The Age of Steam is the new series started by Devon Monk. This time she writes steam-punk (I wonder where they got the word steam-punk?). I don’t really understand why so many fantasy buffs don’t like steam-punk. It’s great fun along with most other fantasy. As Monk is the author, the quality of the book is guaranteed (thankfully). It’s light entertainment (a little heavier than the lightest) and doesn’t strive for moralistic or philosophical preaching. However, Monk does treat her characters as complex beings with dark and light sides. I abhor literature where the goodies are sugar-good and the baddies are black as tar bad. Way to go Monk.
Dead Iron is the first installation in the series about the bounty hunter Cedar Hunt. Cedar has a “slight” health problem that becomes uncontrollable about once a month. To protect others, he lives a bit outside town.
When a small boy goes missing, and the parents go to Cedar for help. After a lot of hesitation he takes on the case. During his search Cedar meets other strange people and a lot of prejudice and fear. In Dead Iron, Monk combines fantasy and technology in a wild-west world where the impact of iron and technology threatens to destroy the presence of magic.
Devon Monk has written the Allie Beckstrom series. Allie Beckstrom is one of many strong urban fantasy women. What she has that makes her different from everyone else is Devon Monk. Devon Monk is an excellent urban fantasy author. Her writing is delightful and the entertainment value of the books is high. Humor, action, magic and some romance are all ingredients of this series. I see that the series is recommended for ages 18 and up, but am not really certain why. Maybe I’m too Norwegian???
Allie lives in a Portland where magic has become something anyone can use. But magic extracts a price – memory loss, pain or sickness. If you do not want to pay the price, there are actually people who are willing to do so – for a sum.
Allie’s father is Daniel Beckstrom, the inventor of the rods that attract magic, drawing it away from buildings and into wells beneath the city. He and she do not get along, partly due to her choice of career. You see, Allie is a Hound, someone who hunts magic abusers through smell.
In Magic in the Bone Allie has to hunt for someone who is using blood-magic. All the evidence is pointing right to her father as thee perpetrator. This throws Allie into a world of corporate espionage and black magic.
Devon Monk does an excellent job of introducing the reader to Allie’s universe. This is high quality entertainment.