The Boxcar Baby (Steel Roots, Bk 1) – Tomorrow Comes Book Tour
by J.L. Mulvihill
I received this book for free for an honest review.
A YA, western steampunk alternative history story about a girl looking for her missing adoptive father. AB’gale was found as a baby in a boxcar by her Papa, Bishop Steel. She is now 15 years old and Steel has gone missing on his job with the railroad so Abby goes looking for him, her first big excursion by herself off the farm. So she starts out a little naive and is not at all prepared for the people she meets.
This becomes an adventure story, Abby proves her mettle as she travels around on the railroads with a motley assortment of friends following a map of sorts to find her father. She figures out herself and finds much more than she bargained for, basically running into monsters of all types. It is also told in present tense which is interesting and pulls the reader right into the action with Abby.
The tough thing about steampunk is the incredible worldbuilding which can be difficult to follow, but this story really jumps into the action and you figure out the world as it goes along, which I completely appreciated. This doesn’t mean I wasn’t curious or confused a time or two, but things become clear before too long. My biggest issue at the beginning is that Abby doesn’t know what she is up against and keeps stepping her foot in the trouble snares that await her. I just felt bad for her, poor thing, but the trial by fire is what forges her into the person she becomes. But once you read about a few of the problems, you come to realize that this is a tough world and she is going to be in trouble quite a bit before the adventure ends! 🙂
So I guess my only issue with this story is that is the first part of the story, sort of like the first Lord of the Rings, not a complete story on its own. Urgh, I now need to wait to find out what goes on with Abby and her friends! Argh. I really enjoyed this story and really cannot wait to find out what happens, 4 stars that once connected to the steam engine create electricity.
About J.L. Mulvihill: Born in Hollywood and raised in San Diego, CA, J.L. Mulvihill has made Mississippi her home for the past fifteen years. Her debut novel was the young adult title The Lost Daughter of Easa, an engaing fantasy novel bordering on science-fiction with a dash of steampunk, published through Kerlak Publishing. The Boxcar Baby, the first novel of her Steel Roots Series, was released by Seventh Star Press in the summer of 2013.
J.L. also has several short fiction pieces in publication, among them “Chilled Meat”, a steampunk thriller found in the Dreams of Steam II-Of Bolts and Brass, anthology (Kerlak Publishing) and “The Leprechaun’s Story”, a steampunk urban Fantasy found in the anthology, Clockwork, Spells, & Magical Bells (Kerlak Publishing)
J.L. is very active with the writing community, and is the events coordinator for the Mississippi Chapter of Imagicopter known as the Magnolia-Tower. She is also a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI), Gulf Coast Writers Association (GCWA), The Mississippi Writers Guild (MWG), as well as the Arts Council of Clinton, and the Clinton Ink-Slingers Writing Group.