Book Reviews

The Glow of Luminiferous Aether on Tinsel by Jana Denardo at NineStar Press

Genre Gay / Steampunk / 19th Century / Warriors/Soldiers / Disability / Erotic Romance / Holiday
Reviewed by Serena Yates on 03-December-2017

Book Blurb

As Chief Tactician for the airship DeGrasse, Jacob Scarberry has spent the last six months on a wearying tour of duty. He’s missing home, and his prosthetic leg is conducting the December cold straight to his core. But with the holidays coming up, he’s looking forward to a well-earned leave, sharing some Christmas surprises with his lover, Dr. H. Alphus Troyer, and welcoming in the dawn of the 20th century.


A professor at Ohio University, Al is already on Christmas break, and his unconventional household is in a festive frenzy. Al is a bit less joyous, his anticipation of Jacob’s return warring with uncertainty over the special gift he had commissioned for him. Would Jacob appreciate it, or will it put a strain on their relationship?


Suddenly Al’s worries become trivial when the newspapers report an attack on the DeGrasse. With Jacob fighting for his life miles away, Al is left to wonder whether Jacob will return at all, or whether the planned festivities will become holiday heartbreak instead.


Book Review

A holiday story with a steampunk theme is not something I have seen often, so coming across this one was a treat. It’s set two weeks before the turn of the century – 1900 that is – and has all the elements I enjoy in this genre: an airship with an interesting crew member, a chief tactician with a mechanical leg and a hankering for a certain professor, said professor anxiously awaiting the chief tactician’s return so he can present him with a special gift, and a surprise pirate attack on the airship. This world is not at peace, with several wars tearing apart what we know as the USA. All of this action/adventure plus a touch of festive spirit – once all the unpleasantness is dealt with – made for very entertaining reading.

Jacob can’t wait to finish his latest tour of duty. He hates the cold, and his mechanical leg being made of steel - which conducts temperature perfectly - doesn’t help his mood one bit. He looks forward to his leave, has a great Christmas gift for his lover, and even though they can’t have an open relationship (homosexuals are put in the insane asylum in this world, just like women who are too “forward” and independent), Jacob would not miss spending the holidays with Al for anything.

Al is as snug as a bug in a rug – so to speak. He has a warm home, lives comfortably off his salary as a professor at Ohio University, and has assembled a family around himself that is as much to provide a cover for the fact he is gay (hence his unconsummated marriage to a committed suffragist), as it is to provide shelter to other potentially endangered people (like his “wife’s” lover, posing as Al’s spinster cousin). I loved all the subterfuge going on in that household!

If you like holiday stories set in unusual worlds, if you want to find out more about two men who have to hide their love from others but are very demonstrative when nobody else is around, and if you’re looking for a read that is suspenseful, surprising, and very entertaining, then you will probably like this short story.





DISCLAIMER: Books reviewed on this site were usually provided at no cost by the publisher or author. This book has been provided by NineStar Press for the purpose of a review.

Additional Information

Format ebook
Length Short Story, 32 pages/10300 words
Heat Level
Publication Date 27-November-2017
Price $2.99 ebook
Buy Link