Reading Level: Adult
Size: 384 pages
Publisher: Roc Trade
Release Date: July 3, 2012
Stand Alone or Series: 2nd book in the Age of Steam series
Source: Borrowed from Library
Rating: 3.5/5 stars
This is the second book in the Age of Steam series by Monk. This continues to be a very creative series, packed full of action. The story suffers a bit from the constant POV switching which breaks up the story and makes it hard to really engage with the characters.
Cedar Hunt finds himself with a group of refugees hunting down the Holder device for the Madder brothers. Cedar has a side goal which is to get the witch Mae back to her sisters before she goes insane. Also along for the ride are Rose (who is an adventure seeker) and Cedar’s brother (who is cursed to wolf form).
This is a creative and fun world; pretty much a mix of western and steampunk genres. The storyline goes from one action-packed scene to another. Much of the book takes place on the airship the Tin Swift; books about airship/ship travel aren’t personally my favorite. I am also not a huge fan of the heavy western flavor this series has. The Steampunk elements are fun though; there are clockwork people and glim (similar to aether). The bad guy is truly unique and creepy as well.
The story is a bit slow to start and then towards the end of the book things are resolved in a rushed way; so the pacing of the story could have used some work.
Also the story suffers from the numerous point of views that it is told from. It’s not that long of a book and to have the story told from 4-5 (or more) POVs really fractures the story and makes it hard to really get to know or engage with any of the characters. As such the characters are okay but I never really cared about any of them much.
I was entertained for most of the book, but had trouble focusing on the story at times because it was just too broken up.
Overall this was a decent continuation of this series. I really enjoy the creative world that Monk has created; she does an excellent job with action scenes as well. I love the steampunk elements to the story but am less enthusiastic about the western flavor throughout. Much of the book takes place on an airship and I am not a huge fan of ship/boat/airship, types of stories. Additionally there are a lot of POV changes which make it hard to engage with the characters and story. Tentatively recommended for steampunk/western fans.
I would highly recommend Cherie Priest’s Clockwork Century series if you are interested in a historical steampunk/western type of story. Priest’s books are incredibly well written, very creative, and feature strong compelling characters.