The GoodReads Best Steampunk Books list keeps growing but is a flawed list. It is a list constructed by the public and has some head scratches near the top.
The list be an excellent place for finding new Steampunk books and giving some gauge of their quality . However, the top of the list with a few exceptions is a weak representative of the best of what the steampunk genre has to offer.
The following will take a closer address each in the GoodReads Top Ten.
- Soulless : Gail Carriger | Souless is in no way a bad book. It is a very female oriented book not one meant for a male audience. It does score major points however for being one of the few steampunk books that doesn’t have a female character who wishes she was a man. It’s a well written and interesting enough to warrant a read..
- Leviathan : Scott Westerfield | Leviathan not to be confused with the 1980’s movie with the same name is a young adult adventure with a time and setting that would be a stretch to be considered steampunk. It’s set in World War one Europe and has a very anime feel. It’s not a terrible read but is for kids and is a very simple read and lacking much depth. It’s not bad but doesn’t belong in the conversation of top steampunk.
- Boneshaker : Cheri Priest | While the sequels to Boneshaker(“Ganymede” and “Dreadnought”); Boneshaker is actually a very original and interesting work of Steampunk. It’s a very bittersweet book in the fact that it such a solid iconic work of steampunk, however the followup sequels, atleast the ones this author has read (Ganymede Dreadnaught) are boring and not worth a read.
- Perdido Street Station : China Mieville | This Definitely Deserves a spot in the Top Ten. This is a challenging read and invites multiple read throughs. The weird steampunk distopian world created by Mieville is well worth the visit. While Perdido Street Station’s sequel The Scar is considered the superior steampunk book it remains the start of the new weird.
- The Time Machine : H.G. Wells | This can be debated but The Time Machine is not a work of Steampunk. Steampunk didn’t develop till much later Wells is simply writing science fiction.
- Jules Vernes: 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea: Same as the Time Machine science fiction not steampunk.
- Clockwork Angel (The Infernal Devices, #1) Not read by steampunkbooks.net
- The Golden Compass (His Dark Materials, #1) Considered classic
- The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, Vol. 1 Considered classic, only average story.
- Changeless (Parasol Protectorate, #2) Not read by steampunkbooks.net, Probably similar Souless.
The Best Way to Search Good Reads list of the best steampunk books is to use it a guide to find an appealing story.