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Review: The Gaslight Dogs by Karin Lowachee

>>Thursday, May 6, 2010

Title: The Gaslight Dogs
Author: Karin Lowachee
Series: Middle Light #1
Format: Mass Market Paperback
Pages: 341
Genre: Fantasy
Publication Date: April 1st, 2010
Publisher: Orbit
Rating: 7

From Goodreads: At the edge of the known world, an ancient nomadic tribe faces a new enemy-an Empire fueled by technology and war.

A young spiritwalker of the Aniw and a captain in the Ciracusan army find themselves unexpectedly thrown together. The Aniw girl, taken prisoner from her people, must teach the reluctant soldier a forbidden talent - one that may turn the tide of the war and will surely forever brand him an outcast.

From the rippling curtains of light in an Arctic sky, to the gaslit cobbled streets of the city, war is coming to the frozen north. Two people have a choice that will decide the fates of nations - and may cast them into a darkness that threatens to bring destruction to both their peoples.

Why did I read this book?

Source: Bought

My Review
In this novel Lowachee creates a very unique world that takes inspiration from our colonial history and the conflicts between aboriginals and colonizers. She adds flare and magic to this familiar story and makes it her own.

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.

Rating: 7
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.

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