Karen Memory | Los Angeles Public Library
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Karen Memory

Karen Memory is a Steampunk novel set in the mythical frontier city of Rapid City. Rapid City is a bit like San Francisco would have been during the gold rush if San Francisco had been built with Zeppelins by mad scientists in 1849. Karen is an orphan trying to make her way in the city and save up money to open a stable someday, like her father.


But the way that Karen has found to make money isn’t something her father would have approved of. Karen works as a “seamstress” at the Hôtel Mon Cherie. The Hôtel Mon Cherie is the type of fancy hotel where seamstresses entertain gentlemen for the evening. At the Hôtel Mon Cherie, the men aren’t gentlemen and the seamstresses don’t sew, even if they do have a giant sewing machine sitting in the corner.


When the discovery of a mysterious murder right outside the Hôtel Mon Cherie threatens the women who live and work within, Karen joins forces with a marshal, his Comanche deputy, and an escaped slave girl to protect her home and the family she has built. There are submarines and airships. There are daring rescues and a love story. If all of that won’t get you to read this book, consider the fact that at one point Karen modifies the sewing machine into a giant mecha suit and uses it in a wild chase through the alleys and over the rooftops of Rapid City!