My Exploding Cat

Just stories and drawings really, no actual fissile felines.

Synopsis of A City Reclaimed

I took a hiatus from posting after I entered the depressive funk of AP French (long story), and didn’t start again over the summer. But I didn’t stop writing. Here’s the synopsis of my latest project, a steampunk novel called A City Reclaimed.

This post contains massive spoilers after the dotted lines.


A City Reclaimed

A girl called Ella is the last surviving member of a noble family wiped out by plague (the reason she survived is kind of a spoiler, but I’ll say that for a few reasons, she wasn’t as at risk as the rest of her family). She manages to sell some of her family’s possessions and hightail it out of her city before the next person to take power kills her or her sketchy godfather catches on to the fact that she’s still alive. She survives on the street for a while in Corveny, the next city over, until she’s picked up by the city’s governor, a scholarly man called Gabriel, because she looks like his late wife.

Under his wing, she meets Gabriel’s son and future partner in crime, a boy her age named James. She quickly demonstrates that she is a) able to read, and b) able to construct machines that make Gabriel a lot of money, because of a tutor she had for a few months (against her parents’ best intentions).

And he needs it, because Corveny is being attacked by airship pirates. A lot. They slip in during the night, get past the walls and guards, and steal things from the citizens, which is starting to upset the economy. Then, one night, they go for a less subtle attack, and they bring their guns. The armed citizens hold them off pretty well, but Gabriel is abducted.

Naturally, James and Ella pack up and go after him; they take off a prototype machine of Ella’s, which is a metal chariot with mechanical horses. (The fantasy fans will get the joke in 3… 2… 1. They actually are using mechanical horses, and they still require more maintenance than the horses fantasy heroes ride.) Along the way they meet a cyborg boy (Andrew) who has nowhere else to go and a genetically engineered empath girl (Ivy) who won’t leave them alone, both of whom turn out to be pretty helpful.

It gets more complicated, but don’t read past this if you’re planning on reading the book.




SPOILERS: I’ll tell you how it ends.

They rescue Gabriel. He’s poisoned a bunch of the pirates in a sneaky way only a scholar would know about, and James, Ella, Ivy and Andrew act as his getaway crew. Meanwhile, they find out that the pirates are actually privateers: hired by a family that’s trying to take over all the surrounding cities in order to build an empire. This family is also the one that poisoned Ella’s folks with the disease that killed them; it was spread through makeup, and then from person to person. (Ella, who didn’t wear makeup and avoided her family as much as possible, escaped the spread.)

Both actions are against a treaty signed by all of the southern river cities, including the one the family originally ruled. (The treaty allowed for expansion in cities as long as there was land to put it on, but prohibited multiple cities being ruled by the same group or person.) This is fortunate, because it gives Gabriel a good rallying point when he’s looking for alliances. The band of five has to deal with the family and their privateers, and then organize the re-stabilizing of all the affected cities.

In the end, Ella reunites with the tutor who taught her mechanics (Samuel) and installs him as her home city’s governor (by now, she’s a bit sick of politics, so the intelligent tutor gets the job). Gabriel goes back to running Corveny, and also takes on the duty of coaching and helping Samuel. She and James go back to their workshop and continue to work together as mechanic and engineer, respectively. Ivy and Andrew end up together romantically. Apart from generally liking each other, Ivy’s lonely knowing what everyone else is feeling and thinking about her all the time and Andrew’s robotic limbs make that far more difficult (since she works off body language), and Andrew needs help learning to read body language so he can interact with people more normally. Also, they’re both artificially altered, and they value each other’s lives more than a normal person probably would.*

Everything’s okay in the end. Broken, needing repair, but okay. 🙂



This entry was posted on Friday, August 23rd, 2013 at 6:09 pm and is filed under A City Reclaimed. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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