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Publisher's Summary

In this tale as old as time, Isabelle Hawking must tinker a solution to a heartbreaking mystery.

When Isabelle Hawking and her papa set out from London on a sea voyage, Isabelle is thrilled. Visiting foreign courts, learning from master tinkerers, and studying mechanicals is her dream. It doesn't hurt that the trip also offers Isabelle an escape from her overbearing and unwanted suitor, Gerard LeBoeuf.

But Isabelle never arrives. Swept up in a tempest, her ship is lost.

Isabelle survives the storm only to be shipwrecked on a seemingly deserted island. The magical place, dotted with standing stones, faerie mounds, and a crumbling castle, hints of an ancient past. Isabelle may be an unwilling guest, but her arrival marks a new beginning for the beastly residents of this forgotten land.

See how New York Times best-selling author Melanie Karsak puts a steampunk spin on the classic Beauty and the Beast fairy tale.             

©2017 Clockpunk Press (P)2018 Clockpunk Press

What members say

Average Customer Ratings

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  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars

Delightful Steampunk Version of Beauty and Beast

Melanie Karsak takes the fairy tale Beauty and the Beast and puts a steampunk twist to it. The beautiful Isabelle and her father are tinkers; people who work on the delicate mechanical innards of all things clockwork. They create exquisite clockwork-artwork and it is on their way to deliver some of this artwork that they are shipwrecked during a Tempest (Shakespeare anyone?). They find themselves on an island with inhabitants under a curse. Like the fairytale, Isabelle puts her father before herself and he leaves to bring back help.

I’ve avoided steampunk in the past worried no writer could bring justice to such an amazing genre. Within a couple hours of listening to Karsak’s Beauty and Beastly, I was on Facebook and telling my friends about this audiobook. Karsak rocks this genre! Her detailed fantasy world is full of airships, mechanical clockwork devices, automatons and all things steampunk. I love her intelligent heroine, Isabelle who often has gear grease smeared on her hands and face. Peppered within the book were references to the Disney version of Beauty and the Beast, Celtic myths, the faery folk and King Arthur. The chapter names were alternatingly whimsical and witty. I read Karsak’s biography and the English instructor in her is wonderfully apparent and I geek-squeaked each time I caught one of her nods to Shakespeare.

Don’t get me wrong, I liked Disney’s version just fine but Melanie Karsak’s steampunk version takes the cake in my opinion. Her Beauty is a great role model for young women. Unlike the Disney version, her “Beast” is more of a gentle soul and even Gerard isn’t cruel but just loud and flirty. An added bonus is the inclusion of some of the characters from Karsak’s other books. I can easily see this being made into a fantastic movie.

I particularly love the narrator, Lesley Parkin. With her British accent, her narration fits with the United Kingdom setting of Karsak’s novel. She is a skilled narrator who is able to switch between several different dialects and voices so that each character is distinct. Parkin’s performance just added to this outstanding novel. I really think that Karsak and Parkin make an ideal combination and I wholeheartedly recommend this wonderfully imaginative audiobook to anyone who loves steampunk or Beauty and the Beast.

This is an excellent audiobook with clean romance, no sexual content or frightening scenes.

Audiobook was provided for review by the author/narrator/publisher.
Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog.
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1 of 1 people found this review helpful

  • Overall
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Performance
    5 out of 5 stars
  • Story
    5 out of 5 stars
  • MelHay
  • Adamsburg, PA
  • 11-06-18

Steampunk and magical blend of a classic fairytale

*I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and have voluntarily left this review.

I've listened to Lesley before. She did Curiouser and Curiouser as well. Her proper speech of words and her accent adds to the drawing of the characters. She brings each character to life with their own vocal personality as she narrates, acting out the story for us. I believed the characters as she voiced them with heart.

I really enjoy Melanie's steampunk twist to the fairy tales. She keeps key ingredients but transforms the story. Here we have the rose, the mirror, the garden, the offer for dinner, and Be Our Guest, don't go in this area, spot of missing painting, the library, the dance, and more. But she turns the events to work as a new tale with strong old tale influences. This keeps the story true to it's nature and easily recognizable for all.

I love the creations in the world. The steampunk creations and ideas here. The world shines with the feel of it. Oh the place where the Beast lives. Wow. It sounds stunning and so special in it's own way. It sounds like a place I'd enjoy visiting.

I love how the story is of steampunk and clockwork, but it also holds an element of magic to it. Lovely blend of the two to create this tale. There is magic present in more than one way. There is magic in the world, of course. But there is magic in the relationships created.

*sigh* For me this is a golden charm. I'm afraid if I get going on about the story that I'll give too much away and you won't be able to experience and enjoy it as I did. Melanie is amazing at turning the fairy tale to her telling yet keeping the essence of the story true. I'm once again taken with the talent.

Totally worth listening to the story.

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Steampunk Beauty and the Beast

This is an entertaining steampunk retelling of the Beauty and the Beast fairy tale. I enjoyed the metallic automatons, the Beasts altruism, Isabelle's skill in tinkering and the authors nods to the Disney version of the tale, as well as the Celtic & Druidic references. The narrator did an excellent job of bringing the story to life. Her British accent fits the setting well and she gave the characters individual voices, switching between dialects with ease. This is a well written and narrated steampunk story that lovers of fairy tales will enjoy.

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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars
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    5 out of 5 stars

Isabelle

I'm a fan of steampunk and fairy tales so Karsaks books have become some of my favorite. She has an ability to weave her own take on a fairy tale while still keeping the heart of the original. Isabelle was an interesting character to me in ice and embers and I was excited she got her own adventure. The description of the island makes me want to see it for myself especially the clockwork roses. Looking forward to more!!!

  • Overall
    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars
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    4 out of 5 stars

Enjoyable, clean YA retelling

Beauty and the Beast retellings are my favorite! I listened to this twice just so that I could be fair in my review.

I loved the steampunk version and retelling! Lots of really unique elements and believability, but still there was magic involved, which is great!

Loved that it didn’t rely on Disney too much, but there was still too much Disney for my taste. (Hence the loss of 1/2 star)

Realistic Father/Daughter interactions, especially when they return and he has to walk that fine line that we all have to walk when our adult child is acting unpredictably.

The loss of the other 1/2 star came from the amazingly short amount of time that passes (1-2 days?) before she starts finding herself attracted to him. And a deep, abiding love develops after one outing on one day and a bunch of smaller encounters/eavesdropping. I needed WAY more interaction to believe the depth of the love these two feel. (I listened twice and it seemed that only a week had passed before she was back home. I could be wrong.)

The voice actress did a very good job! I liked her accents-not sure about her Welsh, having never heard the accent before- so will give her the benefit of the doubt.

All in all, I enjoyed the book and it was as enjoyable on the second listening as on the first! Well- done Ms. Karnak!

*poor, **ok, ***good,****very good, *****something special

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    4 out of 5 stars

Good Overall fantasy novel with some steampunk on the side

Yes the steam punk theme was thrown in there but not overtly. The main character is a tinkerer and they talk about airships but besides that it’s just a fun take on the old fairy tale of beauty and the beast. Definitely worth the listen, I enjoyed 😍

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  • Rogernie Roberts
  • 09-16-18

A great retelling of beauty and the beast

I've enjoyed Isabel and Reese's story with Isabel trapped on Reese's island she's captivated by him and his household. Reese appeared to be an autonomous being who thinks he's master of the house but somehow Isabel falls for him despite him being terrible to her.