Gunpowder Alchemy

Gunpowder Alchemy[Ebook] ➤ Gunpowder Alchemy ➪ Jeannie Lin – In 1842 the gunpowder might of China's ing Dynasty fell to Britain's steam engines Furious the Emperor ordered the death of his engineers eliminating China's best chance of fighting back Since her fat In the gunpowder might of China's ing Dynasty fell to Britain's steam engines Furious the Emperor ordered the death of his engineers eliminating China's best chance of fighting back Since her father's execution eight years ago Jin Soling has kept her family from falling apart With her mother addicted to opium and her younger brother in danger of being sent off to the factories Soling has no choice but to sell off the last of her father's possessions Unwittingly her actions bring her to the attention of the imperial court the same court that betrayed her father The Crown Prince has launched a secret mission to bring together the remnants of the former Ministry of Science To restore her family's name Soling must track down the rebel alchemist who holds the key to powering the imperial fleet Her only ally is a man she's just met the engineer with a mysterious past who was once meant to be her husband. A couple of decades back I attended a martial arts tourney for tai chi students at which one of the judges was a woman visiting from China her tiny daughter in tow This was before tai chi became popular and at least in my area I had a thirty mile drive to the studio it was mostly men who studied it So after the tourney because we were two of the few women present I fell into conversation with the female judge Her English was good and she seemed to be glad to describe how she'd come to the sport after she asked how I had Her story was interesting she had been a ballet dancer during the Cultural Revolution she was my age forties at the time and then when she was deemed too old for the stage she turned to martial arts which she had also studiedAmong the things she told me was that women had had their own written language in the old days before Mao and they had also had their own martial arts form specifically used at the imperial palace to guard empresses and their families Then she said she hoped to see women like me studying tai chi because she wanted to be hired to teach here so she could live in the States I was surprised I asked if women didn't have a lot freedom now She laughed at my ignorance but not unkindly seeing how scrupulous the Chinese government had been about news control for decades But here's the amazing thing She said Women only have freedom on the surface And as she spoke her entire body changed drawing in head lowered hands pressed together submissively It was graceful powerful extremely expressive body language depicting the obedient humble female then she threw her head back and looked me in the eyes and said I do not want my daughter growing up like I didOkay shift to the novel I'm supposed to be reviewing I love reading English translations of Chinese novels memoirs etc I especially am on the lookout for Chinese fantasy but there is so little and many of the ones I've found have been written by Western authors who basically put Westerners into or less Eastern clothes and spin stories with Western attitudes with the Chinese aspects a veneer So when I started reading this steampunk fantasy about a Chinese girl of 1843 who has been studying acupuncture under the local doctor and has to try to scrape together a living for her family after the emperor had her father executed I was sucked in because even with the steam elements this heroine rang so trueSoling's inward struggles with the imperial attitudes she has been raised with and with her feelings for the man she was once betrothed to read as fascinating as the story about war rebellion industrial change and the impact of the opium trade The characters are complex as is Soling's situation and the details of daily life vividly depicted The story accelerates to an involving climax and a satisfying end that opens the door for I'm eager for the second volume I have a love hate relationship with steampunk which is basically that in theory I ought to love it alt Victorian fantastic worlds Gaslight and shadows and plots but in practice I rarely do Hence this novel has languished in the furthest reaches of my ereader for years Which should teach me because I loved it It is really noticeable that all the steampunk I've liked has been written by romance authors Does mainstream steampunk's concentration on justifying implausible things made of clockwork give it a rather artificial and unbeating heart? DiscussAhem Anyway this was fabulous It's set in China in the Opium Wars period with the Empire beset both by the English colonising and disrespecting and pumping drugs into the population and the rebels fed up of the unjust and feudal power system The setting is vivid and the culture lightly but effectively drawn The tech element rather than being plonked on history is really well worked in and never overwhelms It's the first steampunk I've read to take a head on look at the evils of British colonialism instead of wallowing in it And there is a lovely slow burn romance just starting by the end with a young woman opening her eyes to the complexity of the situation and a government official who's desperate to innovate decent at heart yet still unable to let go his loyalty to a rotten throne The plot was journey based so maybe a bit picaresue but it was a pacey and exciting read all the way And I went off to get book 2 and discovered it's not available currently because I waited so long to read this Goddammit Author says series is being reissued and will be out Sept Can't wait DNF45 percentReview I really do hate to DNF books It irks me It's like trying to touch my eye ball I can't do it It's gross It makes me uncomfortable I do not like contacts can you tell? ICK ewwwwww Sometimes after putting down the book for so long and when I don't even have the slightest desire to pick it up I have to come to the realization that this is just not working out for me I know that as a reviewer I should have the curtisy to finish the book I rarely drop a book especially if it's an ARC I have to have the guts and stop feeling guilty There are just certain books that aren't going to work for me personally This book is actually incredibly beautiful The writing is exuisite smooth and daring The history is my absolute favorite thing about this novel There are industrial machines mechanics engineers and men flying ships Court politics of the ing Dynasty and weird gadgets But the interesting thing is that it's a mixture between being historically accurate for the time period and steampunk You're probably thinking what the hell? Let me explain Lin weaves the history of the Opium War technology and science and steampunk She tells a story that shows the reader the struggles that China was going through during the periodbut with flying ships Jin Soling’s mother is tragically addicted to opium after her husband’s execution when he and his team failed to halt the British invasion of 1842 They are now a disgraced Manchurian aristocratic family stripped of their titles Jin has been struggling with her mother’s addiction She fears that one day that will have no way to feed her addiction and one day she will die in agonizing pain Jin travels to the city to sell of one of her father’s prized heirlooms But she’s brought before the crown prince who strikes a deal with her They are searching for her father’s allies He sends her off to convince them to help the empire create weapons that could beat the like of their enemies I never had a problem with the main character She's actually pretty cool She carries this strange needle gun for protection She knows that a woman walking alone needs to be aware that she's vulnerable in a world of men She's smart and calculating when speaking her mind Some things can get you in trouble but it's the way you manipulate the men around you that helps you survive in a world where men try to control you Fear was a sign of weakness and weakness was a sign of guilt It was best to do nothing say nothing I like her intelligence I like her strength But at times I felt she was a boring character There were things I found interesting about her but it was as if her personality was missing She had intriguing elements that made her seem cool like the needle gun and taking care of her family by herself But those aren't part of her personality She was flat I didn't feel moved to learn about her I didn't want to read on because I felt bored by the characters The plot was awesome the story was fucking fantastic but the characters were flat on the ground dead The sad thing is that it wasn't just her character that lost me but the pacing of the novel It dragged and dragged and dragged It seemed as if one percentage was taking me hours to read The writing is beautiful This is true But that doesn't mean there wasn’t a pacing problem in the novel Maybe I just wasn't in the mood to read this book That could have been the issue The only thing I have left to say is I am disappointed that I didn't find the characters or the book interesting Advance Reader's Copy was provided by the publisher through Netgalley in exchange for an honest review If you're looking for a G rated YA romance set in 19th century China this is the book for youI see from the author's bio that she's known for her historical romances with a Chinese setting If you liked those I'm sure you'll like this one as well However I was persuaded to read this by the touted 'steampunk' angle and in that I was disappointed All of the 'steampunk' elements in this book could easily have been inserted with half an hour's editing of a completed manuscript None of them are any than window dressing and affect the plot not at allOur Heroine is the young woman Soling Her family has fallen from Imperial favor and she is living in poverty Once her father was the Emperor's chief engineer but after a naval defeat at the hands of Western invaders he was executed for his failureWhen Soling resorts to trying to sell one of the last items of her father's that she owns she unintentionally attracts Imperial attention Before she knows it she's whisked from the streets and brought to the palace where the Crown Prince who disagreed with the Emperor's policies hopes to acuire any secrets that may be in Soling's possession While there she happens to encounter the man to whom she once was betrothed and of course finds herself attracted to him From there Soling gets bundled off this way and that way most of it against her will while she tries to keep her head above water and get back to taking care of her young brother and her opium addicted mother She's mystifyingly reluctant to accept help or grab opportunities that present themselves That said the book was fun action filled and kept my interest throughout A good beach read if you're not looking for anything too heavy or involvedA copy was provided to me by NetGalley many thanks for the opportunity to read As always my opinions are my own Interesting story set during the Opium War great characterization and character development I normally don't read steampunk novels but I have to say I enjoyed this a lot Bookstagram ’ve finally decided to stop hoarding Jeannie Lin books and read the few I’ve yet to start Sob What will I do when I run out of Lin books? This was pretty fucking great What does loyalty mean? What price does it take when a man is loyal to saving his Empire but at the cost of his sovereign's pride? What is important in the end? Upholding an illusion ingrained in a people for centuries at the cost of their lives or destroying that illusion as a price to save those lives?Steampunk Politics Opium Romance Engineering I don't understand Guys welcome to Jeannie Lin's new series the Gunpowder Chronicles Before I go further and so we're all clear on this unlike her other books with Harleuin this series is less about the romance and about everything else Though to be completely fair her books have always been about balancing both sides of the story so one foot away from romance not that big a stretch As a sidenote I think she's officially become one of the most tagged author in my blog at least insofar as reviews go SweetSo your father is executed for failure your mother has become an opium addict your meager existence isn't even of interest to the miceand the only token you have of your happier memories turns out to be next to worthless What do you do?If you're Soling you agree in mild desperation to help recruit your father's former allies in helping to conceive a way to win back their lands from rebels and outsiders alike Even though you don't trust the monarch his henchmen or even your one time fiancee And did I say mild desperation? How about this is really the only chance she has at maybe keeping her family from starving to deathThis is a fast paced story From when the Crown Prince's lead henchman nabs her to leaning some startling truths about what it can mean to have no other choice Soling isn't given very much time to ponder things For part of the book she is basically forced along by other people's whims and dictates unable to really direct her destiny even as they reuire and from her She struggles at times both unable to truly reject the Empire that destroyed her family and eually unable to trust that same Empire and those who swear loyalty to itThroughout Soling's trust and loyalty is essentially pitted against the survival of her family She's confronted with people she knew as a child of 10 who she now meets as an adult Her Uncle Yang Hanzhu who she used to follow around and idolize A man who showed her tricks and nurtured her curious mind Now a man living in exile on the sea forsaking the Flower Empire in irreparable ways A man who sees a dark secret in what the foreigners have done and will do anything to find a way to end itHer one time fiancee Chang wei a man she never met but heard stories of and had girlish daydreams about Now a man who found himself once working for the Empire who killed his colleagues and mentors a decade before A man who speaks the foreigner's tongue fluently and is freuently seen with them making him an outcast amongst his peers A man who sacrificed everything to learn how to defeat those foreign invader's and doesn't regret those actionsI admit I know very little about modern Chinese history such as when this book takes place The Opium Wars and the Heavenly Kingdom Rebels my history classes in school focused on American history then world history at least after America was formed Even though this is obviously a world that flourished differently in the sciences let's go steampunk these are both real world occurrences that Lin incorporates into the story in Soling's journeySideline when I heard Soling's mother had disguised herself as a man and gone on to ace the Imperial Entrance Exams once upon a time I was like WEI WEI from THE LOTUS PALACE and THE JADE TEMPTRESS but I'm not sure I want to think about Wei Wei becoming an opium addictThis is only the first book in the Gunpowder Chronicles and unlike Lin's previous novels the next book will once have Soling narrating which is good I liked her narrative tone I'll be interested to see what happens next as in the end Soling is much too embroiled in the events to back out and live the uiet life again Review posted on Got Fiction? book blog45 starsWhen this came across my inbox I saw 2 things that made me click YES Jeannie Lin and Steampunk There’s no blurb up at least not one that tells much so I went in fairly blind All I knew was that it would be set in China during the Opium Wars Boxer Rebellion and it was a Steampunk That was enough for me And it was such a fantastic readI’d probably classify this as a Steampunk Adventure rather than a Steampunk Romance only because the romance is not the main focus Soling is the daughter of the Emperor’s head engineer Her family has fallen from Imperial favor and she her little brother her mother and their nurse are living in poverty Once her father was the Emperor's chief engineer but after a naval defeat at the hands of Western invaders which he told the emperor they weren’t euipped to win he was chosen as the scapegoat and executed8 years later Soling is barely keeping food on the table through her work with her village doctor This is not only odd for a woman but odd for a gently bred woman at that She’s trying to secure enough money to eat but unfortunately the fall from grace was too much for her mother so Soling has to put some of her money aside for the opium her mother is addicted to Soling has pawned most of items of value they had left from her old life but she finally decides she has to sell the last item of her father's that she own It’s a gold puzzle box And no one will buy it Desperate and not knowing its worth she presses ever deeper into the seedy parts of the city Her puzzle box has attracted undue and unwanted attention The Imperial guard takes her and reunites her with of all people her former betrothed He then takes her to the prince The prince believes her father was right; their navy had been no match for the Western forces The prince also believes her father had designed a specific weapon or explosive before his death and the prince wants it But the prince and her former fiancé aren’t the only ones who’ve noticed Soling Before she knows it she’s aboard a ship with one of her father’s former apprentices And it’s clear he no longer sees her as a child He also brings a new theory to Soling He believes the opium that is addicting their country is no ordinary opium and that it’s got a sinister element He isn’t wrongWorried for her mother and little brother Soling knows she has to get back to her family but she also knows she has to see this adventure through There’s a lot going on but Jeannie Lin writes so elegantly you don’t realize how much politics factor into this Steampunk world until the end when you see where Soling is going While there are gadgets aplenty this book really focuses on the “punk” part of the Steampunk genre With politics and rebellion dogging Soling’s heels what can she do but continue her adventure?I can’t wait to read the next book in the Gunpowder Chronicles because I’m really invested in Soling’s journey and I have to find out which side she chooses in the brewing rebellionWith beautiful and vivid writing Jeannie Lin transports you to 1800s China and creates a world so fascinating you won’t want to leaveARC courtesy of Berkley ARC courtesy of NetGalley25 Set in mid 19th century China with some mechanical elements that suggest a steampunk world although the society doesn't seem impacted much by the technology Or is it that I just don't know enough about 19th century China to see the differences between it and this purportedly steampunk world?Jin Soling and her family were once members of aristocratic Manchurian society but after her engineer father is executed taking the blame for China's defeat at the hands of the technologically advanced English in the first Opium War even though he was the one who warned the emperor that their technology was lacking they are exiled to the Han countryside Soling supports her opium addicted mother and her younger brother by apprenticing with a doctor But her meager earnings are not enough to keep them afloat and she must travel to the nearest town to sell one of the last things she's kept of her father's an intricate metal Japanese puzzle box No one will buy it from her and what's worse it attracts the attention of the authorities who jail Soling Turns out the authorities the Crown Prince have been looking for her hoping to use her as bait to reel in one of the men who once worked with her father a man whose technological knowledge may help them stem the tide against the invading English Unlike his father the Crown Prince is open to exploring the possibilities of technology and wants to gather the scattered engineersSoling meets briefly with another former coworker of her father's Chen Chang wei a man to whom she was once betrothed who has recovered from disgrace and now works for the Crown Prince Then she's used for bait to capture the other engineer Yang Hanzhu but the plan backfires and Soling finds herself a prisoner on Yang's boat I was a bit confused here; was Yang Hanzhu supposed to be another potential love interest? And plot wise what purpose did this interlude aboard his boat serve?The boat travels about the Pacific with Yang apparently researching opium addiction rather than engineering A few months later Soling is rescued by the Crown Prince's men and by Chang wei's steampunk kite The rest of the book is a road story with the two working to make their way back to Soling's family in the midst of a rebellion Only in this part of the book do we get any real romance; despite being understated and of the slow burn variety kisses only Soling and Chang wei's relationship does have some touching momentsI was never really sure whose side we were supposed to be rooting for during these battles or if the Chinese rebels were linked in any way to the invading English All in all far of an adventure story than a romance with fairly flat characters Soling in particular seemed to exist just to get pushed around by others with no real goal of her own throughout the book

Gunpowder Alchemy PDF/EPUB ¼ Paperback
  • Paperback
  • 340 pages
  • Gunpowder Alchemy
  • Jeannie Lin
  • 20 July 2015
  • 9780990946243