Review: Thomas Riley by Nick Valentino

Nick Valentino’s Thomas Riley is the first steampunk adventure novel I’ve read. I’m just beginning to get into the world of steampunk and I had the pleasure of running into Nick Valentino at a book festival I attended earlier this year.

I was a little worried that I was going to be overwhelmed with steampunk terms and discussions of guns, gears, and ships, but most of the discussions of inner-workings of things are basic to understand and at no point did I feel lost by any of it. I think that this is a great novel to start getting your feet wet with steampunk. I do have to say though that some of the discussions of what so-and-so was, on occasion, a little overwhelming, especially at the beginning.

Thomas Riley keeps things exciting from the first page. There aren’t too many moment where nothing is happening, and I enjoyed that for the most part. It was great to see how the characters escaped from one situation into the next. That said, occasionally all the action did seem a little overwhelming and I would have liked to see a few more scenes of the characters dealing with the intense pressure they’re under.

The two main characters, Thomas and Cynthia, are likable and resourceful. They do even on occasion seem to flirt with breaking the fourth wall by commenting on how lucky they are to have survived all these crazy attacks, which made me laugh a little as I was reading because I was thinking the same thing.

All and all, Thomas Riley is a great adventure to jump into. It’s a quick, enjoyable read that kept my interest throughout the novel. I look forward to the continuation of the series in the future.

You can buy Thomas Riley here.

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4 Comments »

  1. Laura Said:

    Heehee, I read something on Twitter that said, “You want to let the world know how painfully white you are? Get into steampunk” šŸ˜‰ Personally I like steampunk all right, though I haven’t read this one. I like the genre better when it’s mixed with other things—for example, the His Dark Materials books by Phillip Pullman or The Keys to the Kingdom series by Garth Nix. Both are a sort of steampunk crossbred with fantasy. Have you read them? You’ve probably read the Golden Compass…the movie version of that book (along with Stardust) was what helped kick off the steampunk fad that seems to be going around right now šŸ™‚

    • Love Stardust and The Keys to the Kingdom! I’ve never been a big ‘steampunk’ fan, but the last stab at a novel I took went into a steampunk direction so I decided to read more steampunk works to improve my writing!

  2. Amie Kaufman Said:

    Oh, thanks for the review! I love steampunk, and though mine’s on the middle grade end of the spectrum, I love reading adult. I’ll follow this one up!

    • This one is actually classified as a YA steampunk title. It’s a good read and the author is very nice!


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