Review plus Giveaway: Dead Iron by Devon Monk (Age of Steam #1)
July 5 2011
Received from publisher
In steam age America, men, monsters, machines, and magic battle for the same scrap of earth and sky. In this chaos, bounty hunter Cedar Hunt rides, cursed by lycanthropy and carrying the guilt of his brother’s death. Then he’s offered hope that his brother may yet survive. All he has to do is find the Holder: a powerful device created by mad devisers-and now in the hands of an ancient Strange who was banished to walk this Earth.
In a land shaped by magic, steam, and iron, where the only things a man can count on are his guns, gears, and grit, Cedar will have to depend on all three if he’s going to save his brother and reclaim his soul once and for all…
When I think of Steampunk, I think of Victorian England, men in waist coats and crazy spectacles, women in corsets and steel boots. Why do I think this? Because that is the only type of Steampunk I have read really. And because I had never read anything other, that is what Steampunk was to me. But all that has changed now that I read Dead Iron by Devon Monk.
Dead Iron is the first book in Devon’s Age of Steam series. It takes place in America during the pioneer days. No corsets here. Just mobs that go after witches and praying if people think you’re crazy. And I for one loved the change in scenery and the feel of this book. And I found it to be just enough steampunk. What I mean by that is I didn’t find it overpowered the story, as steampunk often does.
If you notice, I didn’t write a ‘yummy man’ and ‘kick ass chick’ at the beginning of this post. That’s because the way this book is written, there is no single hero and heroine, and there really isn’t a love connection in this book either. There are many little stories in one book and all of these stories intertwine to give you one big story. It never feels muffled. If never feels forced. Even though it takes at least 60 pages to know enough about each character to see where their part of the story is headed, you never feel lost or confused.
I really enjoyed Cedar. Out of all of the characters, he may have been my favorite (he’s on the cover). After ‘knowing him’ just a short while, you want him to have a happy life. He really does deserve one. But there is also Mae. She may actually be my favorite. Her story is heart-wrenching and her love for Jeb… I cried at the end, it was so sad yet beautiful. Then again, I really did like Rose…and the Madden brothers… There are so many wonderfully written characters in this story, and each one receives the attention they deserve. Each gets enough page time that you end up caring about them. Even the villain gets a nice amount of story time. But you don’t root for him. He’s slime and deserves bad things like ingrown toenails.
Even though Steampunk is not my most favorite genre, I gave Dead Iron a try because it was written by Devon. And I’m glad I did. The characters are really well done, but the highlight for me was the writing. Devon wrote this book beautifully. I don’t know of many authors who could have pulled of writing so many plot lines without jumbling them all up. The descriptions were perfect – not too wordy or confusing. And when creating a Steampunk world inside a reader’s mind, the description is key. In this book, it is very visual.
The only reason I rated this book the way I did is because, as I’ve mentioned, Steampunk is not my most favorite genre. And even though the writing was wonderful, I don’t see myself reading this book again someday. But it is definitely worth a try if you are in the mood to read something different and well done.
Giggle worthy quotes
“Cedar had stared straight into the killing eyes of rabid wolves, hungry bears, and charging bull elk, but Mrs. Horace Small had them all topped.”
Cedar felt along the left side of his eye and up to a lump and a cut at the edge of his hairline. He sighed. Bleeding and hungry had to be two of his least favorite ways to start a day.
Giveaway! I have a copy of Dead Iron to give away to one lucky commenter! Simply leave a comment below and you’ll be entered. Contest open to Canada and U.S. only and you have until Tuesday July 12th 2011 11:59pm to leave your comment. Good luck!