Herein, I shall attempt a series examining the (both existing and upcoming) works of author Lori Alden Holuta. The series starts with the first published review (I think!) of her short story The Steamkettle Kids Saves The Day. From there, I will work through the rest of her works in order of publication. I hope to end the series with an interview with the author about her writings, her influences, and her hopes – not only for her writings but for the world she has created.
The Steamkettle Kids Save The Day
Type: Short Story
Author: Lori Alden Holuta
Available At: The Brassbright Chronicle
The story concerns the budding world of Industralia. For the uninitiated, this is a land that first appears in print with this story, however, it will be expanded in the book “The Flight To Brassbright.” The story concerns two children and their attempts to thwart a group of ne’er-do-wells bent on a scheme that will hurt the working people of their city gravely.
To me, this tale evokes images, characters, and the general feel of other tales for preteens and teens that I’ve read growing up – such as “Soup” by Robert Peck, “The Ransom of Red Chief” by O. Henry, and “The Adventures of Tom Sawyer” by Mark Twain. Generally speaking, I liked it a great deal.
When Positives and Negatives Collide:
The setting, for the story’s size is well-detailed. However, I went into the story not knowing that it wasn’t a full book. I quickly identified with the heroine, a Miss Paisley Pockets. For the size of the story, the author does a very good job of telling the reader about her – just enough about her – to move the story forward and make the reader want to connect with her. She seems like “Little Orphan Annie Meets Huck Finn.”
The other characters are good, but Paisley steals the show. I don’t feel as much of a connection with them. That could just be me. It could be that we are only dealing with a short story. Who knows? As the universe of Industralia expands, however, I think the residents we find in Miss Holuta’s freshman work will each find their own time to shine.
All in all, this was right up my alley. I loved it. It’s fun, and innocent, and good – in style and otherwise. The only real negative is that I feel cheated. I want more story, because when the story ended, I wasn’t expecting it. I guess if I want more, I have to “buy the book.” Shrewd marketing ploy, Miss Holuta! For you and your publisher, and I think I just might bite.
At 99 cents, why not buy your own copy of “The Steamkettle Kids Save The Day”, and tell me what you think?