Friday, August 19, 2016

#Steampunk Saturday - Extracted by Sherry Ficklin & Tyler Folley (Young Adult, Steampunk Science Fiction)

Series: The Lost Imperials # 1
Format: E-Galley, 323 pages
Release Date: August 15, 2016
Publisher: Clean Teen Publishing
Source: NetGalley
Genre: Young Adult, Science Fiction

Two opposing factions of time travelers vie for control of the future in this thrilling steampunk series opener dubbed "Interesting" and "Unexpected" by Kirkus Reviews.

Lex and Ember—two time travelers with no memories of their lives before being recruited into the time war—are torn between the factions. When Lex accepts a mission that lands him deep within the heart of the Telsa Institute, he meets Ember, and the past that was stolen from them comes flooding back. Now armed with the truth of who they were, Lex and Ember must work together to save the future before the battle for time destroys them once again.

*This special edition contains expanded content and bonus material not found in the first release.

Extracted is the first installment in co-authors Sherry Ficklin & Tyler Folley's The Lost Imperials series. Extracted is a story that is being re-released by Clean Team Publishing with additional material. It is a story that has all my favorite elements; Steampunk, Time Travel, Science Fiction, and Alternative History with historical figures. Extracted alternates narratives between two individuals who are on the opposite sides of time traveling war and have no memories of their past.

Ember, who was saved a year ago, belongs to The Tesla Institute named after Nikola Tesla. The Tesla Institute is apparently the premier academy for training young time travelers who are called Rifters. How Tesla finds these individuals, isn't exactly clear. Lex belongs to a group called The Hollows that is considered to be rogue Rifters. They are presumed to be no more than time bandits who care little about the consequences they might leave behind. They are led by the mysterious Claymore. Some of their members are Tesla washouts left behind to die.

Ember and Lex have no memories of the life they left behind. They each have their own romantic interests. Ember with Ethan, Lex with Stein. They don't realize that they are connected until they meet on a fateful mission that sends Lex into enemy territory to retrieve a DOX so that he can find a way to save Stein who dies on a terrible mission to a place that shouldn't exist. When this scene pops up, you are immediately brought back to pre-Communist Russia and the family of the last Czar and his family who was needlessly executed. If you can guess right now who these two characters are, you are bloody brilliant! 

Here's what makes this story fun for me. Ember is such a wonderful character. She is quick, strong, fast, clever, and her body moves and reacts on its own. She is able to do things that other Rifters are unable to do. She slowly starts to gain back her memories of her past and who she really is, after passing her final test to become an operative. From there, she starts to question whether or not Tesla really intends on preserving the time stream or is he searching for something he lost. This is where the Tesla parts of the story become important not to ignore. Trust me when I say that by the time you get to the ending, you will find a shocking secret waiting for you.

Lex is not so different from Ember. He's one of the leaders of the Hollow. He is in love with Stein but has trouble putting words to emotions. He goes above and beyond the call of duty when he tries to save Stein, and later gets stunning news after encountering Ember at Tesla. Lex is a great character, and one that you will be eager to see what happens next. This is a story that has so many honest to goodness strong secondary characters, that you really can't ignore them. I especially love Stein and Ethan. Each has their own baggage to carry, and each will eventually have their own books to tell their stories.

Have you figured out which historical figures Ember and Lex are? Let me give you a hint. They are Romanov's. Ok, Ok, how about
Anastasia and Alexei? 

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