

  • Travis Sivart
    2019-03-08 07:43

    This book is a quick paced adventure from beginning to end which constantly moves you seamlessly from one thrill to the next. You never know what you will get when you pick up a new author, and I always enter into reading someone new with a bit of trepidation and not much expectation. David Barnett was a wonderful surprise. Within a chapter I was comfortable with his characters, which he brought to life with aplomb giving them enough definition to make them real without over burdening me with too much information. And they continued to grow throughout the story, each having a life (story arc) of their own. The story itself, a hero's journey once he is a hero and the expectations of that title are weighing on him, is one most of us can relate to as we entered adulthood. Barnett gives the title character, Gideon, room to succeed, fail, worry, hope, and grow. The supporting characters all stand on their own without ever being there just for the reason of Gideon, a point which I enjoyed immensely. The alternate history created by Barnett is sensible and interesting, and it was a delight to see the changes he made to create a unique world that is both familiar and exotic at the same time. The exploration and expansion of North America is reasonable and exciting all in one fell swoop. His locales, such as Steamtown (aka San Antonio, Texas) are truly steampunk goodness (or evilness in that particular case) to the core, and the imagery he uses to bring it to life does the job perfectly. And his introduction of wonders, such as a a 'Lost World' and more, is awesome!I judge a book by how much I can read in bed before I fall asleep. This book kept me up into the wee hours, until I forced myself to put it down and get some sleep. I am looking forward to more from David in the future, eagerly.

  • Megs
    2019-02-25 13:49

    When it comes to a fun steampunk adventure, Gideon Smith brings it! I enjoy the steampunk aspects and the alternative history we got to experience in this installment.In this book, Gideon and co. travel to America to get back what was stolen at the end of the first book. I enjoyed seeing David Barnett send his adventurers into America. I always find alternative history really interesting and in this version of history, the American Revolution failed and things are still run (at least on the East coast) by the British. The Spanish have some territories in the South and the Japanese have control of California. Then there's the vastness in between these powers, a combination of nomadic tribes, lawless towns and a lot of open space.I like reading Gideon Smith because he is so darn likable. Gideon is such a fundamental "good guy." He's idealistic and can't stand injustice of any kind. Which might become tiresome, except for his chronicler (and foil) Bent, who is completely disgusting (although not a bad guy beyond that). Then there's Rowena, the very forward airship pilot, who I unfortunately almost-but-can't-quite like. And Maria, clockwork beauty and usually full of surprises.I like the adventure story aspect of this series. Things happen, good fights evil and all that jazz. What I like is that Gideon shows some growth in this book, as he must learn that not everything is as black-and-white as he would hope. I wasn't a huge fan of the love triangle bit with Rowena. I'm not sure where it's going and I want something better for her than pointless pining.Overall, Gideon Smith and the Brass Dragon was a fun steampunk adventure with the added interest of alternative history.

  • Whitney
    2019-03-22 10:34

    Review written for and published by Portland Book Review on December 29th:Gideon Smith and the Brass Dragon picks up a few months after the events of its predecessor, Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl. Gideon Smith has spent the last few months being trained to be an agent of the British Empire to be a replacement of sorts for the recently deceased Captain Lucian Trigger – the former Hero of the Empire. His training now deemed complete, Gideon is sent to the American colonies to track down the brass dragon stolen by Louis Cockayne, and hopefully be reunited with Maria, the clockwork girl who mysteriously controls the weapon. However, Louis and the dragon are being held in Steamtown, a city in Texas outside of the empire where money talks, and coal and slavery grease the wheels. Gideon Smith will have to use his wits and will quickly learn if his training was enough.This steampunk sequel is best consumed shortly after reading the first book in the series, as Gideon Smith and the Brass Dragon wastes no time jumping into the swing of things with only a brief paragraph here or there to reintroduce characters and events from the first novel. The most interesting part of the book comes from the author’s reimagining of what might the American continent might have been had the colonies lost the revolution, and steam powered technology been the future. The writing is solid, the characters are intriguing, and the story itself is fast paced and entertaining. While not offering anything particularly outstanding or noteworthy in the genre, the book is a fun romp, but probably is not one for the permanent collection.

  • Randal
    2019-02-21 08:44

    I didn't like it as well as the first book, for a couple of reasons. It lacked the wide-eyed wonder that made Gideon so much fun in his debut, which is going to be a challenge for Barnett going forward. Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl was a coming-of-age tale; in this one Gideon starts to really mature, but what will an older and wiser Mr. Smith do?And on page 66 I started actively rooting for Aloysius Bent to die. He's comic relief -- but the comedy is essentially one long fart joke. Now, he's become the Watson to Smith's Holmes, I fear we're stuck with him permanently. He's annoying, one-dimensional and predictable.What I liked:I did like the fact that there was an ending to the book (with the obligatory peek toward the next book); Maria was absent for most of the book, during which time it became clear that Rowena Fanshawe is the right girl for Gideon; I have no idea what Barnett will do with this, either. Of course the tradition in the adventure novels this series is homage to is that the hero does without a long-term commitment, so no clues there.Barnett did a good job reviewing the action to date without bogging things down too much.They're worth picking up thus far; I'll read the third one and decide if it's something I want to follow long-term.

  • Michelle Delgado
    2019-03-12 11:27

    While this book can be read alone, it is a continuation of Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl. Nineteenth century London is the center of a vast British Empire, a teeming metropolis where steam-power is king and airships ply the skies, and where Queen Victoria presides over three quarters of the known world-including the east coast of America, following the failed revolution of 1775.Young Gideon Smith has seen things that no one should ever experience. Through a series of incredible events Gideon has become the newest Hero of the Empire. But Gideon is a man with a mission, for the Texas pirate Louis Cockayne has stolen the mechanical clockwork girl Maria, along with a most a great brass dragon that was unearthed beneath ancient Egyptian soil. Maria is the only one who can pilot the beast, so Cockayne has taken girl and dragon off to points east.Gideon and his intrepid band take to the skies and travel to the American colonies hot on Cockayne's trail. Not only does Gideon want the machine back, he has fallen in love with Maria. Their journey will take them to the wilds of the lawless lands south of the American colonies-to free Texas, where the mad King of Steamtown rules with an iron fist (literally), where life is cheap and honor even cheaper.I can hardly wait for the next book in this series.

  • drey
    2019-03-23 08:35

    Oh, what a romp Gideon Smith and the Brass Dragon is! Love adventure? It’s here in spades. Enjoy steampunk? You’ve got the full complement from airships to weapons to the unbelievable melding of human and mechanical. Want romance? Our hero is flying across oceans hunting down pirates and the stolen love of his life. Wonder about alternative history? Wait ’til you see where Barnett’s imagination goes…At the end of Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl, Texas pirate Louis Cockayne flew away with Maria and Apep. So Gideon winds up in Steamtown (a.k.a. San Antonio) trying to not ruffle the local feathers too much. Not that he succeeds, which is where all the action comes in. Ok, so not quite all the action – there’s a very interesting first chapter reminiscent of Jurassic Park…Our heroes – Gideon of course, with chronicler Aloysius Bent and airwoman extraordinaire Rowena Fanshawe in tow – run up against a megalomaniacal self-styled King of a band of outlaws, a Japanese conspiracy, and a big cranky mama. I did say this was a romp, didn’t I? So what are you waiting for? Go check it out! :)drey’s rating: Excellent!This review was originally posted on drey's library

  • Kahn
    2019-03-02 12:34

    When last we saw Mr Gideon Smith, he was watching the arse end of a brass dragon fly off into the sunset with the mechanical girl of his dreams.So what next for the new Hero Of The Empire.Well...He's going to rescue Darwin from a mysterious island full of dinosaurs before returning to England only to be sent to America to find the aforementioned dragon, and on the way fight the good fight, tackle assassins, semi-mechanical overlords, the Japanese and another dinosaur.Yet again, David Barnett has created a world that is at once strange and familiar. America has been split between the Japanese, the Spanish, the Brits and the old-school cowboy lot. The locals have been marginalised as per history, and the Brits are playing to their own set of rules.As with the first Gideon Smith book, The Penny Dreadfuls infuse every page - only this time, he's added a twist.Parallels are drawn with recent events here in the real world, adding an additional layer to an already rich tale. But it also serves to add a sombre, poignant tone to all the fun and frivolity, a darker edge to all the escapades and heroics - and this makes the second Gideon Smith book, much like our titular hero, just that little bit more grown up.And after that ending, there had better be a third volume...

  • Michael
    2019-03-24 07:40

    Gideon brings us another World of Marvels tale that delights and touches the heart. This steampunk world of adventurers is full of characters both relatable and flawed. Gideon keeps growing from book to book, his humanity and heroism leading an odd mix of compatriots, all changed by his standard. Mr. Bent, Rowena and some new folks bring this story to life. I admit, I missed Bram Stoker. The story is fun, with alternate history America where the British won the revolution being explored and mined. Not only do we have brass dragons, automatons and gun fights, we get more steam powered machines than you can shake a rifle at, daring escapes, Japanese monster fighting, dinosaur chases and mad half machine villains to fight. But wait, there's more. That seems to be the key to these adventures, and it's what will keep me reading the next as Gideon and his crew face off against Jack the Ripper (not a spoiler as it is the title of the next one). This book grew a little convoluted with new character side stories, which slowed the pace more than the first. It's a great read for steampunk, speculative fiction or adventure story lovers and I quite enjoyed it.

  • John Owen
    2019-02-26 11:54

    Second of David Barnett's steam-punk stories about Gideon Smith, Hero of the British Empire. This one carries on directly from "Gideon Smith And The Mechanical Girl", and has Smith and his companions heading off to America to rescue Maria the mechanical girl and recover the brass dragon stolen at the end of the previous book by the Texan pirate Louis Cockayne. Smith arrives in a very different America to the one we know. Here, the revolution of 1775 failed, so the continent is split up between the British colonies, breakaway states like the Confederacy, California is Japanese (shades of Philip K Dick!), and Texas is a lawless place ruled by the fearsome mad King of Steamtown. After a rather slow first half, the book gathers steam and really starts to fly in the second half. It's all a rather old-fashioned ripping tale, but with enough good characters and twists and turns to keep this reader happy.

  • JRod
    2019-03-22 14:54

    I love books like this. Novels that simply give you a wonderful ride of a story and focuses on the fun of reading about adventure.As far as the characters go, the development of Louis Cockanye and Rowena was interesting and invigorating. But the title character, Gideon Smith, just didn't get the development until really the end of the book.While I did enjoy the romp and action of the book, I'm not sure I enjoy how the each book in this series starts with one objective, then shifts gears with around 75 to 80 pages remaining. It wasn't enough to put me off, but it does take the reader out of the story.At any rate, I imagine I will continue with this series, just for the amazing steampunk adventure.

  • Cam
    2019-03-02 12:37

    Another adventure in this steampunk pulp series. This time, Gideon, Rowena, and Brent go to the alternate America in this world to help find Maria and the brass dragon. It's been lost somewhere in what we would call Texas. There's plenty of other skullduggery, magic, and oddball technology to fit the bill, with legendary figures mixing it up with our regular characters. San Antonio is a Mad Max analog, Zorro is mimicked by El Chupacabra, and San Francisco is the capital of the overseas partisans from the failed Meiji revolution a generation before in Japan. Oh, and an Island of the Lost is tied in via Gideon and a tyrannosaurus with great swimming skills and a need for revenge. Great fun, and still for adults.

  • John Fulton
    2019-02-28 10:45

    A worthy follow-up to Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl, this time set mostly in what should be America, but instead is a mish-mash of British New York, Japanese California, and independent hell-hole Steamtown (think a more lawless Deadwood with a steam-powered cyborg Al Swearengen in charge). Gideon Smith is growing into his role as the Hero of the Empire nicely.Also contains dinosaurs. Recommended for anyone who likes steampunk, the Wild West, ancient Egyptian magic, giant steam-powered weapons, airships, or monsters from a lost world.

  • Kay
    2019-03-15 12:42

    An excellent sequel which sees Gideon growing into his role as hero of the Empire. It also explains some of the alternative history, particularly with regard to North America. At times I wondered quite where the prologue linked in to the plot, but the in the end it became clear that some of the plot strands will only be resolved in the next novel(s). This promises to be a superb series of books.

  • Shawn Bramanti
    2019-03-13 10:27

    Pretty good book. This is the second in the series, and so there was a little bit of back story I had missed by not reading the first book first. That being said it is an interesting view of our world through the eyes of the Steampunk mythology, I guess. Engaging main characters, fun settings and action aplenty. I will be looking for further adventures of Gideon Smith and his friends in the future.

  • Samantha
    2019-02-21 07:34

    This was so incredibly absurd that I felt ridiculous giving it five stars, but I definitely got at least five stars' worth of enjoyment out of reading it so, hey, why not? A T-rex in Victorian London, Jack the Ripper, a mechanical dragon piloted by a near-human automaton made mostly of mechanical parts yet employing the brain of a dead prostitute...Madness, I tell you. Awesome, wildly entertaining madness.

  • Elizabeth Eames
    2019-03-24 14:38

    What a fun ride! I enjoyed the first book in this series very much and this one was even to read, exciting with great characters, great plot twists, even a bit of the metaphysical just for fun. I highly recommend The Brass Dragon if you want something fun, intense, highly readable and interesting.

  • Deborah Otway
    2019-03-01 07:55

    One book jam-packed full with everything! So much going on all over the place. It was like being in a whirlwind. I loved the references to well-known characters but with a different take - Zorro, The Man With No Name, even Godzilla!!! One hell of a ride. Look forward to buckling up for the next adventure.

  • James Early
    2019-02-26 07:36

    David Barnett's Gideon Smith stories are a lot of fun. There are only two novels, but also a handful of short stories involving characters from these stories are available on e-readers. If you think you might enjoy a fast paced tale of a reluctant hero encountering real and fictional characters in a world featuring an alternate history, I highly recommend this series.