This site uses cookies to deliver our services, improve performance, for analytics, and (if not signed in) for advertising. By using LibraryThing you acknowledge that you have read and understand our Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your use of the site and services is subject to these policies and terms.
Hide this

Results from Google Books

Click on a thumbnail to go to Google Books.

Beast Heart (The Steambound Trilogy) by Kyle…

Beast Heart (The Steambound Trilogy)

by Kyle Richardson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations
213,939,711 (5)None
Recently added bylinda.a., EarlyReviewers



Sign up for LibraryThing to find out whether you'll like this book.

No current Talk conversations about this book.

Publisher’s synopsis:
When Gabby’s hand turns to steam, her mom hires an engineer to build a clockwork glove. It’s the last thing Gabby wants – if only she could be normal. But when her mom is attacked by something monstrous, normal is no longer an option. Now the only person she can turn to is a grizzled detective, who promises to help her become something … more.
Meanwhile, Kemple’s foster dad treats him like a slave. And the beatings are getting worse. So when a rebellious girl named Josephyn arrives with a plan to escape to the city, he doesn’t hesitate. But there are creatures in Iron Bay whose slashes are worse than skin-deep. And as Kemple evolves into something inhuman, his search for a cure begins.
They are strangers in a city where carriages rattle, airships rumble, and their own dark pasts continue to haunt them. Soon their paths will collide, and the girl who slays monsters will come face to face with the boy who is becoming a beast.

The first half of this memorable story follows nine-year-old Gabby, and Kemple aged ten, as they attempt to deal with numerous challenges they are facing in their young lives. Gabby sees herself as something of a freak, not only because of her clockwork hand, but also because she’s skinny, has stupid freckles on her nose and cheeks, blurry green eyes and has to wear chunky telescopic goggles. No matter how many times her mother tries to convince her that “normal is so overrated” and that it’s better to be special, she just wants to be normal.
The demanding chores, the near-starvation and the beatings from his abusive foster father are things Kemple faces on a daily basis and he can see no hope of things getting any better. Then Josephyn comes to live in the foster home and when she breaks the rules and he protects her by taking a beating for her, a bond develops between them. Fearful of the risk of future beatings, she suggests that they run away together to Iron Bay where they’ll be able to take control of their own lives. However, when a scratch he receives from a feral cat becomes infected, Kemple has no idea of how far-reaching and devastating the effects will be.
The second half of the story starts when Gabby, now calling herself Brielle, is about to become sixteen and has become single-minded in her mission to seek out and kill the evil, cat-like monsters which roam the streets, intent on avenging the attack on her mother thereby ensuring that no one else should have to suffer the traumatic loss she did as a young child.
Meanwhile Kemple, now almost seventeen, is desperate to find a cure for the sickness which is blighting his life, at times making him unrecognisable even to himself. But how corrupted do you become when all you see is evil around you, when your only vision of the world is a starkly black and white one? When their paths finally cross each of them is forced to start questioning their definitions of monsters and monstrous behaviour, and perhaps to begin to believe in the possibility of a different future.
This is a richly multi-layered book, exploring themes which include bullying, abuse, the agonies of feeling different, the destructive nature of blind rage, the adolescent struggle for identity and a search for nurturing emotional connections with others. Although many of these themes are dark, there are also moments of delightful, lightening humour. The narrative switches between the points of view of the two main characters and I found that this added an impressive depth to the storytelling, contributing to my reluctance to put the book down once I’d started it … in fact there were moments when I was reading when I was reminded of being read bedtime stories when I was a young child and begging “please, please, pleeeease, just one more chapter”!
Each of the characters is convincingly drawn and developed, with even the more peripheral ones adding an essential element to both the dramatic and the psychological integrity of the developing story. I very quickly found myself feeling emotionally invested in what was happening to Gabby and Kemple and desperately wanted their lives to become less fraught with danger and trauma! The steampunk background, so vividly evoked by the author’s descriptions of Iron Bay, also incorporates myth, fantasy and horror, combining all these strands to form an increasingly tense and, at times, very moving story as the paths of the engaging and memorable protagonists eventually cross in a dramatic and shocking way.
I started this enchanting and compelling story quite late in the evening … and almost wished that I hadn’t because I was immediately hooked and ended up going to bed VERY much later than I’d planned, too tired to keep my eyes open any longer, but eager to pick up the book again as soon as possible! Being several decades older than the YA readership it’s aimed at, I think it’s a reflection of the author’s brilliant story-telling skills, as well as the convincing psychological insights he offers into his characters’ personalities and motivations, which made this such a satisfying read for me. So, whatever your age, I urge you to read it as soon as possible!
This is Book One of the author’s Steambound Trilogy and, after the cliff-hanger ending, I for one hope that Kyle Richardson doesn’t make his readers wait too long for Book Two … and the knowledge that there will then be a third is surely a clue that there are many more adventures and challenges in store for these wonderful characters who have wormed their way into my heart!
With thanks to the author for a truly brilliant story, and to Meerkat Press for sending me an ARC in exchange for an honest review. ( )
  linda.a. | Feb 7, 2020 |
no reviews | add a review
You must log in to edit Common Knowledge data.
For more help see the Common Knowledge help page.
Series (with order)
Canonical title
Original title
Alternative titles
Original publication date
Important places
Important events
Related movies
Awards and honors
First words
Last words
Disambiguation notice
Publisher's editors
Publisher series
Original language
Canonical DDC/MDS

References to this work on external resources.

Wikipedia in English


No library descriptions found.

Book description
Haiku summary

LibraryThing Early Reviewers

Kyle Richardson's book Beast Heart is currently available from LibraryThing Early Reviewers.

Sign up to get a pre-publication copy in exchange for a review.

Quick Links

Popular covers


Average: (5)
5 1

Is this you?

Become a LibraryThing Author.


About | Contact | Privacy/Terms | Help/FAQs | Blog | Store | APIs | TinyCat | Legacy Libraries | Early Reviewers | Common Knowledge | 142,342,306 books! | Top bar: Always visible