A So-So Steampunk- The Hopebreaker (The Great Iron War Book 1) by Dean F Wilson

The Blurb reads,

In the world of Altadas, there are no more human births. The Regime is replacing the unborn with demons, while the Resistance is trying to destroy a drug called Hope that the demons need to survive.

Between these two warring factions lies Jacob, a man who profits from smuggling contraceptive amulets into the city of Blackout. He cares little about the Great Iron War, but a chance capture, and an even more accidental rescue, embroils him in a plot to starve the Regime from power.

When Hope is an enemy, Jacob finds it harder than he thought to remain indifferent. When the Resistance opts to field its experimental landship, the Hopebreaker, the world may find that one victory does not win a war.


I opted for reviewing this book from a friend’s blog tour company and I was intrigued. I had never read Steampunk and I want to use this year to become a sci-fi reader. But the book intrigued me.

You know that scene from Inception, where Ellen Page is being shown around by Leonardo diCaprio and he mentions,

“There is never any beginning to a dream. You just find yourself in it”

That is precisely what this book is about.

The author has created this whole world where there is The Regime, which replaces human fetuses with demons and is bringing about a destruction of the human race. On the other hand, there is the Resistance, who guerilla fight the Regime by smuggling amulets to avoid women getting pregnant and launching small scale military attacks on factories.

I found myself smack in between the book. Wait a minute,

  1. I did not know how the Regime took over. 
  2. I did not know how the Resistance was formed
  3. Heck, I had no idea what the Great Iron War was for

All I knew was, I was somehow swept along with Jacob, and Whistler and the person in charge of the guerilla warfare, her name starts with T but that is all I remember. (That shows how impactful the book was!!)

Right so the story moves to show how Jacob, a smuggler gets involved in the Resistance and how the Resistance plan an attack on the Regime’s Hope Factory. Don’t think magical potions like Shrek 2, but more on the lines of a drug like potion which kept people enslaved. It was a weird concept and not explained well at all.

I felt for most part of this book, there was too much of water flowing by and too little time to explain what was happening. Characters seemed to be there in the book, but I didn’t feel much for the Regime crushing the attack on the Hope Factory, or people dying. There were just too many loose ends.

This would be a book better off skipped. I like my stories with a little more back story, where people have backgrounds that the author cares to explain. When I read the end, I realised what the book title meant, and that dawning realisation of what the Hopebreaker was and indeed what the sequel, Lifemaker means made me smile. And perhaps that is the reason I am being charitable enough to give this book a 3 star.

I had problems identifying with any character. I also had problems connecting with them. They just seemed to be celluloid, trapped behind a screen and I couldn’t tap into their thoughts, their feelings, how they became the people they were. That would be feedback the author should take for his coming novels.

My Rating: 3/5

3 star



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