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Cedar Hunt was not given any more page time than them, and I was disappointed that I was never able to sink into his character and get to know him well. In my opinion based on time spent in POV sections there were at least three main characters. In addition to cycling through those main POVs, we also spent time in the heads of multiple other characters.

Because of this, I never became substantially invested in any of the characters. I felt a distinct lack of depth, despite finding the plot intriguing. I found the storyline fascinating, although after finishing the book I find myself with a lot of unanswered questions. The mix of magic and Steampunk worked very well together. Curses, magic, werewolves, zombies, and the Strange…they were all fascinating. And occasionally really creepy! Shunt and his freaky ability to stitch himself back together gave me the shivers.

Her husband died two days ago and they had such a soul deep bond that he was forced to be killed multiple times because the bond was so strong it pulled him from death. Trying to forge the seeds of a connection with another man while her husband is barely cold seemed a smack in the face to the bond that they shared. My favorite characters were Rose Small and the Madder brothers. The Madder brothers were so fierce and wild and a little creepy.

Their ability to pop up at just the right time and their habit of bargaining for favors made me intensely curious about what they are. Rose was impossible not to like. She was stuck in a life where she was unappreciated and thought a little mad. Watching her open herself to other people like herself was one of my favorite parts of the book. Although the storyline takes place over a very short amount of time it never felt rushed. It actually felt a little bit slow at times. My only hope is that she gives her characters a little more depth.

While I liked the book it felt more like I was watching a movie play out rather than immersing myself in a book. Forks of silver, spoons of moonlight. What do you suppose your knives should be made of, Mr. View all 12 comments. Apr 18, Pippa DaCosta rated it it was amazing Shelves: A brilliantly imagined and original tale of magic, curses and steam. Steampunk isn't a genre I get on particularly well with, but the character of Cedar Hunt intrigued me enough to give this a try.

Let's get something straight. This is fantasy, not steampunk. That cover is gorgeous, but it says nothing about the wonderful fantasy elements that make up the majority of this story. Beautifully written, this author has a poetic way with words, able to weave them in such a way that really gives this world, its dark magic, and the grind of gears such depth.

Cedar Hunt is a cursed and lonely man. Upon every full moon, he chains himself to his hearth to protect those around him from the beast inside. He gets by as a bounty hunter for hire i the small town of Hallelujah, but the guilt of his brother's death and his endless search for a cure to the curse have left him hollow and alone. The sleepy Wild West town of Hallelujah has its share of interesting folks. A witch, a trio of mining brothers who most definitely are not what they seem, a girl who can see the 'Strange', to name a few.

And this town is right in the path of the railroad, driven by the deliciously evil Shard LeFel. LeFel is an ancient 'Strange' cursed to walk this land for centuries, but he's found a way to open the door to the Strange, and the little town of Hallelujah has everything he needs. This has everything, lost love, the walking dead, machines matics woven together with magic, lycanthropes and a delightful cast of characters that bring it all to life.

Fans of Keri Arthur and Ilona Andrews, basically urban fantasy fans , will enjoy this. Don't let the steampunk cover put you off. I've bought the rest of the series, and the first book in Devon's UF series too. I can't wait to get stuck in. Matics, Witches, and Weres, oh my!

This is a hard book for me to review. I enjoyed it immensely once I got into it, but I recognize that it may not be for everyone. Dead Iron was different from the other books in its genre — no That was different. Dead Iron was different from the other books in its genre — no corsets and no airships. At times it felt like I was watching an old Western movie or perhaps an episode of Rocky and Bullwinkle — I kept seeing the bad guy as Snidely Whiplash. But there are also elements of magic, The Strange, a witch, and a werewolf — things I did not expect to see in this book.

The author manages to capture the Wild West feel and infuse it with magic and steam powered matics. The characters fascinated me. I loved Cedar Hunt, the bounty hunter from out East. Cedar is cursed and becomes a werewolf at the full moon. The Madder brothers were quite mysterious. The women in this book are strong, independent and unconventional. Mae Linson was a witch. Rose Small had dreams of becoming a deviser and creating contraptions of her own. Shard Lefel was an oily character, pure evil.

Not sure if Jeb was a zombie or what he was exactly, I just felt bad for the man. The next book Tin Swift is scheduled for publication in July Review posted at Badass Book Reviews.

  • Dead Iron: The Age of Steam Book 1 by Devon Monk - Penguin Books Australia;
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View all 11 comments. Dec 02, Kelly rated it really liked it. Monk pulls off the impressive feat of creating a wholly distinct voice for her new Age of Steam series. Here, Monk paints a vivid picture of a gritty, grimy Old West. The writing invokes all of the senses, so you can almost smell the metal and oil and blood — and you may find yourself slipping into Old West speech patterns after reading.

Dead Iron by Devon Monk |

Steampunk comes in a wide range of moods, from whimsy to horror. Dead Iron is closer to the horror end of the spectrum. Other than the fantastically dark mood, the greatest strength of Dead Iron is its characters. This is a largely character-driven novel, with Monk taking us deeply into the minds and lives of the kinds of people who might thrive — or suffer — in a West where magic exists alongside steam technology. Cedar Hunt is a werewolf, haunted by the death of his brother. Mae Lindson is a witch whose magic always twists itself into something dark, even when she means well. All three face prejudice in the isolated town of Hallelujah: These three are arrayed against the sinister Shard LeFel and his ghastly assistant, Shunt.

Also in the mix are the enigmatic and highly entertaining Madder brothers, whose intentions are at first not clear to the reader, and who still have mysteries yet to explore in future books. The plot is pretty straightforward; LeFel races against time to perform a terrible ritual, while the white hats after hesitantly becoming friends with one another race against time to stop him. For the characters, the plot moves quickly and takes place over just a few short days; for the reader, it can be a little slow since Monk pauses frequently for character study.

View all 9 comments. Aug 17, Fangs for the Fantasy rated it did not like it. Dead Iron falls into the category of paranormal steampunk. I really looked forward to this book when I saw that it was chosen as the book of the month by one of my Goodreads reading groups; however, that excitement quickly turned to dust, and I found myself looking for anything to do other than reading this book. How do you know when a book is bad?

When you find yourself thinking after reading a few pages, hnmmmm I suddenly have a desire to clean the kitchen, or a do a load of laundry. Yes, hous Dead Iron falls into the category of paranormal steampunk. Yes, housework is more amusing than this book. One of the major faults with Monk's work is how convoluted the story is. First we have a werewolf named Cedar Hunt, who is considered an outsider in the small Oregon town of Hallelujah.

He has moved to Hallelujah in an attempt to forget his past. Hunt believes that he killed his brother, one night when the wolf's blood lust blocked out his ability to reason. His wife and child are also dead. Out of the blue, Rose Small, the General Store owner's adopted daughter tells him about a missing child named Elbert Gregor, and he decides to hunt him down.

Because Rose has told him that she believes that the boogeyman took the child, he decides to pay a visit to the Madder brothers, who seem to have a special skill working with stone. Even though he has no connection with this child, he is willing to owe the Madders a favor in order to secure their help. If that were not bad enough, we learn that Hunt is a werewolf because he was cursed. When asked what he had done to cause a God to be angry enough to curse him he said, "I walked on the wrong land. I did no harm other than to be under the wrong go's scrutiny.

The Age of Steam

Told me I was to hunt them. It is absolutely problematic that the only time First Nations people are mentioned, is for one of them to choose a White man as their champion. Has Monk ever read a history book or had an actual conversation with a First Nations person? Somehow I doubt it. Jul 14, Ranting Dragon rated it really liked it Shelves: The first installment in a new series by Devon Monk author of the Allie Beckstrom novels , Dead Iron is a wonderfully fresh and intriguing combination of steampunk technology and western action. In a world running on steam and gears, science has taken the forefront.

However, tales of magic still circulate; magic, and something largely regarded as superstition, a mysterious realm tied to the mortal plane: Cedar Hunt, teacher by schooling but bou http: And Shard LeFel, railroad tycoon come to Hallelujah, Oregon promising a better tomorrow, is not what he seems to be. In fact, he is something Strange, banished to the mortal plane until his death. When Cedar learns from a trio of brothers that his brother may yet live, no price is too high to pay to find him. In return for the information, he must track down the Holder, a device created by the mad inventors of the Strange.

However, the Holder is in the hands of LeFel, who believes it the key to releasing him from the curse of mortality. But to activate the device, LeFel needs three final victims — a child, a cursed man, and a witch — and he already has two of the three in his possession. It is a race against the clock for Cedar to uncover the mystery surrounding Shard LeFel, the town of Hallelujah, and himself. Intricate cogs and characters The character work in the novel is absolutely wonderful. For the major players, enough is seen of who they are and what makes them tick sometimes literally!

Yet there are questions left about each, shadows left to explore, that makes one want to continue reading to discover their secrets. A prime example of the fantastic character work is Cedar Hunt. Though he is a bounty hunter, he has his morals — he will not hunt to kill. However, he is quick though not without his doubts to toss these morals out when he discovers his brother might still live.

A well-oiled machine Apart from the characters, the aspect of the novel that really sold it for me was the plot. It had the right mix of fast-paced action coupled with suspense to hold my attention through the the entirety of the book even though much of my reading was done in the pit at the theatre! The division of the storyline between the major players is very balanced, and each is engaging.

Not only was the plot of the novel tight and concise, it also laid a few foundatoins for series-spanning subplots — a great selling point for me. Shakes, stirs, and serves This is a true genre mash-up, and as my first real foray into steampunk novels, Dead Iron delivered, and did it well.

While it may seem that the western, steampunk, and fantasy genres are simply smashed together, the three genres have actually been closely interwoven, much like the many tiny gears in a watch or a clock. It is a polished, well-organized world, and I loved every moment of it. And as a setting for a new series, I believe it holds a lot promise; while the reader may see the finished facade and some of the underlying foundations of the world, there are enough aspects left unexplained to pique the curiosity of the reader.

The downside to this is that the world almost overpowers the main plot. Almost, but not quite. For me, a novel is usually more about the characters and how they make it through their given circumstances, and that held true for Dead Iron. However, I did find myself wanting to know more about things happening back East, in China, and the rest of the world, which is where I think the series is probably heading. Why should you read this book?

Instead of being a steampunk novel with aspects of fantasy and western, it reads more like a fantasy novel with steampunk technology. The characters are engaging, the plot lines are twisty but fairly easy to follow, and the premise is original. This is a fantastic start to a promising new series. Jun 02, Bry rated it did not like it Shelves: A world with a western theme, magic, strange creatures who prowl the night, earth magic, and the walking dead - what's not to like?? Why should I care about their lives, their past, their emotions when I rarely get to see or experience them either through their perspective or even an Such promise.

Why should I care about their lives, their past, their emotions when I rarely get to see or experience them either through their perspective or even another characters perspective. The constantly changing perspective makes the writing seem chopping and the plot disjointed. I am not sure who I am supposed to be focused on, be concerned for, or route for. I am not sure how the points connect, the characters are related, or the occurrences important to the overall plot because everything jumps too much.

In the end I realized it is silly for me to keep reading a book that I am not enjoying and is actually just seriously annoying me. I'm sure others are bound to love it. I didn't like Devon Monks other book Magic in the Bone but thought I would give her another chance since she is so highly recommended by the writing team Ilona Andrews. I won't be reading anymore from this author. Jul 21, Kira rated it liked it Shelves: Reading more than a few chapters at a time was hard. There was a fair amount of action and it was well paced.

For whatever reason I was somewhat bored. This was an interesting twist on steampunk. It was a blend of steampunk and fantasy in the wild west. And this was the first steampunk book I've ever read without a strong romantic element. I really liked the world because it was different. Is that not the best tagline ever? The steam age America that Monk has created for this series is ingenious. The details of this world are revealed layer by layer until the whole setting is laid out is a glorious magic meets machine old West.

Specifically the gadgets in DEAD IRON are magnificent both in conception and description, couple that with a motely crew of noble and nefarious characters and the result is a lovingly crafted world that needs just a bit of tinkering to really shine. The first hundred pages or so are a bit sleepy, despite the lovely writing. It takes a while for the gears to really start turning in this story and all the various POVs to make sense together. I also had a few issues with the backstory, or lack there of. The result felt many times like I was reading the second book in the series even though this is the first book.

The old west world is harsh and beautiful and the steam devices plentiful and fascinating. The next book in the Age of Steam series should be published in May 18, Meigan rated it it was amazing Shelves: View all 4 comments. May 25, Justin rated it liked it Shelves: I am fascinated by the necessity those of us interested in genre fiction seem to have for classification.

Cyberpunk, hard sci-fi, space opera, high fantasy, epic fantasy, etc. Oh and the debates that ensue throughout the community when something is misclassified.

  • Steampunk book review: Devon Monk's *Dead Iron: The Age of Steam (Cedar Hunt)*.
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In any case, there is no doubt what Dead Iron is - steampunk. While a far more successful executio http: While a far more successful execution of storytelling it shares a confusion with Smith's flop film about what it's trying to be. This shouldn't be read as a condemnation, rather a point of reference for discussing a book I ultimately I enjoyed.

Cedar Hunt is a man cursed by the Pawnee gods to hunt the Strange. He bears his curse, but is forever tormented by how it twists his humanity. Traveling west, he follows the Strange to a town named Hallelujah that lies in the inexorable path of expanding rail. When a child mysteriously goes missing, Hunt takes on finding him despite the town's mistrust of an outsider.

Hunt's quest soon becomes much more as he sets himself against the Strange who would destroy not only Hallelujah but humankind in their entire. Like any novel of genre fiction the nuance and ambiance the author sets are critical to success. Monk, trying to create fantasy, offers the Strange. The Strange comes from another plane where something akin to demons rule.

It spills into the world and taints it. Personified by two characters, Mr. Lefel, it is linked to the expansion of the railway as it paves a way to carry the Strange itself across the land. There is an obvious, if not overt, metaphor here about the expansion of technology and its impact on humanity. Monk combines the Strange and technology powered by gear and steam with something called glim. Glim is essentially the Strange made tangible. Placed into a construct of metal and oil it brings technology to life or at least supercharges it.

I found the gears and steam extremely satisfying, but imbuing them with the Strange felt unnecessary and made inventing somewhat tangental to "magic". It made what I felt like was an alternate reality steampunk novel feel like Final Fantasy. A few times I was sure Monk was moments away from summoning Bahamut. As for the worldbuilding, Monk does a satisfactory job.

Dead Iron: The Age of Steam Book 1

Hallelujah is well imagined. It feels right - a frontier town like any other in an old western, replete with blacksmith, banker, storekeeper, town bully, wild eyed dreamer, and hard working black man looked down on by his peers. While it felt authentic, at least as I imagine a western town to be since all my experience in such comes from Silverado and The Magnificent Seven , it didn't feel particularly original or unique.

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 She lives in Oregon and is surrounded by colorful and numerous family members who mostly live within dinner-calling distance of each other. She has sold over fifty short stories to fantasy, science fiction, horror, humor, and young adult magazines and anthologies. Her stories have been published in five countries and included in a Year's Best Fantasy collection.

When not writing, Devon is either knitting, remodeling the house-that-was-once-a-barn, or hosting a family celebration. Welcome to a new America that is built on blood, sweat, and gears… In steam age America, men, monsters, machines, and magic battle for the same scrap of earth and sky. She also drinks too much coffee and knits silly things.

The Age of Steam Series

Monk lives in Oregon with her husband and two sons. The action is superb, the stakes are sky-high, and the passion runs wild. Who knew cowboys and gears could be this much fun? Werewolves, witches, and creatures of both flesh and metal clash…. Beautifully written and brilliantly imagined, Devon Monk is at her best with Dead Iron.

The reader will be drawn ever deeper into the ticking, dripping iron heart of this story. In steam age America, men, monsters, machines, and magic battle to claim the same scrap of earth and sky. All he has to do for them is find the Holder, a powerful device created by mad devisers from the realm of the Strange. The Holder is in the hands of Shard Lefel, a dandified railroad tycoon who has come to Hallelujah, Oregon, promising a civilized tomorrow.