Miss Violet Whitcomb (I prefer brushes to combs) is a human female who helps her male parent with his scientific inventions in the year 1875. When her dad is captured from the train they're taking across Wyoming Territory by another inventor calling himself the Iron Scorpion (good villain name--I hate scorpions and most bugs), Violet (are violets good eating? Typing Slave won't let me have plants in the house) turns to a human male named Logan (sometimes the humans give me steak tips from Logan's, so he can't be all bad). Logan doesn't want to get involved with anything Iron Scorpion-related, but the female seems to be the naggy sort, like Typing Slave, and talks him into it.
The two of them plus her father's greatest invention, an automaton aka humanlike robot, take off after the Iron Scorpion through rough terrain, tracking the mechanical contraptions that attacked the locomotive. If the Iron Scorpion forces the old human codger to spill his guts about his amazing inventions, presumably that will allow Scorpy to take over the world and stuff. Typing Slave nattered about how "cleverly" this story utilized and expanded the "pulp Western" style, but Typing Slave says a lot of shit that's senseless, like, "Get off the counter" and "I'm serious, Meankitty, get off the counter."
As for me, the cat whose opinion you came here to see, I found the story to be devoid of interesting description and characterization. There are exactly zero cats in this book except for one reference to a game of cat and mouse. Unfortunately, in that lone, lame instance, the "cat" was the bad guy chasing the poor mousie good guys, and bad guys NEVER win in books like this. In real games of cat and mouse, the mouse doesn't exactly pull out a whacked out steam machine gun and blow the kitty away, so this was just a terrible reference. Terrible. I mean, if a robot CAT is not going to be the humans' most illustrious invention -- no, it's some robot PERSON, like that's anywhere near as cool as a cat -- what is the point?
But I guess if the automaton had been a cat, the cat would have saved the day by page 10, and all the readers would have complained it was too short. Eh.
If you like that pulp Western goofy steampunky adventure with some kissy kissy stuff (though not TONS, I'm happy to say, because that crap gets you locked out of bedrooms), you may like this book. If you have the sophisticated good taste to prefer stories with plenty of obeisance to felines, you will not like this book. I didn't. Except for when a robot wolf got what it deserved.
Here is a link to the author's site: http://www.heathermassey.com/project/iron-guns-blazing-hearts/ with buy links and excerpts.
CAT COUNT, and I'm trying REALLY hard here to give Massey a lot of chances to impress me:
Cat and Mouse, game of: 1
Caterwaul: 1 (but it wasn't at 2 am, the best time for caterwauls)
Puss (feline only): 0
Canine: 1 (in the form of a mechanical monster, a major opponent)
Wolf: OUCH 18 (THAT is gonna hurt the score)
Colt: 29 (the hell!)
Horse: 49 (I guess I'll give the Colts and horses a pass, since Colts are a weapon for soft humans without claws and the horses were enslaved to do the humans' bidding, kind of like dogs)
Snack: 0 (Yah, because the humans didn't try to eat the heads off the delicious butterflies)
Beast: 12 (usually in reference to mechanical monsters)
A dog eating horse poop, because there are 49 references to horses in here and that's a lot of poop. I mean, a pile of horse poop is frequently as big as a cat! If the author wants to put a dog eating horse poop picture on her site to denote her rating, here are some options that I had the small humans create:
Meankitty & Typing Slave
www.meankitty.com * www.jodywallace.com