Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Review of Alyson Grauer's On the Isle of Sound and Wonder

Genre: Steampunk/Fiction
Pages: 272

All but alone, wild but resourceful Mira dreams of life beyond the shores of her mystical island. Isolated by her father, a dark sorcerer bent on vengeance, she has only his servants, an air spirit and a misshapen cast-off, to share her company. When Dante conjures a terrible storm to wash ashore his mortal enemies, Mira must chose between her loyalties to her father and what she knows is right.

Sail the skies and soar the seas surrounding this Isle of Sound and Wonder as Alyson Grauer masterfully retells William Shakespeare’s classic, The Tempest, bedecked in the trappings of Steampunk.

Right off the bat the book does something that Shakespeare's play does not. This book contains steampunk, motive, and in depth characterization unseen in Shakespeare's own play. The characters all have wants and needs, but they are not the shallow things that are usually wished for, such as a relationship, or power. Each character has their own story and is slowly introduced to the reader with just enough information for the reader to want to know what happens to them. Almost every character has some sort of empowerment, a motive that makes them want to stand up for themselves and what they believe in. No longer is Miranda the poor innocent victim that Shakespeare made her out to be, nor Ferdinand the lovesick fool. The name changes are odd, but easy enough to connect to the original story. The story would have been capable of completely standing alone without the illusion of Shakespeare, had the names been more original. The names that are chosen and used, Mira, Ferran, Dante, are much more modern, yet eccentric, which allows for a seamless transition from traditional Shakespeare to steampunk.

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