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Robots, Fantasy, and Steampunk: 3 YA books or Series with More Romance, less science


Fantasy and steampunk seems like the antithesis of robotics and hard science fiction, with mysteries and incantations vying with logic and numbers. The three scifi fantasy books in the previous blog incorporate some aspects of real robots. Three other robot fantasy books or series have much less call out to real science, but they do have the typical young adult themes of strong young women going through the bildungsroman of dealing with loss, going on some sort of journey or quest, facing tough choices, and reaching maturity-- but with the added bonus of having dreamy romances. Could make for a great guilty pleasure or a lovely gift to a teenage girl.

The Lunar Chronicles by Marissa Meyer. Starting with Cinder, the book imagines what if Cinderella was a cyborg and lost her foot, not her shoe, at the ball? Melissa Meyer’s bestselling YA novel offers an inventive futuristic re-telling of the classic fairy tale. Every time you think you know how the story will play out, Meyer puts in a Brandon Sanderson worthy zig or zag, just not a zig or zag to science. See the flash review here.

Heart of Iron and Soul of Stars by Ashley Poston is a YA girl-meets-robot romance series. Like Cinder, it takes a familiar tale (in this case Anastasia the Russian princess) and cleverly up-ends expectations and tropes. A guilty pleasure for a STEM girl but no real teachable moments. See the flash review here.

The Alchemy of Stone by Ekaterina Sedia. An emancipated female steampunk-ish android seeks to use alchemy to free the gargoyles guarding a city. Sounds like a dreadful schoolgirl fantasy mashup, doesn’t it? But it is a YA tale with surprising, poignant twists and an unexpected ending that is well worth reading. Plus a nice incorporation of issues in ethics. See the flash review here.


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