I've read fantastic Steampunk fiction by the likes of Cherie Priest and Ren Cummins, who never disappoint. So after meeting Delilah S. Dawson via twitter, and watching her go through plot points, edits, cover art, and the eventual release of her debut novel, Wicked As They Come, I was anxious to pick it up. She has a wit about her, a zest for Steampunk, that not only made her instantly likable, but made me want to see what she put on the page.
I had the chance to meet this darling in person at S.T.E.A.M.Fest 2012, in a sporting top hat made of playing cards and a lovely corset made to match. She was heading a panel on the authoring and publishing processes, which quickly turned to a discussion of WATC. The sheer passion in her eyes, the joy on her face, as she spoke of her characters and plot made the book all the more intriguing. How fortunate for me that not only could I procure a copy from her on the spot, but she was gracious enough to sign it!
From that night through several more, I couldn't put it down! Criminy Stain is a lovable rogue, and in Leticia Paisely I could see a lot of myself: a fierce longing for life lived on my terms, fear of oppression from any quarter, and a determination to enjoy the life I have with those that I love. The plot moves at the perfect pace; the characters are instantly engaging. The world of Sang that Dawson has crafted is at once fantastical and believable. I imagine it's how our world would look in a simpler time; a Steampunk time.
If you haven't encountered these characters, or are new to Steampunk fiction, I can't recommend this book enough! Pick up a kindle copy, or a paperback, and relax as Criminy takes you on a guided tour of Sang, and love!