Review: Tin Swift by Devon Monk

Review: Tin Swift by Devon Monk
Book 2 in The Age of Steam series
Book purchased from Book Depository
Genre: Steampunk

Synopsis from Goodreads: In steam age America, men, monsters, machines and magic battle to claim the same scrap of earth and sky. In this chaos, one man fights to hold on to his humanity–and his honor. . .

Life on the frontier is full of deceit and danger, but bounty hunter Cedar Hunt is a man whose word is his bond. Cursed with becoming a beast every full moon, Cedar once believed his destiny was to be alone. But now, Cedar finds himself saddled with a group of refugees, including the brother he once thought lost.

Keeping his companions alive is proving to be no easy task, in part because of the promise he made to the unpredictable Madder brothers—three miners who know the secret mechanisms of the Strange. To fulfill his pledge, Cedar must hunt a powerful weapon known as the Holder—a search that takes him deep into the savage underbelly of the young country and high into the killing glim-field skies defended by desperate men and deadly ships.

But the battles he faces are just a glimmer of a growing war stirring the country. To keep his word Cedar must navigate betrayal, lies, and treacherous alliances, risking everything to save the lives of those he has come to hold dear…

AH’s Review – 4 Skulls – A-

When I read Dead Iron last year, I was intrigued by the author’s original mix of steampunk, the Wild West, magic, and werewolves. The result was a fantastic action-packed novel. Upon finishing Dead Iron I immediately pre-ordered Tin Swift. Unfortunately, real life happens and the book sat on top of my to-read mountain of books for a while. I’m sorry I did that because Tin Swift was a most enjoyable read for me.

Tin Swift was totally worth the wait. Again, the reader is treated to a steampunk world full of airships powered by glim and other clockwork contraptions. The Wild West setting adds a lawless, anything goes feel to the book. Very strange magic comes from the aptly named Strange. A mysterious weapon called The Holder is sought by all parties involved. Add in a witch and a few werewolves and there’s the making of a unique reading experience.

The werewolf lore is fascinating and it comes from a Pawnee Indian curse. The brothers Cedar and Wil Hunt each carry the curse, except that Wil is stuck as a wolf for most of the time, while Cedar only needs to become a wolf at the full moon.

Our heroes travel as a group: Cedar and Wil Hunt, the widowed witch Mae Lindson, Rose Small, and the Madder brothers. Cedar must get Mae home to her coven before they drive her mad. On their way, they encounter a small town where all the inhabitants have been killed. When they decide to bury the dead, they realize that they have walked into a trap. The dead rise and give chase. Yes, zombies! Western zombies!

Lots of running, lots of chase scenes, lots of Strange! There’s even an amazing airship battle scene. So hairy! And so much fun to read.

Of course, we need to talk a little about our villain, because Mr. Shunt is one scary dude. I’m still not sure what he is exactly, but I definitely would not want to meet him. Mr. Shunt is virtually indestructible and has a Dr. Frankenstein talent of being able to repair lost limbs. Our heroes must keep The Holder out of Mr. Shunt’s hands at all costs.

Even the dangerous weapon is intriguing. The Holder has been separated into 7 parts. Each part is made out of a different metal. When put together, The Holder has amazing powers. I guess this guarantees that we’ll get at least 5 more books in the series (I hope!).

Is there romance in this book? Sure, a little bit. Don’t go reading this if you are expecting a straight romance. This is the Wild West on steampunk. Enjoy the ride.

I’m not sure that this series is for everyone – the world is very complex and the books should be read in order. For a different take on steampunk and the paranormal, give this series a try. Personally, I can’t wait for Cold Copper to be published July 2013.

Series Reading Order:

1. Dead Iron
2. Tin Swift
3. Cold Copper – Release date July 2, 2013

Rating:  ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠  ☠ 

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