About Volume 1: The Falling Machine
In 1880 women aren't allowed to vote, much less dress up in a costume and fight crime, but twenty-year-old socialite Sarah Stanton still dreams of becoming a hero. Her opportunity arrives in tragedy when the leader of the Society of Paragons, New York's greatest team of gentlemen adventurers, is murdered right before her eyes. To uncover the truth behind the assassination, Sarah joins forces with the amazing mechanical man known as The Automaton. Together they unmask a conspiracy at the heart of the Paragons that reveals the world of heroes and high-society is built on a crumbling foundation of greed and lies. When Sarah comes face to face with the megalomaniacal villain behind the murder, she must discover if she has the courage to sacrifice her life of privilege and save her clockwork friend.
The Falling Machine (The Society of Steam, Book One) takes place in a Victorian New York powered by the discovery of Fortified Steam, a substance that allows ordinary men to wield extraordinary abilities, and grant powers that can corrupt gentlemen of great moral strength. The secret behind this amazing substance is something that wicked brutes will gladly kill for and one that Sarah must try and protect, no matter what the cost.
Cast of Characters
"I got into the middle of someone else's fight," Sarah replied with a sniff, "Which is a very different thing."
As the daughter of Alexander Stanton, Sarah Stanton has always lived a life of privilege, kept safe and out of harm’s way by her father. But she has always wanted more.
As the daughter of the Industrialist she has grown up in the shadow of the Society of Paragons, dreaming of a life of adventure and derring-do. But as events pull Sarah deeper into the world heroes and villains Sarah will find that it’s a much more complicated and dangerous place than she ever imagined.
"I appreciate your trust in me… Sarah." He put his left arm around her gently and squeezed back. Sarah was surprised. She hadn't expected it. "I will do everything in my power to… prove that your faith in me is not misplaced."
Made of steel and brass, the Automaton was created by Sir Dennis Darby, the world’s greatest inventor. There are those that believe he is truly a thinking machine, and those that think he is a metal devil without a soul.
Although he is built of metal, Tom still wears the shape of a man. His struggle to find his humanity will become his greatest strength and deepest vulnerability.
I'm not anyone's man but my own, Mister Wickham. There are, I’m sure you’ll agree, many methods of disguise and infiltration. Some are simply more effective in particular cases.
A man of mystery, the only person who knows who he truly is under his enigmatic black leather costume is Anubis himself.
With his staff and wire rope, this dark figure patrols the rooftops of New York, hoping to return balance to a city where the poor suffer endlessly, and the rich ignore the pain of their fellow men.
Although he is one of the Children of Eschaton, Anubis has been working to bring down the organization from within. But the longer he spends undercover the less sure he is that he actually remains hero.
If that maniac had killed you I would have lost both you and your mother to enemies of the Paragons, and that simply can't happen. I won't let it!
Independently wealthy rail baron, leader of the Society of Paragons, and hero to the people of New York, the Industrialist wears a steaming top-hat and wields a rapid-fire pistol as he brings Justice to all humanity.
Since losing his wife to a maniacal villain a decade ago, Alexander Stanton had redoubled his efforts to put an end to any madmen who would deny life and liberty to the innocent.
But his single minded vision and desire for power may have blinded him to the corruption that is taking root in his beloved Paragons.
There are limits to what Steam can do. It takes time to build pressure, and it must always be regulated. Too little gives you nothing, and too much can destroy the vessel that gives its power shape. And that energy is always direct: An unstoppable force that must be balanced and tamed with gears and belts.
Detective extraordinaire, master of disguise, and expert practitioner of the mysterious fighting arts of the orient, there was a time where there were no mysteries that Peter Wickham couldn't solve using either his wits or his fists. He is also one of Sir Dennis Darby's closest friends.
As he enters old age, the Sleuth may not be as spry as he used to be, but his mind is every bit as sharp as it ever was.
We must immanetize the Eschaton! The time has come to destroy this world so that the better one may be born.
Gifted with powers that seem to go far beyond those of the other heroes of the nineteenth century, the stony gray hands of this mysterious villain seem poised to tear down everything that Sir Dennis Darby has ever built.
Using his nefarious team of villains, the Children of Eschaton, to bring about his reign of terror, it seems the only person capable of standing in his way is a nineteen year old girl named Sarah Stanton.