Read King of the Cracksmen: A Steampunk Entertainment by Dennis O'Flaherty Online


How far will the luck of the Irish stretch?The year is 1877. Automatons and steam-powered dirigible gunships have transformed the United States in the aftermath of the Civil War. All of the country’s land west of the Mississippi was sold to Russia nearly fifty years earlier, and “Little Russia,” as it’s now called, is ruled by the son of Tsar Alexander II. Lincoln is stillHow far will the luck of the Irish stretch?The year is 1877. Automatons and steam-powered dirigible gunships have transformed the United States in the aftermath of the Civil War. All of the country’s land west of the Mississippi was sold to Russia nearly fifty years earlier, and “Little Russia,” as it’s now called, is ruled by the son of Tsar Alexander II. Lincoln is still president, having never been assassinated, but he’s not been seen for six months, and rumors are flying about his disappearance. The country is being run as a police state by his former secretary of war Edwin Stanton, a power-hungry criminal who rules with an iron fist.Liam McCool is an outlaw, known among other crooks as “King of the Cracksmen.” But his glory days as a safecracker and the head of a powerful New York gang end when he’s caught red-handed. Threatened with prison unless he informs on his own brethren fighting a guerilla war against Stanton’s tyranny, McCool’s been biding his time, trying to keeping the heat off him long enough to escape to San Francisco with his sweetheart Maggie. But when she turns up murdered, McCool discovers a trail of breadcrumbs that look to lead all the way up to the top of Stanton’s criminal organization. Joining forces with world-famed lady reporter Becky Fox, he plunges deep into the underground war, racing to find Maggie’s killer and stop Stanton once and for all.King of the Cracksmen is an explosive, action-packed look at a Victorian empire that never was, part To Catch a Thief, part Little Big Man, steampunk as you’ve never seen it before.Skyhorse Publishing, under our Night Shade and Talos imprints, is proud to publish a broad range of titles for readers interested in science fiction (space opera, time travel, hard SF, alien invasion, near-future dystopia), fantasy (grimdark, sword and sorcery, contemporary urban fantasy, steampunk, alternative history), and horror (zombies, vampires, and the occult and supernatural), and much more. While not every title we publish becomes a New York Times bestseller, a national bestseller, or a Hugo or Nebula award-winner, we are committed to publishing quality books from a diverse group of authors....

Title : King of the Cracksmen: A Steampunk Entertainment
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781597805513
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 336 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

King of the Cracksmen: A Steampunk Entertainment Reviews

  • Clare O'Beara
    2019-03-20 17:33

    This is a steampunk tour of an alternative America, in which the western part of the continent was sold to Russia. In 1877 there are already many tensions, including Fenian agitation, union organising, New York gangs, French colonists in the south and Mexico. Add Russian power and Russian anarchists and you get a convoluted picture. Not to mention all the steam automata (like police bots) and airships, and the steam appliances handily found like steam pianolas, thanks to Tesla. A hardy Irish type is our main guide, and he finds his lady lover dead in their boarding house. The killer would seem to have been someone known to the lady, and our hero swears to establish the truth and be revenged. He also wants his stolen savings back. He is a former cracksman, a safebreaker, but has gone straight. The story covers so much ground that I did lose touch with the protagonist. He is initially sympathetic but it's hard to puzzle out where he fits in to the people around him and where his sympathies lie. Then, we meet a promising heroine, a lady reporter who has been undercover in a women's prison, and matters look up. But in the morass of politics that furnish the story the individuals and their missions get lost. I had a feeling that this tale grew in the telling. Anyone who enjoys speculative alternate history tales and especially about America, will get a kick out of this one; it's not great as a steampunk tale first or a crime story first. The world has been so well researched, investigated and set up that it's easy to imagine a series following.

  • Rory Flynn
    2019-03-10 18:22

    This was a confusing book. There is a lot to love about this book (automatons, dirigibles, and other steampunk touchstones) but the characters are paper thin, esp the historical figures. While we see them in a new light (Lincoln survived Booths assassination attempt and is spoilers)they are there for no discernible reason. Rarely do they or are they needed to advance the muddled plot of Liam McCools thirst for revenge for the murder of his great, true love. That thirst is slightly quenched within a few pages when he meets his new, great, true love, journalist Becky Fox. All in all, a pretty weak effort and yet, I kept reading until the end. I usually have a few internal laughs of appreciation when reading steampunk, but not this time. Your mileage may vary.

  • James Eckman
    2019-02-25 22:21

    The characters in this novel are a bit on the thin side and while the beginning was reasonably paced the ending had a hurried and slapdash feel to it. It really wasn't very satisfying and while I suppose you could stretch this out with a sequel, I would not read it. An OK first novel showing that screenwriting may not be the same as fiction writing.

  • Arnita Medina
    2019-03-20 14:33

    I like the steampunk genre, but this was a little difficult to read

  • Wendy Bousfield
    2019-03-24 15:36

    See my review on FUTURE FIRE:

  • Dean Peake
    2019-03-24 16:20

    Eh... Some great scenes and neat ideas. A nice first novel. I guess I expected a little more Steampunk. Oh, and President Lincoln is a automaton...

  • Chris Branch
    2019-02-28 18:15

    The first half of this book is a four star read; solid and sophisticated, with interesting characters in McCool and Fox, and a truly creative setting. After this impressive build up, however, I thought it dragged somewhat in the middle, and when it picked up steam again it became a bit too scattered for me, pulling in historical figures left and right, some of whose back stories were on the bizarre side even for an alternate historical steampunk adventure like this one. Besides that, I'm afraid the protagonists came across as rather nonchalant in the face of all the murder and kidnapping, too often grinning and smiling at each other at the height of drama that deserved to be taken more seriously. So I was less satisfied with the second half, but worthwhile and enjoyable for the most part.

  • Ron
    2019-03-06 15:38

    Liam McCool had been trapped by The Pinkertons into spying for them on the Molly McGuires. But when his girl is foully murdered, he vows to be revenged. To get that revenge he teams up with the intrepid reporter, Betsy Fox, breaks into the Smithsonian, blows up buildings, visits Little Russia and starts a revolution. The question remains, what will he and Betsy do for an encore?

  • Ged
    2019-03-19 16:25

    Just awful.

  • Daniel
    2019-03-26 16:14

    This review originally published in Looking For a Good Book. Rated 2.25 of 5Although billed as a steampunk novel, King of the Cracksmen by Dennis O'Flaherty is more in line with being an Alternative History sci-fi book than a straight up steampunk novel.It is 1877 and Abraham Lincoln is still the U.S. President as he's never been assassinated. But Lincoln hasn't been seen for many months, so rumor circulates about what may have happened. The country is being run as a police state by Edward Stanton - a criminal with a lust for power.Among the more common criminals, "The King of the Cracksmen" is an Irish safe-cracker by the name of Liam McCool. McCool's girlfriend Maggie is murdered and as McCool works to track down her killer, he finds a chain of criminal behavior that extends all the way to Stanton. McCool brings in a lady reporter and tries to bring Stanton down.I have not read a lot of steampunk but I was definitely expecting a little bit more, both 'punk' and 'steam.' What I got is a story that spends a fair amount of time setting up the world ... a world in which the U.S. sold some of its land to Russia and gangs of Mexicans, Russians, and even French, are creating much tension. There are a few steam-applied devices (thanks to Tesla), but overall this feels like an alternate history story rather than a steampunk story.The action moves at a snail's pace, making room for plenty of world-description.Liam McCool is not a particularly sympathetic or attractive character and it is hard to rally behind him. His actions get lost in the politics of this strange new world and the focus of the book gets muddy.Looking for a good book? King of the Cracksmen is a slowly moving alternative history/steampunk story.I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Edelweiss, in exchange for an honest review.

  • Annie
    2019-02-27 22:35

    Liam McCool is caught between a rock and a hard man. When we first meet him in Dennis O'Flaherty's rollicking King of the Cracksmen, he is helping a pair of Molly Magees to blow up the a hated company man's house. After the house goes sky high, he returns to his boarding house to discover that his sweetheart has been murdered. To top it all off, his boss back in New York wants him to report back on the double now that his job spying on the Mollies is over. All McCool wants to do is get revenge for his sweetheart, but everyone else is pushing him towards a big role in the Great Game...Read the rest of my review at A Bookish Type. I received a free copy of this book from Edelweiss for review consideration.

  • Clay Davis
    2019-03-22 16:12

    The author used every Irish expression known to man. Weird to make Custer into Dances with Wolves. Not sure Russia was rich enough to buy all that land. Don't think it was President Jackson's to sell. Surprised the author didn't have Hotchkiss Mountain Rifles on the Black Deltas.

  • Marissa
    2019-03-03 20:14

    Seemed to end very abruptly, but that might just be me.

  • Pam Willis-Tozier
    2019-03-20 17:37

    Fun little history twitch with classic steampunk elements. Character development is solid - although a little predictable at times. Recommend for a quick fun read.