There’s a conspiracy in the Goldfields of Western Australia, and the money men of London don’t like it. Dirigible pilot Rebecca Jones likes it even less. She has a messenger service to run, justice to pursue in a lawless land, and she can do without Special Agent to the Crown, Nathan Burton, hijacking her dirigible—and her heart—and disrupting her carefully laid plans. The result is adventure, romance and explosions.Being a novella it's a fairly brief story with a reasonable plot centred on various shenanigans happening in the gold fields. There's a conspiracy that Nathan is investigating — which leads him to impose upon Rebecca for a dirigible lift — and there's Rebecca's personal vendetta to punish a corrupt and generally terrible policeman. On the latter front it deals with some heavy issues, but with a comforting happy ending.
I've said before that I'm not a huge fan of capital-R-omance, so it probably shouldn't come as a surprise that I was less enamoured with the romantic plot than I was with the steampunk elements. (What romance could trump mechanical echidnas designed to protect chickens from foxes?) I didn't particularly buy the premise — estranged-ish foster siblings — but I suspect others will feel differently.
Clockwork Gold was a quick fun read. I recommend it to fans of steampunk and romance. In particular, I would definitely recommend it to readers who enjoyed Schwartz's other books. This might not have been my favourite steampunk read ever, but I will be checking out her other new steampunk novella.
3.5 / 5 stars
First published: December 2013, self-published
Series: No, but same universe (I think) as the Bustlepunk Chronicles
Format read: ePub
Source: Courtesy of the author
Challenges: Australian Women Writers Challenge, Australian Science Fiction Reading Challenge