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The Native Star by M. K. Hobson

The Native Star (original 2010; edition 2010)

by M. K. Hobson

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
4493223,262 (3.71)1 / 35
Title:The Native Star
Authors:M. K. Hobson
Info:Spectra (2010), Mass Market Paperback, 400 pages
Collections:2011, TBR Eradication, Read but unowned

Work details

The Native Star by M. K. Hobson (2010)

  1. 00
    Warrior by Zoë Archer (Anonymous user)
    Anonymous user: It is a little heavier on the romance, and is categorized as such, but has the same historical steampunk adventure feeling, with a bit of magic thrown in. Part of a series of four, Zoe Archer's Blades of the Rose battle a colonialist brotherhood to keep magic in the hands of those who it belongs to. Read the series if The Native Star left you wanting more between Dreadnought and Emily!… (more)
  2. 00
    Thirteenth Child by Patricia C. Wrede (SockMonkeyGirl)
    SockMonkeyGirl: Not necessarily intended for the same age group, but with similar worlds.

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Showing 1-5 of 31 (next | show all)
This was an excellent steampunk western, and I'd fully recommend it to anyone who loves steampunk or just alternative history adventures.

M.K. Hobson blew me away with her world-building and sassy wonderful main characters. Both Emily and Stanton are a such contradiction as in they are polar opposite to each other it's pure fun to see them try and work together.

Emily is a young witch in a backwater country who can't even make a love spell without it going awry, and Dreadnaught is a stuffy young educated warlock who can't help but lament his exile away from civilised society of New York and point Emily's inadequacies to her.

Of course how it often happens, a magical mining explosion releases a horde of zombie-like creatures and unleashes a magical artifact that embeds itself in Emily's palm, and now the couple will have to travel to New York to help Emily to get rid of it.

However be wary of impending magical disaster, treachery among warlocks, a mounting movement of witch burning and political intrigues while they are at it. Add native American magic, cross-dressing, a villain with a flair, and an embarrassing growing attraction between Emily and Stanton, and you'd get an excellent, wonderful adventure!

Highly recommended. ( )
  kara-karina | Nov 20, 2015 |
This was fun. I liked the first half better than the second. There's definitely some (yucky) romance involved that I'm not used to in the fantasy books I usually read.

Some of the dialogue was pretty witty and had us both laughing. Pretty cool world/faction setup but even with pretty dark bad guy it still seemed a little lite. ( )
  ragwaine | Sep 24, 2015 |

A crítica completa encontra-se aqui no meu blog Ler e Reflectir...

Este livro tem muito pouco ou quase nada de steampunk e MUITO de magia. Confesso que não sou grande apreciadora e quando comecei a perceber, logo no primeiro capítulo, que era um livro sobre/com magia, torci o nariz, parei a leitura e só a retomei quando comprei o Kindle. Com o avançar da história fui percebendo que a magia neste universo era abordada de uma forma muito científica e racional e foi isso que me manteve cativada. As explicações de Dreadnought a Emily sobre os vários tipos de práticas de magia fazem compreender melhor este universo e nunca foram aborrecidas.
Emily e Dreadnought partem numa viagem cheia de aventuras, o enredo é interessante e original, muito diferente de tudo aquilo que li até agora. A sensação de faroeste está constantemente presente, com cavalos, pistolas, vestidos com corpetes, índios, comboios... muito bom! O Steampunk surge na segunda metade do livro para a frente mas de forma tão subtil que quem não conhece a estética nem se apercebe da sua presença.
Muito aquém da expectativa (ou até mesmo desnecessário) é o romance entre Emily e Dreadnought. Das duas uma: se a escritora planeava em escrever apenas um livro, podia ter construído o romance desde início ou, se planeava uma série (que é o caso), então não teria terminado como o fez. Achei tudo muito forçado, rápido e seco demais. Passam o tempo a tratarem-se como amigos, sem um vislumbre de desejo em frase nenhuma e, de repente, a Emily está a numa choradeira porque tem o coração partido. É tão insípido que desejei que nunca tivesse acontecido. Se vão escrever um romance mau então não o escrevam! Ficavam amigos durante uns livrinhos e o desejo surgia, depois o romance... seria bem mais empolgante de ler. ( )
  tchetcha | Jan 15, 2015 |
This book had a wonderful beginning. It started with intriguing characters -- a good ol' country witch (the sticks and herbs and perfumes and potions kind) in the Dr. McCoy vein, a hearthrobby lumberjack, and the stuck-up city boy with horrible secrets. It was an intriguing universe too -- the old west with magic. It's a hero's journey story. The first half is great, but the second half feels paddy, where magic can "suddenly" do things just because it can. Just to provide obstacles for the heroes.

At a certain point the story feels more concerned with showing off what this universe can do and the "neat stuff" in it than it does on resolving the plot. It even needs a prologue to tie its beginning and ending together. And nothing in the prologue has any bearing on the plot in-between. I'm surprised this got past the editors -- it's one of the worst reasons for a prologue. It unmade the story for me from the best thing I read this span. ( )
  theWallflower | Mar 14, 2014 |
Imagine a world where magic, instead of science, ruled and that it kick-started and fueled the industrial revolution. A world where rampaging mutated animals threaten the landscape and the people who lived there and where witches and warlocks are the masters behind spells that cause mayhem as well as a place of sanctuary. This is the world where The Native Star takes place. Within the first few pages of this book, I got well and truly sucked in, and I could not put it down because it was such a fantastic and imaginative joyride of a read!
Emily Edwards is a herbal witch whose magic is based on natural elements and herbs. Due to increasing competition from a mail order Hex company, she is forced to take drastic action so that she can support her ailing father. However, this plan goes horribly wrong when a travelling Warlock called Dreadnought Stanton finds out she miscasts a love spell to the richest man in her town so she can secure her family’s well-being. Emily and Stanton have had several run ins previously, and both find each other’s attitudes to magic as polar opposites – as well as their personalities. But Emily and Stanton soon find themselves in deeper trouble. After investigating zombie miners who have gotten loose, Emily, while battling them, somehow gets her hand infused with a mysterious magical stone that was unearthed in the mines.

Stanton — who realises the stone is a Native star and is a source of untempered magic — offers Emily the help to get out of her predicament as she cannot cast spells. But they both find themselves on the run as dark magical groups are after the stone for their own agenda.
I loved the fact that there was a character called Dreadnought Stanton! That name alone for a hero would have perked my interest in a book, and like what the name implies, Dreadnought is a stickler for propriety and is very straight laced which annoys Emily to no end as she is the polar opposite to Stanton.
Emily is more intuitive and casual, and I loved how she would ruffle Stanton’s feathers. When they clash its very fun to see – especially since I am such a romance fan of bickering couples, and when first impressions go wrong. I also think their relationship is a highlight of the book from their very first encounter. They have locked horns because of their views about magic as well as their personalities. Their exchanges were very entertaining, funny and witty which underlined the growing romantic tension between them. I have to quote this scene when they both checked into a hotel, because it really sums up their snarky and humorous relationship:

“Riding on a little farther up the street, they came to a hotel proudly dubbed the Nonpareil. At the polished oak reception desk, Stanton pulled out the small black silk purse Emily had seen before, again withdrawing coins to pay the clerk. He signed the ledger in a jagged angular script: “Mr.Dreadnought Stanton and sister.”
“That’s it? Sister?” Emily limped up the carpeted stairs on legs that had somehow turned to jelly during the course of the day’s ride. “Would it have killed you to come up with a name?”
“I have three sisters, Miss Edwards. I didn’t think you’d appreciate being burdened with any of their names“
“Try me,” Emily said.
“Euphemia, Ophidia, and Hortense.”
Emily wrinkled her nose. “What fool did the naming in your family?”
“My father is the fool in question. He is a man who feels the need to publicly memorialize his esoteric and obsessive passions—passions which have included the later history of Rome, reptiles, eighteenth century Flemish aristocracy, and clipper ships.” Pointing to a door, he handed Emily a key. “Early start in the morning. Downstairs by seven.”
Downstairs by seven, Emily mouthed in a snotty voice as she let herself into her room.

The world-building was so well thought out with each different type of magic having their own rules and precepts which I really liked. It made the premise really well structured but also full of imagination, and I loved how different types of magic would interact with people and the environment.

M.K Hobson also has a great eye for historical detail, from the rich language to the setting. It really felt like I were ensconce in post civil war America, but with magic! There different types of magic, such as the mass produced Hex’s by Bough’s Patent Magicks, which is mail ordered spells and hexes. Then you have the more natural magic that Emily practices which added to the tapestry of different types of magic in the world-building. There were also elements of steampunk, such as a biochemical flying machines which Emily and Stanton use to escape from their enemies that was a very fun and awesome scene.

The Native Star also had a cast of memorable characters who were very well drawn out, from Emily and Stanton’s quirky and eccentric family and friends, to the creepy villains who just added to the rich tone and atmosphere of the book. There were also a few surprises and twists that I did not expect but they helped drive the plot to a great pace and ending in the book.

I can’t say enough good things about this book. For me it’s definitely one of the best debuts I have read this year, and I absolutely adore the characters and the setting. If you are fan of Gail Carriger and Leanna Renee Hieber, then you will enjoy The Native Star as it shares similar elements with these authors books. Emily and Stanton’s romance was a joy to read, and although it had a slow buildup and it may not be as steamy as other romances, their snarky dialogue sparkles off each other and adds to their great chemistry. But for me it was a unique take on Fantasy Romance with engaging, memorable characters, humour and spades of imagination! I cannot wait for the sequel, The Hidden Goddess, which will be released next year. But go and pick up this book! You wont regret it!

( )
  Has_bookpusher | Sep 20, 2013 |
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It is a beauteous evening, calm and free,
The holy time is quiet as a Nun
Breathless with adoration'; the broad sun
Is sinking down in its tranquility;
Listen! The mighty Being is awake,
And doth with his eternal motion make
a sound like thunder - everlastingly.
Dear Child! dear Girl! that walkest with me here,
If though appear untouched by solemn thought,
Thy nature is not therefore less divine:
Thous liest in Abraham's bosom all the year;
And worship'st at the Temple's inner shrine,
God being with thee when we know it not.

William Wordsworth
For Nora
First words
Five loud, sharp crashes.
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Book description
The year is 1876. In the small Sierra Nevada settlement of Lost Pines, the town Witch, Emily Edwards, is being run out of business by an influx of mail-order patent magics. Attempting to solve her problem with a love spell, Emily only makes things worse. but before she can undo the damage, an enchanted artifact falls into her possession - and suddenly Emily must flee for her life, pursued by evil Warlocks who want the object for themselves.

Dreadnaught Stanton, a Warlock from New York City whose personality is as pompous and abrasive as his name, has been exiled to Lost Pine for mysterious reasons. Now he finds himself involuntarily allied with Emily in a race against time - and across the United States by horse, train and biomechanical flying machine - in quest of the great Professor Mirabilis, who alone can unlock the secret of the coveted artifact. but along the way, Emily and Stanton will be forced to contend with the most powerful and unpredictable magic of all - the magic of the human heart.
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In 1876, witch Emily Edwards is forced to run for her life when an enchanted artifact falls into her possession, and she teams up with a warlock from New York City to unlock the secret of the mysterious artifact.

(summary from another edition)

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M. K. Hobson is a LibraryThing Author, an author who lists their personal library on LibraryThing.

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M. K. Hobson chatted with LibraryThing members from Aug 30, 2010 to Sep 6, 2010. Read the chat.

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