Wednesday, January 16, 2013

[Book Review] The Damnation Affair

Title: The Damnation Affair (Bannon and Clare 1.5)
Author: Lilith Saintcrow
Date Published: November 26, 2012
Genre: Fantasy, Steampunk, Paranormal
Rating: 3/5
Source: ARC from Publisher

Barnes & Noble

About the Book:
The West is a wild place, where the poison wind blows and the dead walk. But there is gold, and whiskey, and enough room for a man to forget what he once was--until he can no longer can. 
Jack Gabriel's been the sheriff in Damnation almost since the town grew out of the dust and the mud. He keeps the peace--sort of--and rides the circuit every dawn and dusk with the chartermage, making sure the wilderness doesn't seep into their fragile attempt at civilization. Away from the cities clinging to the New World's eastern rim, he doesn't remember what he was. At least, he tries not to. Good enough. 
But Damnation is growing, and along comes a schoolmarm. Catherine Barrowe is a right proper Boston miss, and it's a mystery why she would choose this town where everything scandalous and dangerous is probably too much for a quality lady like her. Sometimes the sheriff wonders why she came out West--because everyone who does is running from something. He doesn't realize Cat may be prickly, delicate, and proper, but she is also determined. She's in Damnation to find her wayward older brother Robbie, whose letters were full of dark hints about gold, trouble...and something about a claim. 
In a West where charm and charter live alongside clockwork and cold steel, where hot lead kills your enemy but it takes a blessing to make his corpse stay down, Cat will keep digging until she finds her brother. If Jack knew what she was after, he could solve the mystery--because he was the one who killed Robbie. 
The thing is, Cat's brother just won't stay dead, and the undead are rising with him...

A unique combination of steampunk, zombies and magic!

Lilith Saintcrow is one of my most favorite authors. I especially loved her Dante Valentine series, so I was pretty ecstatic when I chanced upon the ARC of The Damnation Affair in exchange for an honest review.

The beginning was of the story was slow. Actually, the whole first half of the story was slow except a few scenes which almost always included the banter between sheriff Jack Gabriel and Catherine Barrowe. I like how they always seem to clash but the chemistry was brewing beneath the surface. I also find Cat’s references to ‘her mother’s greet the peasants smile’ and other lessons of manner quirky and definitely unique.

The story was well-written and the minor details were clearly fleshed out. I love how the author filled in the details so well that I could just imagine everything happening. And each of the characters were distinct from each other.

Personally, I’d love to know more about Li Ang and baby Jonathan. The idea of having a Chinese girl in the middle of the Wild West is certainly different than usual.

Lastly, while the combination of steampunk and zombies is fairly new to me since this is the first book that I’ve ever read featuring such combination, the story taken as a whole, wasn’t as engaging as I hoped it would be. But hey, if one is looking for something different to read, then this definitely is one of those.

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