The first professional review of The Tempered Steel of Antiquity Grey has come in!
It’s from Publishers Weekly, one of the top four or five book industry magazines out there. It helps librarians, booksellers, and the like to find upcoming books to support. Everyone in the industry reads PW. It is a gold standard for what it does.
I’m unbelievably grateful for this review. While Unfettered III was reviewed by PW, this is the first time one of my novels has gotten the treatment. And not only that, but PW doesn’t read every book that gets published. They have to be picky about what books they spend time reviewing. That automatically means that The Tempered Steel of Antiquity Grey already has a positive push behind it. But the review is pretty good too. I’d say it is an A-/B+ review. Here it is:
Heroine Antiquity Grey discovers an operational, illegal mech—or giant robot—buried in the sands outside her hometown, offering an opportunity to restore her family’s lost honor in this fast-paced sci-fi adventure from Speakman (The Dark Thorn). Tantalizing worldbuilding hints suggest the setting, Erth, is a far-future version of Earth, its citizens cowed under the oppressive rule of their spacefaring cousins in the Imperium. Antiquity’s rash decision to transport the mech, Saph Fyre, into town puts them all in danger. The Imperium arrives to confiscate Saph Fyre, setting off a chain of violence that forces Antiquity to flee her home with her friends and her lifelong enemy, Manson Dreadth, in tow. Though Antiquity’s thoughts and motivations aren’t explored deeply enough to form a solid bond with the character, the rich history of Speakman’s world and well-paced action keep the pages turning as Antiquity uncovers family secrets that lead her and her allies to the hazardous city of Bayt al-Hikma. There, a startling discovery might prove key to freeing Erth from the Imperium. The rich world packed with fascinating history and cool technology, combined with thrilling action that leads to an astounding close, makes up for the thin character exploration. (Sept.)—Publishers Weekly, (Sept. 2021)
While the reviewer feels like I should have spent more time exploring Antiquity’s thoughts and feelings — which I feel could be a valid criticism — I’m overwhelmed by the use of such adjectives as “tantalizing,” “rich,” “well-paced,” “fascinating,” “cool,” “thrilling action,” and “astounding close.” I called Terry to tell him about the review since he just got his PW review for Child of Light and he said, “Shawn, just remember. It’s one person’s review. Others will understand Antiquity’s motivations but perhaps won’t like the pacing. You just never know. You’ve written a great book. I say it is. So be pleased with that.”
Therefore, I’m pleased! Very pleased. Over the top pleased! If you haven’t pre-ordered your copy of The Tempered Steel of Antiquity Grey yet, HERE are some links to help you. Definitely pre-order if you haven’t. It helps booksellers like Amazon, B&N, and independent bookstores to know how many books to bring into their warehouses!
I’m going to celebrate this review with a nice dinner tonight. Happy Friday!
With Mech Magic,