by Devon Monk
Western steampunk, super crazy. Beings of The Strange and beyond, werewolves, gods walk the land and clockwork robots, or matics help build the rail. There are humans, glim, witches, zombies and more…it is chock full of good stuff!
Cedar is a man under a curse, he turns into a wolf during the full moon and can’t remember who, what or why he does anything while in the wolf skin. So he locks himself up so he can’t wreak havoc on the unsuspecting townsfolk. He lives secluded and rarely mixes. But a few folks go missing and he is called upon to track them, bringing him involved with the strangest of the strange in a life or death battle with the world at stake. No small thing.
This book is involved, the descriptions of the clockwork mixed with magic interesting and twisted. The tagline on the front, America was built on blood, sweat and gears is appropriate and this book is dark, bloody and scary (not that I was scared while reading)! The bad guy is super bad and he lets nothing stand in his way. He is laying down the railroad which also becomes a doorway for the strange to come through to our world. In the wake of the rail, yucky things happen, but he also has his own agenda.
“For the Strange to walk this land heavy enough to leave footprints behind, they needed more than a doorway. They needed gears, blood, and flesh. Strangework.” (pg 162)
The end is bananas. A huge fight which I usually have a hard time following, but it was exciting and I wasn’t sure who would make it out alive. I liked the characters and I cared about them, especially at the end. You don’t get to know too much about them, everyone has their secrets still pretty much intact, except for Cedar but you have enough to be totally interested.
I did have a hard time getting into the book, I think I started it a couple of times, but once I got through a couple of chapters I was looking forward to picking it up. It is just fairly involved because of all the steampunk and mechanicals. Plus add in the mixture of magical bad guys and certain scenes were layered with different genre ideas, I found I couldn’t read it casually without forgetting things. It demands your undivided attention! No half watching TV to be “social” with your family while you read (anyone else do that?!). At least I couldn’t block out enough to do that and understand what was going on.
4 clockwork stars powered by glim, don’t put your fingers too close or they will bite them off. I am really looking forward to book 2, Tin Swift!