Reviews and Press

Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl by David Barnett – reviews


“A fun, and bawdy, romp” – Washington Post


“This ripping yarn is a colourful collision of steampunk, science fiction and alternate history…discover it for yourself, preferably by torchlight under the bedclothes” – The Sun


“A rambunctious, captivating steampunk romp…Barnett is a superb storyteller and brings a refreshing verve, as well as a likeable hero, to the increasingly popular sub-genre. And the good news is that this is the first volume in a trilogy.” – The Guardian


“David Barnett makes the fantastic characters and industrial-age marvels decorating his delightful steampunk fantasy feel as real as London cutpurses and coal fog…this funny, clever tale brings the thrills of penny dreadful adventure to vivid life. Expect many sequels.” – Cleveland Plain Dealer


“With sky-pirates, gibbering frog-faced hordes and nods to historical figures both real and imaginary, Barnett doesn’t miss a trope and even readers who don’t usually love steampunk will gobble it up” – Publishers Weekly (starred review)


“The narrative gets up a head of steam and Barnett keeps the boiler hissing…the characters, with their recognisable flaws, hold wide appeal” – Kirkus Reviews


“Fans and lovers of fantastical steampunk adventure will fall under Gideon Smith’s spell” – RT Magazine


“Meet Gideon Smith, hero of the Empire… Vampires, villains and vice, Dave Barnett happily hacks his way through 19th Century fiction to create Victorian England as it should have been – automatons, dirigibles, Egyptian mummies and all!” – Jon Courtenay Grimwood


“Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl is a triumph of the modern pulp genre. Funny, clever and superbly executed – Barnett writes like a dream. I guarantee you’ll have fun as you breeze through this first adventure of Gideon Smith, and I commend it to you all. I’m already anxious for the next one.” – George Mann, author of Newbury & Hobbes


“A great-hearted, rollicking romp through the many worlds of classic pulp – loads of fun.” – Nick Harkaway


“David Barnett pieces together a dizzying adventure story. His tale is so tall it threatens to give itself vertigo, yet he pulls off an imaginative feat in grand style” – The Press, York


“David Barnett creates a world that is wonderfully realized and populated with terrific characters…as the action speeds up, the pages turn faster and faster. We can only look forward to his next book” – SFRevu


“Barnett has created an intelligent, fun and dashed entertaining read…If you enjoy your science fiction with lashings of derring-do and a good dollop of rip-roaring flair, then I suggest that you check this book out now. Highly recommended.” – The Eloquent Page


“ Exciting, adventurous, and exceptionally well-told, filled with equal parts amusement and astonishment, this is sure to be a fixture of best-of lists come the end of the year.” – Bob Milne, Beauty in Ruins


 “ Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl is a cornucopia of fantastical fun. Jump on board and join Gideon on the adventure of a lifetime.” – The Qwillery


 “A riotous steampunk adventure” – Megan Likes Books


“a superb, rip-roaring adventure that motors along at an unstoppable pace, with more than its fair share of stand-out moments. It achieves, at its best, something of the atmosphere of slightly daft but knowing atmosphere of derring-do of The Mummy films, shot through with a healthy dose of airships, automatons and city fog. For a crash course in steampunk novels, highly recommended. Sequel, hurry along please.” – Matt Cresswell book review site


“Barnett ends his excellent book with the set up for the sequel. I have two words to say to him about that: Hurry up!” – Nettie Thomson book blog


“A marvelous adventure filled romp, Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl is a novel that has it all.” – My Shelf Confessions


“A cracking tale: engaging with an exciting plot and wonderful characters” – BookC*nt


“A brew with a lot of stuff crammed into it… recommended” – GeekSpeak


“I highly encourage you to take a look at Gideon Smith’s adventure; Barnett is certainly a talented storyteller to keep you reading well into the night” – Doc Fantastique’s Show of Wonders


“A fast-paced tale that intertwines magic and steampunk themes…thoroughly enjoyable” – The Nomadic Reader


“A thoroughly ripping yarn of derring-do.” – Juliet McKenna, Albedo 1


“An excellent adventure story that really made you feel for the characters” – Amazing Stories


“One of the more enjoyable steampunk books I’ve read” – Dangerous Dan’s Book Blog


“I really enjoyed reading this book and stayed up until four o’clock in the morning to finish this because of the climactic ending” – Nerdophiles


“Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl is a book that will thrill and surprise people who check it out; it should have wider appeal then books locked into a subgenre, Davi succeeded to write a truly ripping yarn that leaves you satisfies and wanting another look at this alternate history pulp adventure.” – Deadwood Reviews


“I have not enjoyed a story this much in quite a while…It reminded me of a Victorian Indiana Jones” – London Fog’s Book Reviews


“This book was like reading a blockbuster movie, and it was a whole lot of fun” – Fantasy Review Barn


 “A fine yarn and a taut fabric…I recommend it” – Ian Wood’s Novellum


“I am pleased to inform you that Mr Barnett has written another great story in Gideon Smith and the Mechanical Girl” – GeekSmash


“Really loved this! A wonderful blend of adventure, steampunk, history and horror! I really hope to see more stories set in this world.” – Fiction State of Mind blog


“One part coming-of-age story, one part adventure, with a heaping dose of speculative fiction, and with just enough of a dash of the steampunk sensibility to hold it all together, Barnett has created a world in which the further of Gideon Smith are sure to be recounted, and I’m completely okay with that.” – Life Is Story


“Great fun from beginning to end” – Don D’Ammassa blog


“This steampunk book has it all! You want a cool Victorian setting? No problem. You want vampires and mummies running amok? They are everywhere. Dirigibles, sky pirates, treasure, pyramids? Mr. Barnett gives them to you. Adventure, fighting, ancient mysteries, love stories between unlikely people? It’s all in the book.” – Bookwraiths


“A paean to the pulp adventure novels of yore” – Fantasy Literature website


“A glorious reminder of the classic high adventure tales of such writers as H.G. Wells, Jules Verne and Robert Louis Stevenson all delivered with unabashed bravura.  Barnett knows how to tell a whopper and the world he creates in this story is one this reviewer hopes to revisit often.  It sure beats the hell of reality.” – Pulp Fiction Reviews


“Complexingly extravagant and entertaining” – Le Grande Codex


“A fun and interesting mashup of an adventure” – Drey’s Library





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