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Alice Payne Rides, by Kate Heartfield

Review copy provided by the author’s agent, who is a personal friend.

This is the sequel to another novella, Alice Payne Arrives, and really you should not read it as a stand-alone when the first one is so readily available. The relationships, the technology, the consequences, are all spelled out much more thoroughly in the first volume. This one assumes you’ve already gotten all that and are ready to ride on.

And it does ride on, right away, with all the things happening at once–and since this is a time travel novel, I really do mean that they are all happening at once. The future and the past are here and neither one is letting up for a minute–except that they keep shifting out from under each other.

There are a few things that strike me as somewhat off in the timelines–specifically, I feel like the late 18th century is being treated like the late 19th century when it is way more decadent and scandalous–but it’s not enough to stop the full-on time travel fun. And steampunk swashbuckling. It’s an alternate history! It’s a time travel book! It’s a steampunk adventure! Friends, it’s all of that.

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