Tuesday, February 9, 2016
The main character is Westie. Westie lost her family to cannibals when she was little. Not only did they take her family, they also took her arm. She was found by one of the native tribes, who took her to a man in town, Nigel Butler, who was able to save her arm. Well, he saved it by giving her a mechanical/robotic arm. Nigel is an inventor. I believe this is where I felt the steampunk bit came into the story. But Westie isn't the only orphan that Nigel took in, there is also Alistair, who also had a run-in with cannibals. Only it is his face that is scarred. And so he either wears a mask with a robotic voice that Nigel created, or else he wears a scarf to cover his lower face, and uses sign language. Westie has been a bit of a wild child, she is not lady-like in any way, no matter how hard her adoptive father tries to get her to be. She used to be best friends with Alistair, but something happened that made him start distancing himself from her. And really, Westie is now on a one-track plan to find the cannibals who killed her family and bring them to justice.
But when Nigel invents a great machine, and he tries to bring in sponsors to help him get it up and going, these strangers throw a bit of a wrench into Westie's plans. First there is their young nephew, James, who she first meets when he is getting into a fight outside a saloon in town, with a troll I think. He kind of flirts with Westie, and seems so much different from the rest of the family of investors. The biggest issue here though, is that Westie is sure the investors are the same people who killed her family. Now she is on a mission to prove they are who she thinks they are. When weird things start happening in town, a prostitute gets bitten by a women, and not just love bites, but take a bite out of her!
This story did have a little bit of everything. I mentioned trolls already, but there were vampires, one named Costain who seemed to have a bit of a thing for Westie, something I do kind of wish maybe there had been more about that in the story. So many different kinds of characters. But not in a bad way. Although I'd have liked maybe some more with some of them, it worked fine for me.
A very unique tale as I mentioned. There is a lot of action and mystery and wondering how will Westie prove what she thinks. And then, the twist at the end, whoa, I didn't see that coming! I definitely think it is worth a read. While I can see how it might seem slow at the beginning, Westie's foul-mouthed, sarcastic character really grabbed me and drew me in.