The Wizard That Wasn’t by Ben Rovik is a fantasy, diesel punk novella that mixes interesting ideas, great characters and good writing. There’s humour, action, magic and strange machines.
I already have the second book.
In the interest of full disclosure, the review also says:
My only real complaint is the length. Yes, it’s a novella but… I want more. I think I would’ve liked more details. We don’t get much of anything away from the immediate necessities of the story. This keeps the action moving along, but I’d like to get a feel for the city and a bit of back-story for the characters.
A very fair point! The Wizard That Wasn’t is a novella, no two ways about it. It’s like a pilot for a TV show, introducing a world that won’t be fully fleshed out until much later in the season, or the series. The particular adventure that I wanted to tell happened to take about 43,222 words (give or take a few contractions) to wrap up.
But it’s always been my intention to give the characters satisfying back-stories, and make the world of the city feel as real as possible. The Mask And The Master gives some glimpses of the Recon squad’s past, and shows you different sides of the characters, in addition to ratcheting up the tension in the main storyline.
The Petronaut Tales series of short stories was conceived for the express purpose of putting more meat on the world.
Arm’s Length gets into Delian history and its place on the world stage, in the context of a nautical adventure. Aloft shows how Petronauts and civilians in Delia interact, and what happens when they get together (with seriously PG-13 results. Yowza!).