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Publisher's Summary

A supernatural swarm. A treacherous scheme. A tinker's apprentice may be the village's only hope....

Book 1: Steamborn

Jacob has yet to meet a gadget he couldn't fix or an adventure he couldn't resist. With trade routes to his remote Lowlands town cut off, Jacob must exchange his boyhood adventures for petty theft. After all, his wages at the tinker shop aren't enough to pay for his father's medicine.

But it soon becomes clear why few merchants brave the nearby roads as a plague of terrifying creatures descends upon the town. With the Lowlands under siege, Jacob and his friend have no choice but to run for their lives. When their escape uncovers a terrible secret, Jacob learns there are those who'll stop at nothing to make sure the teen takes the scandal to his grave....

Steamborn is an inventive YA fantasy novel with a heavy dash of steampunk. If you like dystopian settings, killer insects, and resourceful characters, then you'll love Eric Asher's gear-turning tale.

Book 2: Steamforged

There are old wounds in the forgotten places of the world, and some are soaked in blood.

Jacob and his allies flee into the Deadlands after the fall of Ancora. Charles, the enigmatic smith, hopes to find answers in the desert city of Bollwerk that could prevent a war.

Their enemies are many, and here Jacob will learn the cost of life in the Deadlands.

Book 3: Steamsworn

The world dies in war only to be reborn. It is the way of things, and always will be.

Forged in the Deadlands crucible, and armed with the knowledge of their true enemy, Jacob, Alice, and their allies bring the fight back to Ancora. The wounds cut deep in their darkest hour, but in the end, vengeance will light their path.

This collection includes Steamborn, Steamforged, and Steamsworn. Grab it and crank up a whimsical thrill-ride today!

©2016 Eric R. Asher (P)2017 Eric R. Asher

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Meh

After all the great reviews I was expecting a lot from these books. I was left feeling pretty meh. I did finish them and it kept my attention. Barely. Nothing really struck me as exceptional. I definitely liked the Vesik better. The narrator did a decent job.

This audiobook was provided by the author, narrator, or publisher at no cost in exchange for an unbiased review.

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Good YA fare

I enjoyed this story quite a bit even though I don't usually seek out Steampunk or YA as a general rule. The narrator is very talented but some of the male voices seemed very similar to me and hard to separate. To be fair, there were many characters she had to juggle. I would recommend this highly to younger listeners and anyone older (like me) who enjoys a look back now and then.

I received a free review copy of this book from the author and it did not alter my review..

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

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Worth your time and credit!

Fantastic boxed set of stories. I was really looking forward to these stories and was not disappointed at all. The story pulled me in from the start and held my complete attention throughout all 3 books. Even though this set of stories is basically YA don't let that stop you. It's a fun, original, entertaining, engaging, creative and enjoyable series with plenty of action, mystery, suspense and adventure. The stories were constantly moving, I never felt like they were dragging or slow. This is one of those series you will listen to again and again just because it's that entertaining. Definitely worth your time and credit.

Great cast of interesting, likable and well rounded characters.

Saskia Maarleveld did an awesome job with the narration. Nice voice that is easy to listen to for long periods of time. Clearly spoken with a nice even pace. Really good character voices. Each character had a distinct voice and personality that came through in her narration. Even her male characters were great. She brought the characters and the story to life through her narration. Very enjoyable.

I was given this free review copy audiobook at my request and voluntarily provided this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Steam-tacular!

I’m going to keep this as spoiler free as I can, because this review does cover the entire trilogy and I don’t want to ruin the end for you before you even start. This trilogy was a wonderful ‘getting work done’ audiobook for me. I can procrastinate pretty hard, and often have trouble with focusing on one thing. Having an audiobook going while I work makes it easier for me to concentrate on what I’m doing. This one really helped. At about 25 hours long, give or take, that was a good stint of getting stuff done. And, for an entire trilogy of books, that ain’t a bad use of a credit!

This series is about a tinker’s apprentice named Jacob, his best friend Alice, his mentor Charles and their friend the spider-knight Samuel (and a few others as the series progresses). It takes place in what sounded to me like a far-flung future of Earth after some disaster or other has sent us back a couple centuries in terms of technology. There’s also the giant, giant insects. They are kept out of the city of Ancora, where Jacob and company live, by giant walls and spider knights (soldiers that ride on giant, tame spiders. Yeah.).

I didn’t realize on getting this series that it was YA, but it definitely is, at least, at first. Not a problem for me, especially in audiobooks (I mean, I do spend a not-small amount of my time listening to audiobooks meant for 8 year olds, lol), but just FYI for anyone showing interest here that may not be up for YA books – these are that very thing. Still very much enjoyable by adults and younger audiences alike, but without the copious swearing, sexy times, and crassness that I’ve become used to as of recently, lol. I found that this series matured as it went on as the main characters matured and things happened that would change them, or make them less innocent youths.

The narrator, Saskia Maarleveld, was fantastic. She made each character unique and told this story really well. I’m not always expecting a female narrator to convince me on male characters, but she did indeed convince me, especially with Charles’ character. Her normal reading voice is really pleasant to listen to as well, so that was nice. It made this whole trilogy a fantastic listen.

Now, a little review of each book (as spoiler free as I can):

So, in book one, Steamborn, we meet all our characters and are introduced to the world. The city of Ancora is split into two distinct classes, the highlanders (rich people) and the lowlanders (poor people). When the walls surrounding the lowlands is breached by the aforementioned giant insects, the lowlanders flee into the highlands, causing all kinds of strife. Jacob and Alice (and co.) discover a bit of a scheme going on in the city, and end up having to flee into the deadlands (where all the giant, horrible insects live). Hijinks (possibly including insects of the giant persuasion) ensue!

In book two, Steamforged, things are definitely starting to come to a head. This volume of the series seemed much more adult than young adult. I really enjoyed it. Jacob, Alice, Charles and Samuel have traveled across the Deadlands to the city of Bollwerk, where some considerable stuff is going down. This volume was more action packed, still full of the giant insects that the first volume introduced, has some interesting sort of espionage into enemy territory, and is definitely setting up something bonkers for book 3. I liked this one even better than the first. Really great story building here.

Book three, Steamsworn, was a fantastic conclusion to this trilogy. My god, this book got me in the feels pretty hard once or twice and I was absolutely not expecting that to happen. Unexpected and legitimately feel-inducing things happen in this one on the regular. This was absolutely my favorite of the series, and I think that listening to the audiobook made this even more immersive for me, because Saskia Maarleveld absolutely nailed this one. Nailed it.

All told, I’d give the trilogy a solid 4 stars. Very well done!

I was given a free copy of this audiobook (which was all 3 books of the trilogy) in exchange for my honest review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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An Incredible Ride!!

For honour, for friends, for family, for country, protect those who cannot protect themselves and woe be unto the man who shatters his vow, for we are the Steamsworn.

This was my first foray into the world of Steampunk and it was outstanding. I loved The Steamborn Trilogy by Eric Asher. It’s so rare to find a series where all three books are equally excellent. It really was 27+ hours of sheer excitement and enjoyment. The characters in these books were wonderful and fully realized. While there is tons of action in the series, the story is very much character driven and definitely a team effort. All characters are important and have their strengths and weaknesses, and their value to the team. The characters really bring heart to the story with their love and loyalty, and their dedication to do everything they can at whatever cost to protect their cities and their people.

The story opens with regular life in the Lowlands (the poor section) in the city of Ancora and the main character gearing up to dance the Cotillion (I was surprised/happy to see the Cotillion, haven’t seen it mentioned outside of a Georgette Heyer) at the big Festival Dance. Fifteen year old Jacob splits his time between thieving to help his poor family and working with a wonderful and brilliant old tinker named Charles to learn the trade. Jacob’s best friend, and partner in the Cotillion and other amusements is Alice, a very capable and caring girl. Alice is usually the one to temper Jacob’s proclivity for pilfering and misconduct, well, unless there is a bookstore she can’t get in to and then it’s ‘Should we break the window?’ Then there is Samuel, a Spider Knight, who patrols the city on his Jumper (massive spider), Bessie. As the story progresses, terror and chaos soon rain down upon the Lowlands and the characters must work together to find resolution. In doing so they must set out to travel the lands outside the city of Ancora. The world opens up and we learn about mysterious places like Cave, The Scorched Plain, The Deadlands, Bollwerk, Fel, Dauschen, The Burning Forest, Beldorn and the Sea of Salt. New characters are introduced as the story unfolds; Drakkar, Skysworn Mary, Smith, Gladys, George (#1), Archibald and more. There are some really fabulous characters and I hope we will see more of this world and these characters in the future!

Full disclosure: I am terrified of spiders. I know, it’s silly and irrational, but my immediate response is terror (not terribly fond of bugs either.) However, I was fascinated by all the insects in Steamborn. The descriptions were so vivid, I found myself listening intently to every word, so I could really visualize what these creatures looked like and how they moved. In the end, I quite fell for Jumper spider Bessie and got a kick out of George #2 (a Walker with 40 legs!) with his quirky personality during his small part in the story. The creatures in the books were really quite fantastic. There were Jumpers, Walkers, Red Death, Widow Makers, cute Pill Bugs, Giant Mantises, Sky Needles and that was just in the first book. Just when you think you’ve encountered them all there’s Fire Lizards, Tail Swords, Stone Dogs, Tree Killers, Plague Bugs, Emerald Needles and still more. They were all so different and so intriguing that I wanted to hear more about each creature, except maybe the Carrion worms. Ok, those ones were really icky (but I was still mesmerized by the details;).

Eric has done an amazing job of world building. He manages to introduce the reader to the world and its history through the dialogue and the action that takes place. It’s such a seamless integration, enriching the story without any info dumps. His treatment of the technology was pretty amazing. Everything from the weaponry (bolt guns, grappling guns, chain guns), transport (Porcupines, Bollwerk Cruisers, Puffing Demons/Crawlers), bio-mechs and everyday tools were described in such a way that they could be visualized and understood without the descriptions ever becoming too technical or heavy handed. Eric really does have a brilliant imagination and the ability to convey his imaginings through glorious detail. You really experience the ride as you read!

Favourite lines:
‘What did you shoot that with?’ - ‘Science!’
‘I have no use for cruelty.’
‘I have heard tales of the fire in the hearts of flame haired maidens. I begin to think they have some truth.’
‘Leave me to my complaints would you, I don’t know what else to do with myself.’
The architecture changed so fast it almost felt violent.’
‘I’ve always found humans to be the most frightening thing that lurks in the dark.’
‘Whoever loses has no say in what history remembers.’
‘Mankind will always be mankind. It fights what it fears. It rages against change and it kills almost without conscience.’
‘It will also get better and those are the times that must live in your heart to chase away the darkness.’
‘You will change your mind when you’re older and have less sense.’
‘The bombs added their own instruments to the chaotic symphony of stamping invaders and the cannon fire of warships outside.’
Mantra of the Sky Riders: ‘Look at the world with an unbiased eye and its secrets will fall away.’

Narration: Saskia Maarleveld’s narration was absolutely gorgeous and her pacing was perfect. She voiced women, men and children equally well, providing excellent and appropriate voices and depth of emotion for each character. She pulls you right into the story and you never want it to end. Saskia is right up there with top narrators like Barbara Rosenblat, Katherine Kellgren, Steven Crossley, Hugh Fraser and Stephen Briggs.

I have been recommending the series to everyone. A good friend bought the trilogy for her 13 year old daughter who is an avid reader (reads JK Rowling, Jean Auel, Ken Follett, Steven King, Cassandra Clare, etc). She has so far zoomed through the first book and proclaimed it ‘amazing’, and is now in the midst of the second which she is loving.

For those who like to know... There is lots of violence (battle situations), no sex and no profanity until the last book where it is sparingly used and does fit the scenarios. Unless a sensitive reader, I would recommend 13+ .

I received The Steamborn Trilogy free in exchange for an unbiased review.

Through the black we ride once more within the flames our fortunes told.
The gates of hell lay broken wide within the steam no hold abides.
Feared and cast upon the stones, we fight to save the sacred lives.
When all is done and all is safe, find me in that Steamsworn grave.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Original, enjoyable stories

Audible's summary of this trilogy covers things quite nicely. I liked the idea of bugs that evolved to gigantic proportions and that the people learned to live with some of them as we do with our domestic animals. Also, the post apocalyptic resurgence of steam power was interesting.
I think it would be difficult to read/ listen to these stories out of sequence as they aren't really stand-alone stories.
The speech at the end is appropriately politically charged and uplifting and encouraging for the characters, yet, it is not final. It makes me wonder if there will be another series to follow this one. If so, I would like to read/ listen to it as well.

This is the first I've listened to this narrator. I enjoyed listening to her. She had decernable voices for all the characters. I would like to listen to another book read by her.
I would like to read/listen to another book by this author.

There is a lack of swearing, explicit sex or overly descriptive violence.

I received this free review copy audiobook at my request and voluntarily left this review.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Listen to these books now and you'll thank me late

I've read a lot of steampunk over the years and I think I can honestly say that the Steamborn trilogy is by far some of the best I've ever read or listened to. I made the mistake of starting this audiobook at work and I then proceeded to listen to it in 3 consecutive 9 hour days in which I got absolutely nothing productive done at work.

While I loved just about everything about this series there are a few things that really stick out about it to me First is how much detail Eric Asher manages to put into every character, no matter how small and unimportant they may seem. I also love that instead of long and rambling explanations of the world and technology we get to see everything explained through the characters actions. I think it really makes the story flow a lot better and doesn't bog things down too much in details we really don't need to know.

Though I think the one thing that makes this audiobook stand out the most is Saskia Maarleveld's narration. I honestly can't think of another narrator I know of who can pack so much emotion into their narration and make you want to laugh, cry, or scream along with the characters throughout the entire book. I'm also surprised by just how consistent she manages to be the entire trilogy. I had no problem telling who every character is from their voice alone as she never once falters with their voices and accents. I can only wonder how I've never managed to listen to any of her books before this.

So yeah..listen to this audiobook now and you can thank me later.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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Dystopian Steampunk?

Not sure if this series is Dystopian Steampunk or a Steampunk Dystopia. I do know this was a great listen. Throw in giant bugs and adventure on a scale that young tinkers apprentice Jacob never figured he would be a part of and you have a great story. With Saskia Maarleveld reading the story it made it come to life. My wife and I listened to this together in the evenings and we enjoyed it immensely. Now I understand the allure of the old radio shows.
Author Eric Asher is a great story teller, and I look forward to more stories from him.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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It’s all started with a dance

What a fantastic trilogy! Book one sets it all up, who the players were. We got to see Jacob and Alice as kids. Meet the adults in their lives, Samuel and Charles. And it slowly built up to book 2 where the plot unfolded and action happens at times so quickly it leaves the reader tired and taking deep breaths to continue on. It adds some nee players Archibald Gladys, and George, Book 3 well here as any good trilogy it all come together all the players come to gull
Potential all the plots are resolved Eric Asher foes a wonderful job delivering a fantastic story line!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Lach
  • Alabama
  • 10-17-17

An epic journey all in one box set!

I can't believe they released this epic journey all in 1 box set, all for 1 credit. This is by far one of my all time favorite adventures. I now officially own a copy of this adventure in all its forms, just to tell you how great it is. While the hard cover book is my favorite version, listening to Saskia read to me makes me feel like I'm really there, fully immersed in Jacob and Alice's world.

Just imagine a steam run world, bugs the size of horses (many used as transpotaion just like a horse), some of these giant bugs are deadly enimies, civilization has back peddled to the point where some machines are feared for the destruction they once reined down. Jacob and his friends find themselves suddenly fending for their lives trying to keep each other alive. It's an amazing journey where a once feared foe can sometimes become a treasured friend. Jacob and Alice see much of the world that they had only learned about in school. They also learn that much of what they learned in school wasn't always right and sometimes history forgotten can repeat itself.
Spidernights are by far my favorite aspect of these stories, but George the giant centipede that takes them safely across a desert cannot be forgotten. The way Asher worked in biomec appendages was intriguing, especially since this sometimes life saving or life destroying technology is not readily available in each civilization Jacob and his friends visit.
A truly original story that I just cannot get enough of.

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

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  • Mr. R. Esdaile
  • 11-07-17

Awesome adventure

I love Steampunk and this is a worthy addition to the genre.
I enjoyed the giant bugs and Spiders and all the plot twists
Great narration
I received a copy of this audiobook for free in exchange for an unbiased review.

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  • Peter
  • 10-29-17

Steampunk adventures, politics, war and monsters

Taken as a whole these three stores tell a complete, completing tale of adventure, politics, war all mixed in with a coming of age story for the young heroes. The post-apocalyptic steampunk world full of monster bugs is a truly interesting one. The world has clearly had a lot of work put into it granting it a sense of believability and history to everything.

The writing is top notch in both the story and dialogue; add to that the great narration with every character has their own unique voice conveying their personality and emotions. The character’s reactions to everything that happens around them and even their own actions is another thing that makes this story so completing to listen to.

All this together is a recipe for an enjoyable and engaging book to listen to and I very much enjoyed my time with this audiobook. So I can highly recommend Steamborn: The Complete Trilogy Box Set, It is a lot of story for a single credit.



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