Book Review: Arabella and the Battle of Venus

Arabella and the Battle of Venus
By David D. Levine

My Edition:
Hardcover, 416 pages
2017, Tor
ISBN: 9780765382825

Arabella’s wedding to her beloved Captain Singh is disrupted when his ship is captured by the French and taken to their war camp on the swamp-ridden planet of Venus. Arabella finds passage aboard the ship of handsome privateer Daniel Fox, but is saddled with a chaperone, preventing her from resuming her comfortable life a ship’s mate and instead relegating her to the life of a lady passenger. In her impatience to reach her fiancé, Arabella makes a bet with Fox and finds herself building a clockwork navigational device in order to plot a faster route and often wonders if she’s truly up to the challenge. But once on Venus, Fox’s ship is taken prisoner and all aboard are stranded in the same war camp. There, Arabella finds her fiancé, but also the secret that the French army has been working so hard to hide – the ultimate warship. If Arabella and her friends can’t stop the French from completing the deadly airship, Napoleon could very well control the entire galaxy.

As you may recall from my previous review of Arabella of Mars, when I first picked up the book I thought it was already part of a series. I’m so pleased I didn’t have to wait a year before this actually became true!

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Book Review: Arabella of Mars

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Arabella of Mars
By David D. Levine

Not My Edition:
Hardcover, 350 pages
2016, Tor
ISBN: 9780765382818

Arabella Ashby was born and raised on Mars on her father’s plantation. For seventeen years, she and her brother Michael were tutored by their Martian nanny, Khema, and Arabella often participated in hunting games that her mother considered unladylike. After one such game, Arabella takes a blow to the head that requires stitches and it’s the last straw for her mother. Arabella and her two young sisters are shipped back to Earth in the care of her mother to grow up as true English ladies should. Once there, Arabella is miserable and struggles to bend to the rules society places on ladies of her stature, as well as the heavier gravity. However, the death of her father and a threat against Michael’s life forces Arabella into action and she soon finds herself disguised as a boy and enlisted as a crew member aboard a Martian airship, racing against the clock to get home and save her brother.

This book checks a lot of boxes for me, so I assumed I was going to enjoy it (spoiler: I did!) We’ve got Regency England (check), steampunk (check), space travel (check) and one tough chick that can’t stand to be forced into societal and gender roles (check).

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