Hachette Book Group
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The Gaslight Dogs Kindle Edition
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Top Customer Reviews
I have a couple main issues with the book. Firstly, it felt like a very long introduction to a bigger story because there is not much in way of plot and the ending isn't satisfying. I felt like there wasn't much between the two main characters Sjenn and Jarrett; their relationship didn't progress at all. I think that Lowachee only touched the surface of what could have been; this is mirrored in the many times I felt scenes would start to get somewhere but then end abruptly. Sjenn and Jarrett will start talking, but then one will stop or leave. Jarrett and his father would push against each other but before any eruption of emotions, the scene would end.
I'm not sure what the message of this book is. I thought in the end Jarrett would come around, or that his father would get what he deserves, Sjenn would find comfort.
In the end, I did enjoy the book because of the good writing, a very intriguing premise, and good characters. If there is a series coming out of this I am sure the next installment will (hopefully) resolve some of these stories. I'm just disappointed that it wasn't included as one book so we wouldn't have to go on this journey without any resolution. I would recommend this for anyone who is looking for a more character-driven story, spirit-based magic, and a Northern setting.
This is a strong, emotionally gripping novel that deserves much more attention than it received when it first came out. Karin Lowachee's prose is powerful and often uniquely styled. Be warned: you won't find much exposition here, and as a result the first few chapters can be a bit confusing as the new vocabulary and names trickle into the story. I actually ended up reading them twice, partly to connect the dots on some world-building details that are implied rather than explained, and partly to enjoy the beautiful prose and Lowachee's often surprising word choices and similes. Some books can be read quickly, and some need to be savored and enjoyed slowly; The Gaslight Dogs is most definitely an example of the latter.
Also impressive is the way Karin Lowachee quickly and deftly adds depth to her characters. Within the first pages of their respective chapters, you'll have a solid idea of who Sjenn and Jarrett are, and as the book progresses, they are placed in emotionally wrenching situations that add layer upon layer to their personalities. However, the emotion in this novel is often understated: certain scenes contain powerful but almost silent clashes of worldviews and personalities, and their true impact may not strike you initially and hit you long after reading them.
The Gaslight Dogs' fantasy world is fascinating, but not everything is explained in this first novel. There are many hints at a complex history that's impacting the story in ways we may not yet understand. Even though there is no indication of it on the book's cover (featuring a beautiful illustration by Sam Weber), this is actually the first book in a planned trilogy, but rest assured: the ending, while open, is extremely poignant and more than satisfying, so the novel works very well as a standalone.
The most pressing question, after finishing the novel, is the true nature of the "little spirits." At first they may appear to be standard animal familiars or guiding spirits, but you'll quickly realize that there's a lot more going on here. The novel's characters, powerful prose and well-realized world would be enough to have me run to the bookstore for the sequel, but my main motivation will be finding out more about these mysterious spirits. Regardless, The Gaslight Dogs is an excellent fantasy novel, and highly recommended to anyone looking for an original and emotionally gripping story.
Not this book. Every word is important. Every sentence is a brush stroke in a complex picture. Ms. Lowachee is a master storyteller.
The first two chapters are heavy going - a lot of new labels to be absorbed, but once done the story moves on carrying the reader to surprising places. This is not light reading, nor will the picture fill out to become anything expected. It is not a romance; do not expect happy endings with hugs and kisses. For me, as a female reader, it is refreshing to read a book where female characters are not automatically hit upon.
The stage is the inevitable conflict that comes with the invasion of a continent by new colonists and the original inhabitants are pushed aside. The "melting pot" was originally someone else's home and they are not pleased to be "assimilated" and bow out for these trespassers. Both sides fight with what resources they have. In this novel, the invaders try to use a tool unique to the "abos" and the results are disastrous. When the end is reached, it will feel like it was all inevitable.
Ms. Lowachee has lived in the Arctic and has a feel for this unique land. Her talent is in writing tragic characters; people shaped by the families and worlds they are born into. She tells the stories of how they deal with these forces and their fight to make a world they can live in.
This book is the opening for that drama. This reader wants to continue the ride.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I sold this book. Without a thought.
I did put in the effort to read it all the way through, but it took...Read more