Paperback and hardcover editions of The Ghost Machine have popped up on Amazon, which is super exciting. Clockmaker hasn’t been re-released yet, though, so what should you read while you’re waiting for another gothic steampunk novel?
Here are a few similar books I’ve enjoyed that you might like, too.
by Leanna Renee Hieber
This book is so deliciously gothic. The atmosphere is dark, the language beautiful, and if you like reading about ghosts, you should definitely pick this one up. The heroine, Percy, was the most memorable aspect of this book for me–not “strong” in the way you might typically think of heroines. She’s not going to win a fistfight or even snark at a villain, but she’s brave and strong nonetheless.
Originally published as two books, Strangely Beautiful unites Leanna Renee Hieber’s critically acclaimed novels in a single revised volume, restoring the author’s original vision for the work.
Miss Persephone Parker—known as Percy—is different, with her lustrous, snow-white hair, pearlescent pale skin, and uncanny ability to see and communicate with ghosts. Seeking to continue her education, Percy has come to Queen Victoria’s London, to the Athens Academy. What she will learn there will change her life forever.
Athens Academy is the citadel of The Guard, an ancient order that battles the forces of evil. The Victorian Guard, led by professor Alexi Rychman, is incomplete. They cannot defeat Jack the Ripper— who is more than the serial killer he appears to be—or the greater monster his appearance heralds.
Percy’s lifelong habit of concealment combined with Alexi’s fevered search for the Guard’s missing seventh nearly prove disastrous as ancient Greek myths begin playing out in modern, gaslit, Victorian London. Percy and her new friends and allies must overcome their preconceptions about each other and their own histories before they can set the world to rights.
Magic Under Glass
by Jaclyn Dolamore
I can’t believe it’s been almost ten years since this book came out! Magic Under Glass is an excellent, underrated YA fantasy that deserves a comeback. It has a nice steampunk element in the form of the clockwork automaton that’s at the center of the plot, and while it takes place in a secondary fantasy world, there’s a definite gothic atmosphere. The main setting is a grand, mysterious manor where the main character takes a job. Her employer is full of secrets, and there’s rumors of a madwoman roaming the halls–it’s all very Jane Eyre, and I love it.
If you like both gothic and high fantasy, this book is definitely for you.
Nimira is a foreign music-hall girl forced to dance for pennies. When wealthy sorcerer Hollin Parry hires her to sing with a piano-playing automaton, Nimira believes it is the start of a new and better life. In Parry’s world, however, buried secrets are beginning to stir. Unsettling below-stairs rumors swirl about ghosts, a madwoman roaming the halls, and Parry’s involvement with a league of sorcerers who torture fairies for sport.
Then Nimira discovers the spirit of a fairy gentleman named Erris is trapped inside the clockwork automaton, waiting for someone to break his curse. The two fall into a love that seems hopeless, and breaking the curse becomes a race against time, as not just their love, but the fate of the entire magical world may be in peril.
Cold Stone & Ivy: The Ghost Club
by H. Leighton Dickson
I’ve written an entire review about this book, so I’m not going to rehash it. Suffice it to say, if you enjoyed The Ghost Machine, you probably like ghosts, steampunk, and resourceful heroines. Cold Stone & Ivy: The Ghost Club has all three.
Jack the Ripper gave her his heart. Now he wants it back.
The year is 1888, the clockwork British Empire is crumbling and young writer Ivy Savage has literally received a heart in the post. Terrified, her father sends her north to a strange sanitarium in Lancashire where the brilliant but unpredictable “Mad Lord of Lasingstoke” makes his home.
Here, Ivy finds the dead are as dangerous as the living and she is immediately swept into a world of manners, mystery, and supernatural intrigue, uncovering a secret that will lead both her and the Mad Lord back to London and the dark streets of Whitechapel.