Genre: Steampunk, Science Fiction, Fantasy
Setting: The American Western Frontier after the Civil War
First Sentence: Cedar Hunt stared down at his blood covered hands.
This novel is the second in Monk's The Age of Steam series. In this series Monk transports the Steampunk genre to the Old West. There are incredible machines. There are people with mystical abilities. A mysterious substance called Glim floats high above the Earth.
An evil power called the Strange in infiltrating the world. The Strange can turn the dead into unstoppable zombie-like killers. A device called the Holder can focus and control the Strange. The Holder is divided into seven parts. If all of the Holder's parts are assembled it would bestow upon its possessor terrible evil power.
Fortunately, there are those who are working to prevent the Holder from falling into the wrong hands. Cedar Hunt has been cursed with the power to sense the Holder. He strives to control a wolf-like power which threatens to control him. His brother Wil has been transformed into a wolf. When the moon is full, he returns to his human form. Captain Hink is a federal marshal who has been sent by the president to discover the whereabouts of the Holder. The Madder brothers, who can devise unique machines and weapons, search for the Holder, but they need Cedar Hunt's senses to find it.
Unfortunately, there are those who wish to control the Strange with the Holder. Mr. Shunt is one of these. Mr. Shunt is part human and part machine. Almost impossible to kill, he craves the Holder to maintain his evil existence.
Will Cedar Hunt, and his companions, find the Holder and prevent Mr. Shunt from controlling its power?
This novel was a slow read for me. The first half of the plot had many episodes which added characters but did not seem to advance the plot. When the crucial battles finally arrive, the pace picks up and the plot resolves in an entertaining manner.
It was an OK second book of a series, but not as good as the first. Hopefully, the next book will be better.
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