Story: The Emperor's Man
Author: Tiffany Trent
Summary: Garrett serves in the Imperial House Guard with no memory of his life before this job and is assigned to guard Athena, the Princess Royal, during the Hunt. When she goes astray in the forrest and exposes Garrett to the magical beings who live there, he must decide if he really is the Emperor's man after all.
Thoughts: This was an interesting story, though light on the romance (practically none) and steampunkishness (this was more fantasy/paranormal in my opinion). While I liked it, I feel like the ending was a bit on the abrupt side.
Story: Chickie Hill's Badass Ride
Author: Dia Reeves
Summary: In 1961, Sue Jean's boyfriend Chickie is an exceptional inventor who is only interested in fixing up his car and making out while she wants to be more actively involved in the civil rights movement. But on a night when magic is in the air and a little boy is taken by what looks like the KKK, Sue Jean and Chickie fight to get him back.
Thoughts: I really don't know what to say about this story except that I just wasn't connecting with it at all. It sort of felt rushed and too much going on, and I didn't think the time period fit well with the steampunk going on. This one just wasn't for me.
Story: The Vast Machinery of Dreams
Author: Caitlin Kittredge
Summary: A newspaper has one version of how their star serial story writer came to be, but Matt tells the real story of how he met the girl of his dreams, Isabelle, in 1915, except that the story keeps changing.
Thoughts: This story ups the creepy factor, that's for sure. Everything you think is happening gets turned on its head. Like so many other short stories, I feel that this one's ending is a bit too sudden, but Kittredge's voice and the way she chose to have the story unfold kept me turning the pages.
Story: Tick, Tick, Boom
Author: Kiersten White
Summary: Kitty hates being under her father's thumb, secretly inventing explosives by night. But perhaps more than that, she hates the dull Franklin Greenwood, the man her father seems to have picked for her, especially after she meets a mysterious man one night who literally and metaphorically sweeping her off her feet.
Thoughts: Now at least this anthology is ending on a high note! I loved this story, from the concept to Kitty's gumption and voice. I recently purchased Kiersten's novel Paranormalcy and after reading this story, I cannot wait to dive into that book!
And so ends my reading of Corsets & Clockwork. This collection had a little bit of everything, and did a good job introducing me to new authors and steampunk in general. I certainly liked some stories more than others, but over all I'm glad I gave it a read!