“The Icarus Plot,” a Steampunk Novella for Monster Lovers
Jenny Schwartz’s steampunk novella The Icarus Plot blends the world of thriller novels and Victorian London for an enchanting tale of kidnapping, mayhem, and monsters. The main protagonist is a woman named Ivana March who learns via word of mouth in her toy shop that there’s some sort of monstrous kidnapper who is stealing children for a nefarious purpose. Determined to put an end to the kidnappings, Ivana teams up with Andre, the new Earl of Somer, in the hopes of tracking down the “Metal Man” that’s behind the dastardly crimes.
Readers who enjoy strong heroines will love Ivana, as well as the slight hints of the suffragette movement that begin spreading around Victorian-era London at that time. The heroine is suspicious, untrusting of almost everybody, and brave enough to face down an evil kidnapper to boot. Plus, the villain isn’t just some one-note monster either. Unlike J.K. Rowling’s sinister Lord Voldemort for example, the Metal Man is ghoulish enough to terrify readers while also maintaining an element of humanity in him that makes him a rather fascinating character.
Overall? An easy-to-read, light mystery.