Rodger Dodger is a man with a past, a past he rather not have to explain. Hieronymous Dittmeyer is the creator of the fabulous train Sleipnir. It puts down tracts of it’s own, letting them travel wherever they wish. Dittmeyer recently lost his Security Specialist and he’s looking to hire a replacement. Dodger (aka Carpenter) was the only one foolish enough to answer the ad.
This book starts off a little slow, being a bit of an info dump on the fancy train and her occupants. Still, there was enough steampunk awesomeness there to keep me interested and I am very glad I continued on with this book. the story gets good, really good. I do believe I am now hooked on the series, which is awesome since there is something like a dozen of these books.
Professor Dittmeyer is something of a brilliant ditz, being one of those brainiac types that can get lost in the details of whatever he is focused on. He has a mechanical assistant he created that brings drinks and snacks when asked. Then there is the chief engineer and driver Ched. Now you might say Ched was a zombie, but only if you wanted to be subjected to his dry, cutting humor. He was one of my favorite characters, often being the one to cut to the heart of something.
There was really only 1 female character and we see her way at the end of the book. When she finally arrives on scene, the first thing we learn about her are her looks. Basically, she is a sexual object from the beginning. There are glimpses that she is more, but then back to her sexy looks. We had very little of her but I still hope the author chooses to do more with her and perhaps balance the gender ratio in future installments; tossing in a token estrogen is not enough.
The ending is set up perfectly for the next adventure and I am definitely looking forward to that. There are bigger story arcs to explore, and it appears each character has a few secrets that need uncovering.
The Narration: JoBe Cerny did a very good job. He was a great choice for the voice of Dodger, giving his character that gruff wild west wanderer voice. Also, I loved his voice for the undead Ched and the mechanical manservant.