Early Review: Tin Swift by Devon Monk

, by Kt Clapsadl

Tin Swift by Devon Monk 
Age of Steam #2

In steam age America, men, monsters, machines and magic battle to claim the same scrap of earth and sky. In this chaos, one man fights to hold on to his humanity--and his honor. . .
Life on the frontier is full of deceit and danger, but bounty hunter Cedar Hunt is a man whose word is his bond. Cursed with becoming a beast every full moon, Cedar once believed his destiny was to be alone. But now, Cedar finds himself saddled with a group of refugees, including the brother he once thought lost.

Keeping his companions alive is proving to be no easy task, in part because of the promise he made to the unpredictable Madder brothers—three miners who know the secret mechanisms of the Strange. To fulfill his pledge, Cedar must hunt a powerful weapon known as the Holder—a search that takes him deep into the savage underbelly of the young country and high into the killing glim-field skies defended by desperate men and deadly ships.

But the battles he faces are just a glimmer of a growing war stirring the country. To keep his word Cedar must navigate betrayal, lies, and treacherous alliances, risking everything to save the lives of those he has come to hold dear…

As a man of his word, once Cedar Hunt makes a promise he won't back out of it. Which is how he finds himself traipsing across the countryside with the most unlikely set of companions, to find a device known as the Holder. A task made more difficult by the trio of brothers he is beholden to, as their dedication to the cause is nothing short of fanatical, refusing to alter their course at all, even if it means sacrificing one of their traveling members. Cedar of course, won't allow that to happen and it becomes a battle of wills between them. But disagreements are the least of their concern as they are being hunted by a malevolent being intent on destroying them and claiming the Holder for their own.

Unfortunately just like the previous installment, Tin Swift starts off horribly slow, to the point where I kept finding myself easily distracted by other things. I was hoping this book would have been much more engrossing as being the second installment, there wouldn't be that typical first book learning curve. To make matters worse, after that slow start, the pace takes off like a rocket to the point where too much is going on. It just felt rather chaotic and jumbled especially as the perspectives kept continually rotating between characters. Even though I vastly prefer first person narratives, I understand the need for third person rotating perspectives. This gives the reader a chance to see more than one angle of things. That being said, I think I would have enjoyed Tin Swift more if the rotation had of been  a little less often as I continually felt like I was being bounced around before I could fully settle into any character. I just couldn't get attached and in the end it made me feel rather blas√© about the book overall.

Despite those issues listed above, there are still parts of this series that I really enjoy. The cast of characters is quite phenomenal. They are such a hodge podge coming from all different backgrounds, giving me different reasons to love each one. I especially enjoyed watching them grow in Tin Swift. Already they have come a very long way from where we met all of them in the previous installment, with only more room to grow. There also were quite a few new additions in Tin Swift that quickly grew on me and only complemented the previously establish characters in play.

In all honesty, I'm not really sure whether I'm going to continue on with this series. I'm not the biggest fan of Steampunk, and couple that in with the pacing and perspective issues, and I'm just not getting the enjoyment factor that I would expect. I absolutely love Devon Monk's Allie Becktrom Series, so I really wanted to love this one as well. In fact, I almost feel guilty for not liking, but unfortunately it just really isn't working for me. I have a feeling Tin Swift needs to be read by bigger fans of Steampunk to be fully appreciated. So if that's you, then I'd recommend giving it a shot.

(Received a copy from the publisher)


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