Dawn of Steam: First Light by Jeffrey Cook and Sarah Symonds
Dr. Robert Bowe made some incredible claims in his journals regarding his travels. Believing the claims are made up, two gentlemen of England make a bet to prove whether they are real or fiction. One gentleman elects to create a team of explorers to trace a specific path based on Dr. Bowe’s journals. Gregory Conan Watts is one man caught up in this daring bet. His job is to map the journey, keep his own journal, and take photographs to prove, or disprove, what is discovered.
After Gregory is recruited, he and Mr. Toomes head off to convince Sir James Coltrane to join the party. A well-known war hero, he has something even more important: a dirigible by the name of Dame Fortuna that will make the journey faster and easier. Recruiting the rest of the party takes a little more time and a transatlantic trip.
Once the team is assembled, they set out into the unknown. What will they find? Will they prove Dr. Bowe could have done everything he claimed in a single lifetime? Or are the stories a figment of his imagination?
When I first started reading this book, I was sort of prepared for the fact it’s written in the form of journal entries and letters. At first, I was leery of reading it because I’ve attempted to read other books in this format before and was unable to. However, Jeffrey Cook and Sarah Symonds pulled it off brilliantly. Honestly, I was surprised at how well it was done.
Another interesting thing is, I’m a fast reader. I can zip through a book in a single evening without too many problems. With this book, I slowed way down and took my time. Each journal entry and letter evoked powerful images that demanded my full attention. So I took my time and savored every word.
I’ve never read steampunk before, so this was all new to me. I’m glad there are at least 2 more books for this series as I’m excited to continue reading. Jeffrey and Sarah make an excellent team.