Read Romulus Buckle & the Engines of War by Richard Ellis Preston Jr. Online


The frozen wasteland of Snow World—known as Southern California before an alien invasion decimated civilization—is home to warring steampunk clans. Crankshafts, Imperials, Tinskins, Brineboilers, and many more all battle one another for precious supplies, against ravenous mutant beasts for basic survival, and with the mysterious Founders for their very freedom.Through thisThe frozen wasteland of Snow World—known as Southern California before an alien invasion decimated civilization—is home to warring steampunk clans. Crankshafts, Imperials, Tinskins, Brineboilers, and many more all battle one another for precious supplies, against ravenous mutant beasts for basic survival, and with the mysterious Founders for their very freedom.Through this ruined world soars the Pneumatic Zeppelin, captained by the daring Romulus Buckle. In the wake of a nearly suicidal assault on the Founders’ prison city to rescue key military leaders, both the steam-powered airship and its crew are bruised and battered. Yet there’s little time for rest or repairs: Founders raids threaten to shatter the fragile alliance Buckle has risked everything to forge among the clans.Even as he musters what seems a futile defense in the face of inevitable war, Buckle learns that the most mysterious clan of all is holding his long-lost sister in a secret base—and that she holds the ultimate key to victory over the Founders. But rescuing her means abandoning his allies and praying they survive long enough for there to be an alliance to return to....

Title : Romulus Buckle & the Engines of War
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781477807682
Format Type : Paperback
Number of Pages : 486 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Romulus Buckle & the Engines of War Reviews

  • Bookwraiths
    2019-03-17 06:37

    Originally reviewed at Bookwraiths.The Swashbuckling King of Steampunk is back!Yes, Romulus Buckle, our favorite zeppelin captain, has returned with the same fiery attitude, the same devious enemies, and the same soaring zeppelin to ride above it all. However, this time Richard Ellis Preston, Jr. has upped the fun quotient in Romulus Buckle & the Engines of War with an unexpected love triangle, more mesmerizing world building, new characters and dueling zeppelins!You heard me right. Richard Ellis Preston, Jr. has done it; he has taken the silver-skinned zeppelins where readers have always longed them to go: war! And he has crafted those daring conflicts in the clouds with such amazing details that not only does the Pneumatic Zeppelin’s battles fill a reader with adrenaline pumping, steampunk daring-do but they also tantalizing in their absolute realism. A dualism that sets Romulus Buckle above so many other steampunk novels.The story itself begins where the first novel in the series stopped: the Snow World prepares for all out war between the Founders and the rest of the clans. A war that promises to destroy everyone unless somehow Balthazar, Romulus’ adopted father, can forge a grand alliance to oppose the Founders. An alliance that must unite diverse people who have generations of hatred wedging them apart.While the world balances upon the edge of steam-powered calamity, our ever impetuous hero, Romulus, extracts himself from the political intrigue, deciding to leave the politicians to their work and his beloved Pneumatic Zeppelin in dry dock for repairs while he sets out into the dreadful mountains to solve a mystery. Who attacked the Crackshafts years before and killed his sister?Naturally, the quest immediately turns into non-stop action and thrills. And while the answer to the mystery seems fairly evident after reading book one, it still delights in its swashbuckling brilliance, as our favorite zeppelin captain encounters Martian monsters, uncovers yet more mysteries, and succeeds in turning every page into an action lovers roller coaster of delight.But every roller coaster needs to slow down and allow the riders to catch their breath before the next big plunge and Mr. Preston gives his readers this pause from the heart racing excitement, seamlessly shifting from swashbuckling adventure to political intrigue and character development. And during these brief pauses, readers find themselves entertained by the characters themselves, learning more about our hero and his trusted comrades past and watching as Mr. Preston deftly fleshes out his amazing steampunk world: an environment of hissing steam contraptions, ferocious Martian monsters, and age old mysteries.As you can no doubt see, I really enjoyed this novel. It took everything enjoyable from the first book, mixed in new character development and world building and cooked up a heart-racing steampunk masterpiece. Go buy this one today!

  • Kdawg91
    2019-03-20 01:29

    I really dug this, I am not huge on steampunk but Mr. Preston seems to have the attitude of "screw it, lets go over the top and throw as much stuff in this book as we can." It was loads of fun, I even went back and read the first book, it has a few problems, plot is kinda weak, Mr. Preston has a habit of over describing things, lots of ten dollar sentences when a five dollar one would work.Needless to say, its a smashup of a good time. It's worth the read even with the minor flaws.

  • Jenny Schwartz
    2019-02-23 04:32

    First things first. If you're going to read "Romulus Buckle and the Engines of War", read "Romulus Buckle & the City of the Founders" first. "The Chronicles of the Pneumatic Zeppelin" series builds. The books don't stand alone. Read them in order and you'll enjoy the characters a whole ton more, and the world building gets an added richness.I found this second book in the series to be of a slightly different flavour. The action was just as fast-paced and daredevil heart-stopping, but it seemed to me that where Book 1 laid out the challenges of the world, "Engine of War" added depth. I thoroughly enjoyed it. There was time for complications in character relationships, some background on events and ... no I won't include spoilers. But I did enjoy the twists and turns clearly laid out for Book 3. I love a good complication :)"The Chronicles of the Pneumatic Zeppelin" has a swash-buckling gritty style that suits a world that is halfway between steampunk and SF.***I loved Book 1 and intended to add Book 2 to my kindle when the author, Richard E Preston, offered me a review copy. Not being a fool (and honoured by the offer), I said YES!

  • Nicole
    2019-02-27 08:26

    Just as fun as the first one. I'm going to have to go ahead and find the next book in the series. Still over the top, but that's part of what makes it endearing.A couple of notes - I listened to the first book via Audible and didn't notice the author's reluctance to use contractions. I think it's mostly a stylistic choice, but it can make for some noticeably choppy reading. There was also a lot more of the potential romantic triangle in the second book that didn't do a whole lot for me. It seems more of a distraction from the plot and doesn't contribute much to characterization. But that could just be me.

  • Online Eccentric Librarian
    2019-03-20 01:43

    More reviews (and no fluff) on the blog's series like this one that make me fall in love with steampunk all over again. Romulus Buckle and the Engines of War continues the series, providing plenty of action/adventure, introducing new characters, and giving us more information on the dystopian Los Angeles world in which this is set. I'm reminded of great seafaring tales like Treasure island and Horatio Hornblower - with the action and adventure in the air rather than on the sea.In this second book, Romulus sets out to discover who really attacked the Tehachapi stronghold - was it the Imperials or did the Founders have a hand in the action instead? For the land is in turmoil: rumors abound that the Founders are going to go all out in war - and the Crankshafts will need all the allies they can get. That is, unless one ally ends up being the daughter of Buckle's Imperial enemy. And along the way he is going to learn that all of the Crankshaft orphans have terrible secrets - including Romulus' sister Elizabeth. Cue krakens, sabretooth tigers, blizzards, air ship battles, explosions, and more!There's a lot of male wish fulfillment here, as Buckle grapples with not two but now three nubile women on his ship as Valkyrie, daughter of the Imperial clean leader, is forced to join his crew. But that doesn't bother me in a book where the women give as good as they take. For once, every woman is on equal footing with their male counterparts and I just love that about the book. It's a book that is agreeable to both women and men (especially considering we have both male and female POVs).While the first book was nearly non stop action, the second book takes its time to set up more world building, including intriguing hints about all the Crankshafts. We're also given a glimpse of more clans, their leaders, and some great foreshadowing to come. Each of those clans are really fun - from the Aztec inspired 'snakeheads' to the pseudoGerman Imperials.There really is so much inventiveness in this series. I eagerly look forward to the next book in the series! This is steampunk done right - fun, exciting, thrilling, and joyfully over the top.

  • Dianne
    2019-03-08 03:32

    Is Romulus ever going to get a break? I suppose it’s the life of a swashbuckling hero to face danger and death in the eye and walk away. Now, with a tenuous peace threatening to dissolve, Romulus discovers his long lost sister is being held by a mysterious clan and that she may hold the key to finally vanquish the Founders. Now he must risk everything he has worked so hard for, leaving his friends and allies behind to fend for themselves if he is to save his sister. Is this the right course of action? Will there be a world to return to, if he makes it back? Find out by reading Romulus Buckle & the Engines of War (The Chronicles of the Pneumatic Zeppelin, Book Two). Once again, Richard Ellis Preston, Jr. cranks out some action-packed steampunk in the chaotic world he has created! Great dialogue, some amazing “creatures,” and some VERY enlightening news twist the adventure like a tangled ball of yarn, colorful, chaotic and at times a little difficult to unknot. Out over-the-top hero, Romulus is clearly the apple of every corset-wearing, lady’s eye, such a charmer. If you’re looking to settle in and leave reality to enjoy some pure fantasy and steampunk fun, this world will delight your imagination as you are airshipped away into another time and place.I received this copy from 47North in exchange for my honest review.Series: Chronicles of the Pneumatic Zeppelin, Book 2 Publication Date: November 19, 2013Publisher: 47NorthISBN: 1477807683 Genre: Steampunk FantasyNumber of Pages: 485 pages Available from: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

  • Beth
    2019-02-27 01:23

    Saber Toothed, Kraken, Oh My! Romulus Buckle and the Engines of War is a non-stop, steampunk adventure. Infused from start to finish, this story provides an endless adrenaline rush. The perfect book for those who want their action injected into every page.Romulus battles saber toothed, a kraken, and perilous conditions all while trying to balance a tenuous truce with the other clans. Many secrets are revealed while new secrets will boggle your imagination. Romulus Buckle and the Engines of War is steampunk zeppelin flight at its purest. I received this ARC copy of Romulus Buckle and the Engines of War from Amazon Publishing - 47North in exchange for a honest review. This book is set for publication November 19, 2013.Written by: Richard Ellis Preston Jr.Series: The Chronicles of the Pneumatic Zeppelin, Book TwoPaperback: 486 pagesPublisher: 47North Publication Date: November 19, 2013ISBN-10: 1477807683ISBN-13: 978-1477807682Rating: 4 StarsGenre: Steampunk ScifiLearn more at: Preston's WebsiteFind this book on: Amazon | Barnes & Noble

  • Erin Cataldi
    2019-03-02 01:26

    This is officially the first steampunk novel I have ever read and it wasn't too bad! I really didn't think I would enjoy it, but after awhile it grew on me. The main character Romulus Buckle, swashbuckeling captain of the "Pneumatic Zeppelin" is your typical James Bond, cocky, womanizing, brave, type. You just have to like him (although his attraction to two of his step sisters is a little odd for me). This is the second in a series and it picks up immediately where the last one left off and ends in such a cliffhanger that you're stuck waiting for the next installment. I'm not sure how many are in the series but this book sets it up for a major war against the founders. The whole point of this book is uniting all the warring clans together to fight a common enemy, the Founders. It's super fast paced. I'm fairly positive that Buckle did not sleep once during the entire book. The characters are pretty well developed and leave you with enough curiosity that you'll want to see how they develop later on in the series. This book is all steam punk with some fantasy elements thrown in (flying krakens, sabertooths, martians, etc.) so if you're into that kind of thing you will most definitely love this book.I received this book free from Goodreads in return for my honest, unbiased opinion.

  • Dj
    2019-03-01 08:34

    As I expected, this book was definitely better than the first book in the series. I am still not completely satisfied about items such as character and story development, but the Engines of War proved to be a better read.One thing that I do not like...large portions of both this book and the first in the series contain long descriptions and setups of both characters and situations that seem to be nothing but extraneous "filler" material, with no real intent other than to increase the length of the book and/or story. While some people may enjoy this, I do not.Still, if you like steampunk, I would fully expect you to like this book. I had other people tell me, "hey, this like reading a pirate book!"I don't know about that, but this series does have an action-oriented center to it, once you parse through the lengthy verbiage and get to the meat of the plot. Not a bad book, and an easy read.

  • Cathy
    2019-03-13 08:28

    What a good adventure story!!I have read 2 books in this series and both of them are really exciting. Sometimes it is hard to keep the characters straight but they are very entertaining and there is never a dull moment. Romulus Buckle is the airship captain, he is quite a ladies man and a true swashbuckling (ha) hero. His crew has many beautiful women including Martians and mechanicals. I have already ordered the next book in the series.

  • Jack Webb
    2019-02-22 04:41

    More Zeppelin ExcellenceBook two of this wonderful trilogy easily holds the pace of the first book while continuing the interesting details of the technology. Mr. Preston has obviously given a lot of thought to these airships, yet the explicit details never detract from the story or the considerable action. Truely an excellent series.

  • David
    2019-03-06 05:43

    Fun steampunk.I can smell the steam. Preston makes the world come alive. Totally enjoying this trip in the Pneumatic Zeppelin. Onward to the thrilling conclusion.

  • Conan Tigard
    2019-02-25 00:45

    Romulus Buckle & the Engines of War is another wonderful book in The Chronicles of the Pneumatic Zeppelin series that is quickly becoming one of my favorites. I absolutely love the Steampunk feel to these books and really find the main characters to be quite intriguing. The entire feel to the story is one of a frozen and gritty world where the only true form of science it the hydrogen-filled airships (Scary . . . I know). And then there is all of the Martian beasties that are always attacking the humans. I wish we had more back-story on these creatures and the obelisks that the Martians left behind. Speaking of the Martians, what happened to the them? Where are they? Maybe I missed this in the first book, but there is a lot of history that the readers are missing out on. Even with this lack of information, the story is still terrific and I couldn't put it down. It is a true page-turner in the style of the old-fashioned dime-store novel..The first half of this book was quite different from Romulus Buckle & the City of the Founders in that the main characters spend absolutely no time on the Pneumatic Zeppelin. Romulus and Max end up fighting for their lives from the brutally cold conditions on the surface and the nasty Martian Sabertooths that are hunting them. Once they are finally rescued and are on the Arabella, then they end up in the worst kind of storm fighting a Martian Kraken. On one hand, I was disappointed by the idea of a kraken attacking the small airship, but on the other hand, I still found the episode to be very exciting. After it was over, I discovered that I was now okay with the entire thing. One thing that bummed me out was that Max was injured throughout the entire book and played a very minor roll in the story. She was replaced by Valkyrie, the daughter of Katzenjammer Smelt. But, I also ended up liking this new character very much, so I'm not sure where I stand on this. Hmmm.All of the characters, be they good or evil, are quite interesting. The author does a wonderful job in fleshing out the main characters, and even some of the minor characters. It is interesting that characters Richard Ellis Preston, Jr. gives names to are sometimes quickly killed off. It would appear that the life of a zeppelineer is a short one, as Romulus informed us in the first book. I really enjoy how the author is developing the series and introducing the clans in a slow manner. Sure, the ambassadors from most of the clans were at Balthazar's meeting, and I can barely remember any of them, but I won't forget the captain of the Spartak airship that was under attack from the Founders. He is a pretty cool cucumber.Overall, Romulus Buckle & the Engines of War is another excellent science fiction story that adds more depth to the continuing story about Romulus Buckle and his Pneumatic Zeppelin. I was excited to start reading this book, having recently finished the first book in this series, and I will say that this book is highly entertaining. In my opinion, both of the books would be wonderful to see on the big screen. So, with this in mind, I cannot wait to see what happens in the next book. I am ready to get started on it now. Of course, I cannot because it hasn't yet been published, or maybe even written. I guess I am just going to have to bide my time and wait patiently for Romulus Buckle to re-enter my life sometime in the future. It is going to be a very difficult wait.I rated this book a 9 out of 10.

  • Ea Solinas
    2019-02-21 00:42

    Steampunk novels are more fun when something extra is inserted into the story -- space travel, zombies, cloud squirrels, et cetera.And there is a LOT of extra stuff in "Romulus Buckle & The Engines of War" -- a futuristic, icy version of Earth with sabretoothed tigers, steam-powered airships, and plenty of aliens. It's a pulpy, piratey kind of adventure story, with lots of fun action scenes -- but Richard Ellis Preston Jr. does have a distracting tendency to ramble.Romulus and a grievously wounded Max are stranded in the Devil's Punchbowl, with wild beasts trying to eat them. But they have no time to rest when they are rescued, because Romulus has discovered a shocking fact -- it was the Founders, not the Imperials, who stole his sister. The only hope of stopping the Founders is by uniting the various disparate groups against them.But there are obstacles in the way of the Pneumatic Airship -- vast sky krakens, political squabbling, saboteurs, and a shocking revelation about one of Romulus' own crew. As a war starts to rev up between the Founders and the other clans, the airship's crew finds itself on an ambassadorial mission that turns into a battle."Romulus Buckle & The Engines of War" is basically steampunk pulp -- which I mean in the most affectionate way possible. It's a colorful, fast-moving story with plenty of vivid scenes (giant sabretoothed tigers with four green glowy eyes!) and exciting action scenes with muskets and cutlasses. It's a rollicking ride, sort of like steampunk pirates without the theft.The one problem is Preston's writing style. He packs in a lot of solid dialogue and vivid descriptions, which are lots of fun to read. But he has an unfortunate tendency to write in long, rambling sentences. Some of them are as long as a small paragraph, and could be easily divided into two or three smaller ones.But if you can overlook that easily-fixed flaw, the characters are a likable bunch. Buckle is a rough'n'tumble, hard-drinking, courageous captain, and his rough edges and flaws are enough to distract you from the fact that all women are hot for him. The regal half-Martian Max and the mysterious Sabrina are both nicely rounded out, although their flashbacks can be a bit intrusive (did Sabrina's REALLY need to be in the middle of a kraken attack?).The second Romulus Buckle is a fun, wild ride with plenty of steampunk flair, as long as the lengthy, rambling sentences don't bother you. Enjoyable steampunk pulp.

  • May
    2019-02-21 05:31

    Romulus Buckle is captain of the Pneumatic Zeppelin, and he and his Crankshaft clan are facing war from the Founders clan. They must gather the other steampunk clans together to face the Founders, but Buckle's is also searching for his missing-presumed-dead-sister. Will he be able to find her, and when he returns, with the clans' alliance still be intact?When I picked this up, I didn't realize that it was the second book in a series. When I finished it, I was upset to see that a third book wasn't listed for the series! (This just came out, though, so hopefully a third will pop up.)I was pleasantly surprised--thrilled--at how much I loved this, and how quickly I fell in love with the characters. I wish I had read the first one, but it didn't take long at all for me to catch up with what was going on and who everyone was. I simultaneously love Buckle as a Captain and dislike him. Or, well, I get frustrated by him. He's so headstrong and reckless, and completely unapologetic for what and who he is. He was no guilt about himself. I suppose there's a twinge there, especially when he loses members of his crew, but he never wallows in guilt. I suppose that's part of him that I like, it's rare in a character. Oftentimes you come across a character that clings to feeling guilty as... what? The author's attempt at making them human? I like a character that realistically doesn't feel that way.It was a fun steampunk world, too. Post-apocalyptic, which isn't unusual or unique in steampunk, but a frozen world that's still ruled by airships? That's new and fun. I wasn't expecting the story to start the way it did, but I got into it quickly. It has a good pace, and consistently kept my attention right up until the end. I wish I had gotten to see more of Max, but I suppose if I had read the first book I would have. (view spoiler)[I haven't decided how I feel about this love... triangle? Potential square? I'm glad Buckle isn't focused on love or relationships, and I don't mind that he gets distracted occasionally because he never gets carried away, but I feel like Sabrina gets too focused on it. I felt those slips into girliness felt...awkward. As the independent, self-reliant woman she seems to be, it felt weirdly out of character for her to get so distracted by these new-found feelings for Buckle. And that was a little frustrating.(hide spoiler)]

  • Tracey
    2019-03-09 01:45

    Trinitytwo’s Point of ViewRomulus Buckle & the Engines of War picks up right where The City of the Founders left off. (Note: if you have not read Romulus Buckle & the City of the Founders go back and read it now.) Romulus Buckle and his crew are pretty beat up after their encounter with the City of the Founders. Their airship, the Pneumatic Zeppelin, was almost destroyed and many of the crew were injured or killed. Thankfully, their daring rescue attempt succeeded and their leader, Admiral Balthazar Crankshaft, along with two other clan’s leaders are safe. Among the recovered clan leaders is Admiral Katzenjammer Smelt who swears that his Imperial clan is innocent of waging the devastating assault on the Crankshaft’s Tehachapi outpost over a year ago. This blitz resulted in the stronghold’s obliteration and the tragic loss of Buckle’s adoptive mother and his biological sister, Elizabeth. Smelt’s denial forces Buckle to reconsider his hatred of the Imperial clan. Buckle is so obsessed in discovering the truth that he is willing to risk his life by heading into the treacherous mountains where an enemy zeppelin was shot down during the attack. Engines of War starts off at a rollicking fast pace. New mysteries, deadly alien beasts and unexplored romantic longings are introduced adding more depth to the story. Author Richard E. Preston, Jr. begins to layer personal history and insight into many of the main characters. I enthusiastically enjoyed the glimpse into Romulus and his adopted sister Sabrina’s respective childhoods. The momentum stalled somewhere midpoint when in the middle of war councils and military preparations, the story dallies at the Seasonal Ball. Here our characters primp, play matchmaker, and think inappropriate thoughts about one another. Once this is accomplished, however, the momentum is regained and the characters get back to the dire business of impending war onboard their zeppelin. Preston is at his best in the midst of battles and action and the author begins and finishes Engines of War with exciting exploits and a promise of more to come. Preston’s steampunk world has sparked my imagination and I am anticipating the next chapter of Romulus' adventure in his third book.

  • Koeur
    2019-03-01 06:40 Amazon Publishing Date: November 2013 ISBN: 9781477807682 Genre: Fantasy Rating: 4.6/5.0Publisher Description: The frozen wasteland of Snow World—known as Southern California before an alien invasion decimated civilization—is home to warring steampunk clans. Crankshafts, Imperials, Tinskins, Brineboilers, and many more all battle one another for precious supplies, against ravenous mutant beasts for basic survival, and with the mysterious Founders for their very freedom.Review: Wow, another epic chronicle in the Romulus Buckle saga. This novel has it all…adventure, great character and scene development, suspense and a cool cover to wrap it in. This novel never really falls flat, anywhere. Usually a novel will have some down time, depending on how the story-line is being developed. For example, at the bedside of an injured Max, the author transports you into her Martian dream-scaping that is at once compelling and unsettling. The war scenes are very well crafted and carry this humanistic element throughout, as seen through the eyes and feelings of Buckle. There is compassion, anger, love….all the emotions that we know so well, that rampage through the pages.In the first novel, we had no sense if Buckle was a man with human needs. We began to see the burgeoning interest expressed by Max, Buckle’s chief engineer. In this installment, Buckle is confused by his feelings for Max, Sabrina and quite possibly Valkyrie, princess of the Imperial clan. The women that fly with Buckle on the Pneumatic Zeppelin are smarter than Buckle, capable and, well, hot. There is this constant tension that occurs between Buckle and the women in his world. This was a great read, better than the City of the Founders, in that there was constant well developed scenes with good character involvement and movement. In the next installment Buckle is going to Atlantis to find his sister and I can’t wait to be there with them.

  • Jennifer
    2019-03-12 06:51

    I must admit that I have not read book 1. I received this as a review copy knowing that it was book 2 in the series and that I may have a little catching up to do with characters and world building. I looked up pertinent information online from reviewers that I trust to catch me up.Summary:Romulus Buckle captains a Zeppelin, but is currently stuck in the Devil's Punchbowl (a famous landmark in CA). Because of this futuristic world, everything is frozen over and Romulus and Max have to keep themselves alive in spite of the dangerous beasts that want to eat them. Romulus has found out that the Founders have taken his sister. He is hell bent on getting her back and saving the alliance he tried so hard to build. All the while, he is also preparing for a war he believes is bound to happen.My thoughts:Honestly, I love the Victorian aspects of this book. It is honestly the only reason I enjoy steampunk. I also love pirates. I rarely give up the chance to read a book that has pirates in it, whether they are steely, brutal men, or ones with soft spots (like Romulus). The mixture of fantastical beasts and flying objects should make this a wonderful ride for me. Unfortunately, it felt disjointed and drawn out. At the beginning, there is really not much of a plot. Romulus and Max are fighting beasts to stay alive. It's an interesting adventure which is reminiscent of boastful epic poems, but honestly doesn't move the story forward. It's like each one of them is a short story in its own right and should be treated as a collection not related to the overall plot of this book. Second, the flashbacks are the longest, most drawn out aspect of the book. We get dragged into these long, long sentences that never seem to end. This only seems to happen in the flashback scenes. It's almost like everything has been put into slow motion and been stretched out. Again, this does little to add to the story or move the plot along. Once you get threw that, the story is a lot of fun. There is adventure, a little romance, and a great hero. That's what we're here for, right?

  • Thomas
    2019-03-16 02:28

    Romulus Buckle & the Engines of War is an absolute thrill of a ride! Every act is like a roller coaster, climbing up to new heights and soaring through chapters leaving you emotionally charged and wanting more!The story starts off about a month after Preston's first Romulus Buckle novel, City of the Founders, with the confident and determined Captain Romulus Buckle of the Pneumatic Zeppelin searching for answers. The town of Tehachapi was bombed and many innocents, including Buckle's mother, and possibly sister, were killed. He finds proof that the mysterious and powerful Founders clan were behind the attack, but in order to deliver the news, he must defeat mutant sabertooths, rescue one of his shipmates from the brink of death, and battle an alien kraken, all in the first act no less! Richard Preston Jr. is a brilliant writer. I love his style. Some authors sprinkle the details into their story and allow you, as the reader, to fill in the gaps with your imagination. Richard paints the whole picture for you, and it's a wonderful work of art, one that allows you to sit back, kick your feet up, and enjoy the story!My favorite part of the novel was easily the third act where Captain Buckle charges the Pneumatic Zeppelin into an air battle. It was an intense situation that made me sit on the edge of my chair with my heart pounding the entire time. Richard Preston Jr. is one of those authors who can make us care about his characters and what happens to them. The ending left plenty of room open for the next novel, but still had its own satisfying conclusion. Romulus Buckle & the Engines of War is a fantastic followup to City of the Founders. This is an amazing steampunk series, one that I can't wait to continue with the next Romulus Buckle adventure!

  • Mawgojzeta
    2019-02-27 02:35

    Definitely read the first book in the series before this one. Personally, I was not "feeling" the first book, but it does present the world this series is in. I found "Engine of War" to be a far more comfortable read for me than the first book. The same issues I had with the first book were not so glaring in the sequel. Despite that, it still took me a month to read, unlike other books that take from an evening to a week. Here were my issues in the first book:-very short chapters, which I found jarring instead of exciting-so many introductions compared to the size of the book-doodads that are not clear in their use (small complaint)I understood what he was trying to create, but I could not get there.In the second book none of these issues were so strong for me. I finally got a little interested. All and all, I found this second book to be satisfying.I want to qualify my review by stating that part of my problem may only be my problem with the series. I read a space adventure a few years back with a similar style. I was excited, as it was an author I adored. HATED that book. My 19 year old son read it after me and loved it for the same reasons I did not.I gave this a 3 because I am now interested enough that if this is to be a trilogy I will want to complete the journey.

  • Ashley E
    2019-03-10 08:27

    Wow. I don't know if I have enough words to describe how much I loved this book. My main thought after finishing? When is the next one coming out? Because I need it now.More seriously though, Engines of War picks up almost immediately after City of the Founders and is just as awe-inspiring as the first. Romulus Buckle is a grand adventure and reckless heroics trapped inside a human body. The Pneumatic Zeppelin and crew face dangers so rare as to be mythical in this installment, and meanwhile the clans are trying to present a united front to the Founders clan's intimidation tactics.Preston's writing of action is so tight and seamless, it's like watching a film. The story sucks you in from page one and doesn't let go even after you shut the cover. And the continuing hints of romance just spur on the HEA-lover in me. I'm shipping Romulus and Max so hard, it's not even funny.The only downside to this book? Well, I had to scrabble hard to find one. The ending. Oh, the ending was absolutely perfect. I just didn't want to stop reading! Please, Mr. Preston, get writing on book 3! I don't know how long I can stand to wait.[I received this book for free through First Reads and was not required to write a positive or any other type of review. All opinions stated herein are solely my own.]

  • Barbara
    2019-03-10 01:47

    I'm enjoying this series, The Chronicles of the Pneumatic Zeppelin so much, and this second installment might even be better than the first, if that's possible. This time the story starts out with a bang, as Romulus heads up into the dangerous mountains to try to resolve the question of who attacked his clan previously; was it the Imperials as they were led to believe, or was it the Founders? Of course there are alien saber toothed beasties roaming and Romulus and his guide are attacked, as well as his adoptive sister Max. What follows is a wonderful adventure, as once aboard the Pneumatic Zeppelin's launch, the Arabella, they are attacked by another alien monster, one they call the Kraken. The story also fills us in on some back story for some of the main characters, as well as introducing some of the other clans to the mix, as they meet to form an alliance against the invading Founders. One of the highlights to the story for me was the big airship battle, it was so exciting as I tried to picture in my mind just how all the action was taking place aboard these magnificent airships in this steampunk world. I certainly hope the author adds another story to the series soon, I can't wait to find out what happens to Romulus and the rest of the characters in their fight against the Founders, and get the answers to some of the mysteries still to be revealed.

  • Elfscribe
    2019-02-26 02:24

    The story is a steampunk world of warring clans and features Romulus Buckle, the intrepid captain of an airship called the Pneumatic Zeppelin. The whole first part was non-stop action with snow sabertooths, howling icestorms called bloodfreezers and hungry krakens. Leaving aside the logistics of how a kraken manages to attack an airship hundreds of miles above the earth, the action was well done. I was especially intrigued with the very realistic sense of flying aboard a zeppelin and all the various duties of the crew. But the book really took off (so to speak) for me once Captain Buckle returns home and we meet all the various clansmen with warring interests and see them make an alliance against their mutual enemy. More air battles ensue. I found the romantic aspects of the story much less convincing. Romulus Buckle is like Captain Kirk, every nearby female seems to fall for him, including two of his sisters (adopted, not blood relatives, but still, um, a bit squicky for me). I didn't realize this was the second book in the series until quite some ways in and while the story and action was well done enough for me to keep reading, the characters, although you could see the effort to make them quirky and interesting, didn't feel real to me. I'm not sure I'll pick up either book 1 or book 3 in the series.

  • Mary Catelli
    2019-02-23 07:24

    Action! Adventure! Discoveries and alliance before the outbreak of war! In a post-apocalyptic steampunk California!!While I think the story stands on its own, it does have a lot of plot spoilers for The City of the Founders.For instance, the opening sequence is Romulus going up into the mountains to investigate a shipwreck, because he had been told something in the last book and could verify it there. A venture enlivened by weather and sabretooths, by Max's coming to his aid against his orders, by the strange location where he finds refuge for them. (There are a few more hints of what the apocalypse was in this book, but not much.)And then he returns for a council of war, as they group against the Founders, who have manifested such hostility and marshaled such forces that they have no hope except in a grand alliance. A late arrival to the discussion observes that by coming, they have cast their lots: Founders' spies will have reported them by now.The story goes on, covering a ball, nightmares, a heroic effort to deliver a message, a battle, the need to stop the lynching of a spy, insoluble equations that would make immortal the one that solved them, and much more.

  • Timothy Pecoraro
    2019-03-11 03:39

    This was a hard review to write. As I felt that the first book in this series wasn’t very good except for it’s adventurous spirit and it’s dealing with the added Martians to the Steampunk world. In fact, the world of the first book was one of the only things I felt was unique or interesting about it. I also loved the character Max, for was a Martian herself. Max was sidelined for most of this book and really plays little to no part in it. This was disappointing. But the story itself was much better than the first and the pacing had been tightened up quite a bit. There are still some of the problems from the first book; like Romulus being more lucky than good and acting like he was more good than lucky. But if the whole rest of the book is good, I can deal with a main character that sometimes makes me roll my eyes. I wasn’t entirely thrilled with the end but now that the book is firmly in a place where it is definitely going to be a series. I guess that I can deal with that as well. The very much improved second book in this series is definitely worth a look; especially if you liked book #1.This Review along with all my others are available on Among the Wreckage

  • William Bentrim
    2019-03-12 02:37

    Romulus Buckle and the Engines of War by Richard Ellis Preston, Jr This is a steam punk, post apocalypse tale of Zeppelineers and their inter-clan rivalries. In this particular tale, the Founders declare war on the rest of the clans. Romulus is a headstrong hound dog! The man seems to attract a wealth of beauties in spite of his impetuous nature. Max, Sabrina and Valkyrie all are candidates for romance. Meanwhile Romulus is as clueless as most of us guys usually are. He reacts emotionally and honorably. The setting provides some interest as well. The Pneumatic Zeppelin, a hydrogen fueled zeppelin captained by Romulus Buckle of the Crankshaft clan, is the setting for much of the action. However the world has been sectioned into Clan areas that have a vague ethnicity. Attributes are ascribed to Clan members based on stereo types. Gruff Russians, fragile and weird geeks and hard drinking Irish. That area is a touch simplistic for my taste. The story is good and moves at a respectable pace. The Martian fauna add extra danger to an already somewhat bizarre environment.I recommend the book.

  • Brad Thomson
    2019-02-27 06:23


  • Read Ng
    2019-03-01 02:35

    This was a GoodReads giveaway win.This is my very first steam punk novel. I had to find out what all of the interest is. I just assumed this was part of a series and not a more intertwined second part of at least a trilogy. Keeping an open mind, I liked the opening and general pace of the story. I did not mind coming to the story late. Missing the backstory in the first installment made it interesting. The troubling part is not understanding the steam punks occurring in the future. I always assumed they took place in the mid 1800s. Why is it set in a snowy southern California? What happened to technology to bring us back to a steam punk society? What is with the Martians and the dangerous non-earthly wildlife? I guess I really did miss a lot in part one.I doubt this story is a typical steam punk story. I still found the tale interesting and will now have to find parts one and three. Will there be more parts? It is still an interesting story, so have a GoodReads.

  • Kekoa
    2019-02-23 06:41

    I received this book for free through Goodreads First Reads.First, I must admit that I'm a bit of a stranger when it comes to Steampunk so I wasn't quite sure how I would react to this book. After reading through the first few chapters, I'm happy to say that I am now a fan of the genre as well as this particular series!There was non-stop action in the beginning of the book that had me begging for a break for our heroes. Preston does a wonderful job elaborating on details for every scene, whether it be an action sequence or merely a seated conversation. By doing so, it was easy to imagine yourself in the picture and get a feel for the genre. I will say, however, that there were times I could have done with less details.Nonetheless, Romulus Buckle has become one of my favorite series and even though I've read this one before book one (this being book two), I was still able to follow along with the entire story arc quite nicely. I am looking forward to book three and have no doubts that you will, too, once you've finished reading this one.

  • Amy
    2019-02-22 01:48

    Romulus Buckle is back!This second book had fewer problems than the first. Tons of action (but not too much, like the first), mostly kept with the same characters (and the new ones were important to the plot). Sure the flashbacks got a little old (gotta get the back story in there somehow!) but I was glad when several of the mysteries/issues from the first book were either resolved, or at least propelled forward.Overall, I enjoyed this second installment of the Pneumatic Zeppelin. As mentioned in my previous review, this is my favorite steampunk series so far. The steampunk gear, clothing, and speech just fits in the dystopian world that has been created without seeming forced or steampunked just to be steampunk. It works in these novels and I can't wait to read the 3rd book!I'm hoping book 3 gets written/published soon (according to the author's website, it's currently on hold :( )