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Dead Iron: The Age of Steam Mass Market Paperback – June 4, 2013


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Product Details

  • Series: The Age of Steam (Book 1)
  • Mass Market Paperback: 368 pages
  • Publisher: Roc; Reprint edition (June 4, 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0451464273
  • ISBN-13: 978-0451464279
  • Product Dimensions: 4.3 x 1 x 6.9 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 6.4 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
  • Average Customer Review: 3.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (52 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #706,289 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Editorial Reviews

Review

Praise for Dead Iron

“Featuring a cursed hero, fabulous secondary characters, a world torn between machines and magic, and a plot that hooks your interest from the very first chapter, Dead Iron is a must read.”—New York Times bestselling author Keri Arthur

“A relentless Western and a gritty steampunk, bound together by wicked magic. The action is superb, the stakes are sky-high, and the passion runs wild. Who knew cowboys and gears could be this much fun? Devon Monk rocks—her unique setting and powerful characters aren’t to be missed!”—New York Times bestselling author Ilona Andrews

“A novel and interesting take on the steampunk tropes, with generous nods to other genres and plenty of odd but human characters and Mad Science.”—New York Times bestselling author S. M. Stirling

“[A] steampunk world so real, I could almost smell the grease and hear the gears grind. Werewolves, witches, and creatures of both flesh and metal clash....Beautifully written and brilliantly imagined, Devon Monk is at her best with Dead Iron.”—New York Times bestselling author Rachel Vincent

“A magical steampunk history...a magnificent tale....The reader will be drawn ever deeper into the ticking, dripping iron heart of this story.”—Jay Lake, award-winning author of Green

“Powerful...hypnotic...a Wild West that is as wired as it is weird...an absolute must read.”—Publishers Weekly (Starred Review)

“Ingenious.”—All Things Urban Fantasy

“A brilliant and gritty world rife with elements drawn from steampunk, blended with dark fantasy and a glint of glamour.”—Fresh Fiction

About the Author

Devon Monk has one husband, two sons, and a dog named Mojo. She writes the Allie Beckstrom urban fantasy series and the Age of Steam steampunk series, knits silly things, and lives in Oregon.

Customer Reviews

What makes this book unique is the way the steampunk elements are handled.
Preethi
Unfortunately the story moved very slow in the beginning and there were so many characters I feel like I never really got to know them all that well.
Karissa Eckert
Even if you don't like Steampunk, you should read DEAD IRON for that battle.
Tori

Most Helpful Customer Reviews

20 of 23 people found the following review helpful By LoneStarReader on September 18, 2011
Format: Paperback
Based on the front cover art of a man wearing goggles and carrying a gun-that-never-was, I expected Dead Iron to be a rip roaring, action-packed thrill ride of a steampunk novel. Instead, it's a slow, actionless fantasy that puts on a steampunk costume to pay dress up.

I am okay with a little magic in steampunk. Hey, we're re-imaging history here. What's a few magical elements among friends. However, the key word is 'few'. When the magic overwhelms the steakpunkiness, the book ceases to be steampunk and is an everyday fantasy with a few machines throw in.

Dead Iron is not a badly written book. In fact, much of the prose boarders on beautiful. What it isn't is a book that lives up to the promises made by the front cover artwork or the back cover blurb. The story takes way too long to get started and lacks the tension necessary to encourage readers to keep turning pages. Also, there is too much detail about too many characters. All resulting in a book that meanders aimlessly.

If you're a reader who enjoys magical fantasy, you might like this book.

If you're a steampunk purist, you probably won't like this book.
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Format: Paperback
America was built on blood, sweat, and gears. Is that not the best tagline ever? It's also a pretty apt description for the story in DEAD IRON. The steam age America that Monk has created for this series is ingenious. The details of this world are revealed layer by layer until the whole setting is laid out is a glorious magic meets machine old West. Specifically the gadgets in DEAD IRON are magnificent both in conception and description, couple that with a motely crew of noble and nefarious characters and the result is a lovingly crafted world that needs just a bit of tinkering to really shine.

The story in DEAD IRON is told through several different point of views, all of them a little Strange. There's the main character from the description, a werewolf plagued with guilt; a witch desperate to avenge her husband's murder; a displaced girl who longs to escape her small town life; a man who manages to nearly elude death; and the Strangest of them all, the villain who ties them all together.

The first hundred pages or so are a bit sleepy, despite the lovely writing. It takes a while for the gears to really start turning in this story and all the various POVs to make sense together. I also had a few issues with the backstory, or lack there of. There are so many key incidents that are referred to repeatedly throughout DEAD IRON but only vaguely. The result felt many times like I was reading the second book in the series even though this is the first book. It's unfortunate because I think that had Monk explained exactly what had happened with Cedar and his brother and the villain and his brother (the most glaring examples) their motivations would have been so much stronger. As it is, I'm left feeling ignorant and not a little frustrated.
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9 of 11 people found the following review helpful By macawesome on July 8, 2011
Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
This book combines story of the railroad coming through the small western towns and changing the landscape with a world filled with the magic and matics. The magic is supernatural beings - both benign and evil, and matics are steam and 'glim' based machines (automatics).

But, everything moves slowly - the plot plods, the supporting cast are cardboard and one-dimensional until the end, there is constant reference to matics and pipes and copper and the Strange over and over and over again. And the motivations kept being restated over and over and over again. I get it. It's a new world. Folks have things they need to do. Bad guys do bad things because they're bad. Stop hitting me over the head with it!

For me, this book was a tough read. It was like walking through the mud and having to do heavy lifting just to keep moving forward. Or, like trying to keep walking on those really humid days where the air feels like it is coalescing around you.

I slogged through the book, but it was a slog, rather than a joyful read. I usually have trouble putting a book down, but this one I could easily put aside and go back to work at the end of my lunch hour. I finished it because I should, and because I decided to review it and the author deserves my review to at least be based on completing the full book so that it had a chance to redeem itself. The book may have captured me with a slow slog, but it didn't captivate or sparkle or bewitch.

I'd probably only give it 2.5 stars, but I'll be generous and round up to 3 because maybe you'll enjoy it more than I did.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful By Gustav on September 16, 2012
Format: Paperback
Dead Iron is a disappointing novella. Devon Monk brings to us very little that could be considered original. Everything is less than it should be -- with flat characters, a paint-by-numbers plot, and a barely-realized setting.

The characters are two-dimensional cut-outs of the standard Old West archetypes, with very little motivation beyond "he done me wrong." The protagonist is your standard loner bounty hunter (and a werewolf) that fled to the west to escape his past. The secondary protagonist is a reformed witch who fled to the west to escape her past. The villain is a railroad tycoon, and of course in the western setting this makes him the automatic badguy for bringing prosperity, culture, and technology to the wild west -- and he's also some sort of evil elf who was banished to Earth for crimes against the Crown. There is nothing more to these characters, no further facets of their personalities. Whenever there's a quiet time for self reflection, the author just repeats these factoids in slightly different wording. The author doesn't bother to actually go into any detail about any of the characters' pasts, however. There's also three brothers who are miner-wizards and their only purpose is to be mysterious and give away plot coupons.

The plot is very superficial. A child goes missing, and the hero sort of meanders about in a general sort of way, thinking about searching for the kid but not actually doing anything about it until halfway into the book. The witch heroine finds out her husband has been murdered, and eventually decides to find the killer and get some old-west revenge on him.
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More About the Author

Devon Monk writes the Allie Beckstrom urban fantasy series and the spinoff Broken Magic series. She also writes the Age of Steam steampunk series, the House Immortal series, and the occasional short story.

She has one husband, two sons, and lives in Oregon. When not writing, Devon is either drinking too much coffee or knitting silly things.

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