The future of America is bleak in Olson’s debut novel, The Sandcastle Empire. A group of anarchists, called the Wolfpack, overthrow all systems of social and governmental order, flipping the classes. The haves are thrown into gulags and the have-nots now control everything. The East and West coast are underwater and global warming is threatening the world. The only choice is to build underwater pods.
Elisa is a princess and she is also the bearer of a godstone—a stone with magical properties found in the navel of a chosen bearer once every 100 years. To keep her secret safe, Elisa's father arranges a marriage to a king in a distant land. Although Elisa has never met him and knows little of him, she marries the kind King Alejandro. Shortly thereafter, Elisa is kidnapped by rebels . . .
While steampunk as a subculture may be best known for corsets, goggles, and extraneous decorative gears, beneath those trappings is rich fodder for fiction often featuring plucky female protagonists--and publishers have certainly been taking note. Beth Cato's The Clockwork Dagger is one such tale, complex enough to entice existing steampunk fans but approachable enough to those new to the genre.