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Reviewed by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite
Gaslight Grimoire: A Steampunk Collection is a collection of twelve short stories written by K.C. Finn. While each tale bears the trademark tech and Victorian time frame most commonly associated with steampunk literature, Finn's stories expand on those themes and embrace adventure, fantasy and other speculative fiction genres. In The Curious Absence of Dragons, a mute boy's love of dragons and desire to see a real one leads to a very strange set of circumstances indeed. Fans of pirate stories and tales of adventures on the high seas will be intrigued by Crescent's Creature set in St. Augustine, Florida in the late 1900s. The Clockwork Imps incorporates a classic fairy tale setting with elements of the grotesque, and The Sky Pilot finds the survivor of the wreck of his flying ship experiencing El Dia de los Muertos in a very personal and profound way.
Wonders await the fortunate reader who comes upon K.C. Finn's short story collection, Gaslight Grimoire: A Steampunk Collection. While short stories are not generally my top choice in fiction, I quickly got involved in each of these remarkable stories and found myself eagerly looking forward to the next one in the collection. Each story is perfection in miniature, with compelling characters, rich atmosphere, imaginative plots and, occasionally, just a hint of sardonic humor. My favorite tales would have to be The Curious Absence of Dragons, Crescent's Creature, and Egyptomania, but I would be hard pressed to find a story that I could not recommend to other readers. Finn even figures out a way to make the ubiquitous zombie story seem fresh and original. Finn's plots are first rate, and her writing flows beautifully. Gaslight Grimoire: A Steampunk Collection is an exceptionally good read, and it's most highly recommended.