Zelda Pryce is the youngest and most unusual security expert in Washington DC Using her knowledge of arcane mathematics, she builds beautiful machines that defy explanation and allow her to break into any home, bank, or museum with ease and in styleAfter successfully burgling the Smithsonian, Zelda is hired to test the security at the British Museum in London using her anti gravity wings and electromagnetic cloak And that s where everything goes wrongThe museum didn t really hire her A thief did And when Zelda escapes from the London police, the only thing on her mind is tracking down the thief who set her up and nearly destroyed her careerSo she teams up with a charming English riskbender and a daring French alchemist to chase the thief from Paris to Rome, from Castle Frankenstein to the Taj Mahal Together they must escape all manners of strange traps and creatures, and only their arcane skills and tools will keep them aliveBut if they can t catch the thief in time, every arcane device in the entire world could be destroyed, and thousands of innocent lives could be lostThis is a world where a Chekhov Gun is a revolver with a mind of its own, a Diogenes Lantern makes people tell the truth, and Occam s Razor is the most dangerous knife in the world At least it was, until a mad scientist made a sharper one Anyone who has ever watched a few episodes of the show Warehouse 13 will find the plot of this book very familiar Pretty good show by the way The beginning was a little hard to follow but once I made that connection it was a lot easier to get into the flow of the book That being said this was a great book Great action and mental drama with little romance to distract from that.The focus wason Zelda s field of work and how arcane objects operate The character development was well done d Anyone who has ever watched a few episodes of the show Warehouse 13 will find the plot of this book very familiar Pretty good show by the way The beginning was a little hard to follow but once I made that connection it was a lot easier to get into the flow of the book That being said this was a great book Great action and mental drama with little romance to distract from that.The focus wason Zelda s field of work and how arcane objects operate The character development was well done despite that and there is a glossary of sorts in the back of the book to help you understand some of the terms used in the book Overall I definitely recommend this book and well read the next one A book that passes the Bechdel test with flying colors All the important characters are women and the guy who would be a love interest in any other telling of this story only appears sporadically and only gets a couple kisses near the end Maybe it s just the circles I run in, but it seems if you want good genre fiction led by women characters, look no further than steampunk Although, this book is like steampunk s weird cousin.The Razor s Edge posits a strange world that took me a little bit o A book that passes the Bechdel test with flying colors All the important characters are women and the guy who would be a love interest in any other telling of this story only appears sporadically and only gets a couple kisses near the end Maybe it s just the circles I run in, but it seems if you want good genre fiction led by women characters, look no further than steampunk Although, this book is like steampunk s weird cousin.The Razor s Edge posits a strange world that took me a little bit of time to get used to It s our world there are mentions of Mythbusters and computers and cell phones, but there are also Arcana In Mr Llewelyn s world, Arcana are essentially Thursday Next level puns that describe items in the world For example, Occam s Razor is the strongest razor in the world there s nothing it can t cut Lorenz s Butterfly is an actual butterfly that can shape events across the world you know that saying a Butterfly flaps its wings and there s a hurricane on the other side of the world Our main character is Ms Zelda Pryce, a woman who s an arcana prodigy and has built herself a number of arcana and a business as a security consultant breaking into various museums to help them improve their security During one such job she meets an actual thief In another novel they d be a slap slap kiss couple, but instead they tussle and leave on amiable terms Meanwhile, the plot thickens in semi predictable ways Other characters Zelda s sister who places a somewhat Oracle role as in what Barbara Gordon did until the 2011 reboot gave her use of her legs again They have what seems like a pretty realistic sisterly relationship looking out for each other and also sometimes annoying each other Inspector Yasmin Demir who ends up being a primary character along with Zelda for most of the novel A badass woman who rose up the ranks of the DCRI or something like that in France despite being a woman and based on a couple throwaway lines I m pretty sure also a lesbian The main villain Ophelia Martel who is impressive in her own right an activist who has been jailed many times for her principled stance Although, true to antagonist form, she chooses an anti social way of dealing with her disappointment This book is part of a series, so it s no surprise or spoiler that Ms Pryce does not die at the end of this book In fact, the book ends with her having Chinese food in her apartment with her sister If you re a reader you ll be able to guess most of the plot or at least not be terribly surprised by what s going on Ms Pryce is also a little less introspective than I d prefer, but not too bad I was waffling between a 3 and 4 star rating, but given all the great stuff I ve mentioned above, I went with the higher rating Who would I recommend this to It has a bit of a YA vibe or, at least, it s not as surprising or introspective as it could be That said, I m a guy in my mid 30s and I found it pretty entertaining I would say if you have a kid or teen who s really geeky they d really enjoy it because a lot of the fun was associating the puns with the real life people or terminology like Laplace s Demons that I know from philosophy class and rhetoric That said there s a glossary in the back Again, the guy and girl don t sleep together and the dirtiest thing is an obscure reference to a dick joke that if you understand it, are probably old enough to get it So definitely good for any girls in your life who need or want a female protagonist who doesn t need a man to save her although it doesn t hurt to team up with one on your own terms or any boys for whom you want to model that it s great for women to be independent and awesome Review originally at Fantasy Book Critic ANALYSIS After being introduced to Joseph R Lewis s writing in the form of the Other Earth books, I was very curious to see what else he has written On checking his website I saw a brand new book being released called Zelda Pryce The Razor s Edge, two things nudged my curiosity, the reference to the classic Princess Zelda video games and the fact that this was going to steampunk ish YA caper of sorts novel I was partly right in my assumptions abo Review originally at Fantasy Book Critic ANALYSIS After being introduced to Joseph R Lewis s writing in the form of the Other Earth books, I was very curious to see what else he has written On checking his website I saw a brand new book being released called Zelda Pryce The Razor s Edge, two things nudged my curiosity, the reference to the classic Princess Zelda video games and the fact that this was going to steampunk ish YA caper of sorts novel I was partly right in my assumptions about those two nudges and here s why The story opens up in current day wherein Zelda Pryce, our protagonist is currently testing the security of Smithsonian Museum of Arcane Science She does manage to evade the security and procure the items as required but not without some high kinks on the way Plus with regular phone calls from her sister Roxanne about her interests in arcane science, studies and life over all, she leads a life that can be deemed reasonable as befitting her persona Soon after gig with the Smithsonian, she gets contacted for a new gig overseas in London During the actual gig she realizes something is horribly off, combined with the presence of other people in the same place, she discovers that she has been mentally conned into following someone s nefarious plan Soon she learns from Yasmin Demir, a French DCRI agent that all is not well in the world of Arcane museums the world over Soon Zelda will have to make a choice whether to go back to her normal life or to find out who is behind all of this If this book can be encapsulated in a single word, it would be FUN Beginning from the first chapter, there s a jovial undertone to this book that asserts itself in the dialogue as well as the inventions that abound the pages from cover to cover The characterization ranging from Zelda, Clive Yasmin are done competently as befitting a YA novel however we only get the story from Zelda s point of view The author though does his best to provide a decent background to the supporting cast however this move is hampered through the use of a singular third person POV Going on to the second favorite part of the book, which was the presence of all these cool phenomena, gadgets and alternate arcane history, the author has created a world wherein magic is present but it isakin to a science and is distilled by various famous historical personae, into its current highly evolved state Ranging from Chekov guns to Diogenes lamps to Occam razors to Nicomachean whistles to other cool but equally dangerous artifacts The author has planned this world akin to the Harry Potter one but with a crucial difference, this is the age of science Thereby having a cool machine punk edge to history, the story gains a different edgeakin to the Scott Westerfeld Leviathan series but with a comical tone akin to that of the John Connolly Samuel Johnson series Lastly there s no Link in this story and this Zelda does everything herself to save the world The story does have a complete plot with room left for a sequel and readers who enjoyed this book will be glad to hear that Zelda will be back in the sequel tentatively titled Zelda Pryce The Clockwork Girl What can readers look forward to in book, hilarious banter involving Zelda and her younger sibling Roxanne, action packed sequences in various international locales and overall a strong fun filled story to boot With such plus features, it really becomes hard to point out any insufficiencies in this book but I think there might be some points to note Primarily this book is equivalent to literary candy as the author meant it to be readers looking for a grimmer world setting akin to the current YA dystopian mold will not find it here Also the author intentionally has made the series the way it is thereby choosing to disregard certain facts and history to make the story plotaccessible and if you can t let go of your sensibilities completely then this isn t the book for you CONCLUSION Joseph Robert Lewis is a maverick writer and it shows in this YA outing, filled with colorful characters, fascinating gadgets and an action packed storyline I strongly recommend this book simply because of its theme to be a funny book If you haven t read Joss Llewelyn yet then grab a copy at the earliest instant and you can thank me later This was my second LibraryThing Member Giveaway by Joss Llewelyn the first, Daphne and the Silver Ash, was so good I pounced on this the moment I saw it Unfortunately, it took me a lot longer to get around to it than I d have liked Story of my life, lately This was wonderful fun Except for that, it couldn t be muchdifferent from its predecessor It s much lighter and quicker than Daphne whereas that was like an illuminated manuscript of a fairy tale, this is a present day steampunk This was my second LibraryThing Member Giveaway by Joss Llewelyn the first, Daphne and the Silver Ash, was so good I pounced on this the moment I saw it Unfortunately, it took me a lot longer to get around to it than I d have liked Story of my life, lately This was wonderful fun Except for that, it couldn t be muchdifferent from its predecessor It s much lighter and quicker than Daphne whereas that was like an illuminated manuscript of a fairy tale, this is a present day steampunk extravaganza, and a joy Zelda, a young entrepreneur, begins the book by robbing the Smithsonian It becomes obvious pretty quickly that this is not an ordinary heist this is my first experience of steampunk in the present day as opposed to the 19th century , and the integration is beautifully done The gadgets are clever, both in concept and name It s a pity no one made or used Callahan s Razor, based on Callahan s Law Shared pain is lessened shared joy, increased thus do we refute entropy