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Babylon Steel Kindle Edition

4.2 out of 5 stars 20 customer reviews

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Length: 544 pages Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled Similar books to Babylon Steel

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Gaie Sebold works for a charity, reads obsessively, gardens amateurishly, and sometimes runs around in woods hitting people with latex weapons. She has won awards for her poetry and has published short stories. Born in the US, she has lived in the UK most of her life, currently in an ‘up and coming’ area of London which doesn’t appear to have got very high yet.

Product Details

  • File Size: 1074 KB
  • Print Length: 544 pages
  • Publisher: Solaris; 1 edition (December 23, 2011)
  • Publication Date: December 27, 2011
  • Sold by: Amazon Digital Services LLC
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B006PKV4Q8
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Lending: Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #562,004 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Gaie Sebold was born in the USA but has lived in the UK since she was very small. She is still quite small, but older.
Her first published novel, 'Babylon Steel', came out from Solaris in 2012. The second in the Babylon Steel series, 'Dangerous Gifts', came out in 2013. A steampunk novel, 'Shanghai Sparrow', is due in 2014.
She has a number of short stories in current anthologies including the David Gemmell memorial anthology 'Legends' and the 'World War Cthulhu Fiction Anthology'.
Gaie occasionally hits people with latex swords and has been known to read poetry, in public, for money. She has had a number of jobs, none of them as much fun as writing or running writing workshops. The most interesting thing she ever had to do for a day job was travel on the Underground while carrying a 6 foot carriage whip and an artificial severed finger.
She lives with writer David Gullen and has a paranoid cat, a shaggy garden, and rather a lot of hats.

Customer Reviews

Top Customer Reviews

Format: Mass Market Paperback
I had no idea what to expect from Babylon Steel. I'd read the synopsis and thought the premise sounded interesting. What I found was a novel that has a strong central character, and a fun and well-constructed plot, which was a blend of fantasy and thriller with a dash of humour. There's also some pretty good social commentary. This is a very good debut, and I really hope we see more of Babylon Steel, and certainly more from Gaie Sebold.

Babylon Steel is an interesting novel. There are three distinct acts, but also an additional, `historical' thread of chapters that alternate with the main story set in the `present'. It's a little difficult to go into too much detail, but the search for the missing girl is only part of the overall story, as Babylon and her companions (also her employees) find themselves mixed up in some local politics, and Babylon's own past catches up with her.

The setting is an interesting one. In Sebold's reality, there are multiple "planes", connected by various portals (some stable, some not), and Babylon's home is on a plane situated on an intersection between a number of them. As a result, the place is populated by a large number of intelligent and morphologically different species. I'm not sure if this would technically make the novel Sci-Fi or still fantasy... I suppose both? The technology levels remain low - for example, people still fight with swords and not guns.

Usually, I find the alternating-time-periods structural device frustrating, but the way Sebold has written the novel, I found myself getting invested in both threads equally.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
I have to say, I really enjoyed this book. It was much better developed both in plot, universe-building and characterization than I would have been led to believe by the Xena-type cover and title. I love when you go into a book expecting it to be readable and then find that you become so invested in what's happening that don't want to put it down.

It's not a simple sword-and-bodice story about a brothel-keeper with a heart-of-gold. There are a couple of levels to this story. In addition to the present-day situation of ex-warrior Babylon Steel and the problems in her life in Scalentine, there is a slowly revealed story of an abandoned child named Ebi who exists on one of the other planes of existence in this story's universe, a subplot that slowly ties into what is happening in present-day Scalentine.

For urban fantasy fans, there are were-creatures, the Fae, aliens of every description, a mysterious diplomatic corps, and a very creepy religious order. But they all were treated rather matter-of-factly, as part and parcel of Scalentine's everyday world, with no one group superior to the other. I liked that. The book was also well-paced with enough going on in the twin storylines to keep things interesting and moving along.

I'll be keeping an eye out for Gaie Sebold's next book.
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Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The woman who now calls herself Babylon Steel was born "Ebi" and orphaned on a harsh "plane" many dimensional portal jumps away from where she has made her home. Chosen to be a priestess (or so she was told..) of the local goddess of Love & War, Ebi is trained in both arts, and if she enjoys the former much more, she's very good at the later as well.

When her life goes horribly wrong, she escapes and makes her way to the small (and possibly magically created) plane of Scalentine where people of all sorts, human and otherwise make their homes and live off the portal trade under the shadowy protection of the "Diplomatic Section" and the more day to day reality of the local militia. Babylon finds the place congenial and generally friendly to the "Love" side of her skillset and eventually works her way up to owning her own, completely legal, brothel, The Red Lantern, where if they can figure out how to have sex with you, and you aren't a complete jerk, you can find a safe good time.

There are only a couple of flies in the ointment of Bablylon's contented life. The local cult "Vessels of Purity" have started a campaign against whoring, and have made the Red Lantern one of their targets. Since the place is completely legal, they can only picket and make life difficult, but it's enough to affect business. Then there's a missing girl the Diplomatic Section wants Babylon to find, the coming crazyiness of a two moon syzygy, and, oh, distinct signs that Babylon's past may be about to catch up with her...

I should say up-front that Babylon is a whore, and a proud one. The book doesn't shy away from that at all, but at the same time, it is not erotica. If you are looking for the tale of a chaste blushing heroine, this is not it.
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Format: Mass Market Paperback
urban fantasy with a bit of gritty noir, reminded me a lot of the Garret PI novels. Likable characters, well plotted, fun world. Great first book, looking forward to seeing more from this author.
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