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Dead Iron (Age of Steam #1)

3.57  ·  Rating Details ·  2,229 Ratings  ·  347 Reviews
Welcome to a new America that is built on blood, sweat, and gears...

In steam age America, men, monsters, machines, and magic battle for the same scrap of earth and sky. In this chaos, bounty hunter Cedar Hunt rides, cursed by lycanthropy and carrying the guilt of his brother's death. Then he's offered hope that his brother may yet survive. All he has to do is find the H
Paperback, 337 pages
Published July 5th 2011 by Roc
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Rosario I don't think so: too much gore and it takes some time to get the character's dynamics right. Definitely adult reading imho

Community Reviews

(showing 1-30)
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Ilona Andrews
May 17, 2011 Ilona Andrews added it
Recommends it for: UF readers, Wild West fans,
This is a story with a uniquely American flavor. It is Wild West, but not the stark, romantic West of cowboys riding into town and not the cleaned up cutesy version where the hero wears a white hat and sings ballads. This is a gritty, harsh world of people who actually populated the small towns of American West: miners, traders, shop keepers, smiths and railroad workers.

Against this background, a wicked, dark magic spreads through the land, carried by the rails. Strange creatures roam the conti
I was pretty excited to start this book. I liked that the author set the story in a Western environment and that the back cover indicated that the main character would be a guy. I’ve been trying to read more books with guys as the main character. They’re not quite as easy to find in my genres of choice as I would have first assumed. But this book surprised me. To me, Cedar Hunt was not the main character. In reality, there were multiple main characters. Cedar Hunt was not given any more page tim ...more
Pippa DaCosta
A brilliantly imagined and original tale of magic, curses and steam.

Steampunk isn't a genre I get on particularly well with, but the character of Cedar Hunt intrigued me enough to give this a try.

Let's get something straight. This is fantasy, not steampunk. That cover is gorgeous, but it says nothing about the wonderful fantasy elements that make up the majority of this story.

'One witch, one human, one dead man, would not stand in the way of his immortality, his revenge.'

Dead Iron is a st
Oct 18, 2011 AH rated it really liked it
Recommended to AH by: Catherine
That was different.

Matics, Witches, and Weres, oh my!

I like steampunk. I’m always fascinated by the creativity and usefulness of all those wacky steam powered contraptions and gadgets. I’m not too keen on Westerns. I usually don’t seek out that genre, unless there is a sexy cowboy involved. But I digress.

This is a hard book for me to review. I enjoyed it immensely once I got into it, but I recognize that it may not be for everyone. Dead Iron was different from the other books in its genre – no
Ranting Dragon
Jul 25, 2011 Ranting Dragon rated it really liked it
Shelves: garrett

The first installment in a new series by Devon Monk (author of the Allie Beckstrom novels), Dead Iron is a wonderfully fresh and intriguing combination of steampunk technology and western action.

In a world running on steam and gears, science has taken the forefront. However, tales of magic still circulate; magic, and something largely regarded as superstition, a mysterious realm tied to the mortal plane: The Strange.

Cedar Hunt, teacher by schooling but bou
Jul 26, 2011 Kelly rated it really liked it
Devon Monk, the author of Dead Iron, is also the author of the Allie Beckstrom urban fantasy series, but you’d never know it if her name wasn’t on the cover. Monk pulls off the impressive feat of creating a wholly distinct voice for her new Age of Steam series.

Here, Monk paints a vivid picture of a gritty, grimy Old West. Like the Beckstrom books, this is set in Oregon, but it’s a very different Oregon. The writing invokes all of the senses, so you can almost smell the metal and oil and blood —
Fangs for the Fantasy
Aug 17, 2011 Fangs for the Fantasy rated it did not like it
Dead Iron falls into the category of paranormal steampunk. I really looked forward to this book when I saw that it was chosen as the book of the month by one of my Goodreads reading groups; however, that excitement quickly turned to dust, and I found myself looking for anything to do other than reading this book. How do you know when a book is bad? When you find yourself thinking after reading a few pages, hnmmmm I suddenly have a desire to clean the kitchen, or a do a load of laundry. Yes, ...more
Something about this didn’t grab my attention. Reading more than a few chapters at a time was hard. Yet there wasn’t anything in particular I didn’t like about it. There was a fair amount of action and it was well paced. For whatever reason I was somewhat bored.

This was an interesting twist on steampunk. It was a blend of steampunk and fantasy in the wild west. And this was the first steampunk book I've ever read without a strong romantic element. I really liked the world because it was differen
Jul 23, 2011 Bry rated it did not like it
Such promise. Seriously. A world with a western theme, magic, strange creatures who prowl the night, earth magic, and the walking dead - what's not to like??

But when the POV changes every chapter from one character to another, and is rarely from the perspective of the MAIN CHARACTER, it is seriously hard to ever become invested in that character. Why should I care about their lives, their past, their emotions when I rarely get to see or experience them either through their perspective or even an
All Things Urban Fantasy
Review courtesy of All Things Urban Fantasy

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 wit
Review to come.
May 09, 2015 Audrey rated it really liked it
At its heart, this novel is two stories: one, a really above-average steampunk Western, and the other a fairly basic dark-fairy fantasy story. And throughout the book there's a kind of tension between the two; as a reader you really feel the *clunk* as one story gives way to the other, back and forth. They're not well wedded, is what.

But that doesn't mean this book's not AWESOME.

Missing werewolves! Mad Welsh brothers! Mountain lairs! Stolen children! Found children! A traveling train-zoo of supe
Kathy (Kindle-aholic)
Aug 08, 2011 Kathy (Kindle-aholic) rated it really liked it
Shelves: steampunk
I've been waiting for this steampunk adventure for months and I was not disappointed. Really liked the characters. Lots of setup, but also a good story. Liked the worldbuilding and the magic system and the gadgets (gotta have the gadgets!). You've got a man cursed by an Indian god, Strange beings that stalk humans, witches, a zombie, and a girl who is more than she seems.

It's in 3rd person following a handful of characters (both heroes and villains). I've read some books where this effect leads
Timothy Boyd
Aug 15, 2016 Timothy Boyd rated it really liked it
Well this was an interesting mix of genres. An Excellent Steampunk story. A very good supernatural story and a darn good western. Nice plot with some new twists to old ideas. Nice entertaining read with good characters. I look forward to the other books in this trilogy and trying the writer's other series. Definitely give this one a try. Very recommended
Jun 20, 2013 Veronica rated it really liked it
Shelves: steampunk, weird-west
Steampunk can be hit or miss with me but this story was a definite hit. It blended elements of a good old-fashioned western with the marvels of steampunk gadgetry seamlessly. Throw in a supernatural element, a pinch of magic, a dash of a hope of a sweet romance, then top it off with interesting characters and I was hooked.
Jill Myles
Dec 22, 2010 Jill Myles marked it as to-read
So...damn. This is a hot cover.

I am fascinated by the necessity those of us interested in genre fiction seem to
have for classification. Cyberpunk, hard sci-fi, space opera, high fantasy, epic fantasy, etc. Oh and the debates that ensue throughout the community when something is misclassified. In any case, there is no doubt what Dead Iron is - steampunk. Unfortunately, for author Devon Monk, it is steampunk reminiscent of Will Smith's Wild Wild West. While a far more successful executio
Dark Faerie Tales
Jul 11, 2012 Dark Faerie Tales rated it really liked it
Review courtesy of Dark Faerie Tales

Quick & Dirty: A true steampunk adventure where humans (and those a little less so) fight to stop a door from opening up to a world full of creatures bent on our destruction.

Opening Sentence: Cedar had stared straight into the killing eyes of rabid wolves, hungry bears, and charging bull elk, but Mrs. Horace Small had them all topped.

The Review:

The steampunk genre has always fascinated me. Fantastical machines and notions that seem to crawl right out of on
This was a really fun book. I'm not normally a big fan of historical romances or steampunk, but I am a fan of Devon Monk's Allie Beckstrom series, so when I heard about this I knew I had to give it a try. And I'm glad I did. The good experience started with the stunning cover. It's really one of the best I've seen, if I were browsing in a store (sigh, the few left) I would absolutely pick it up to examine it more closely, it's just amazing. The lighting and textures and the way that it really ...more
Aug 30, 2011 Karissa rated it really liked it
This is the first book in Devon Monk's new Age of Steam series. Previously I have read Monk's Allie Beckstrom series and enjoyed it. I have mixed feelings about this book. I absolutely adored the world and some of the ideas in this book. 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.

Cedar Hunt is a cursed man and a bounty hunter. He is hired to find the Holder and in his spare time is trying to
Feb 24, 2013 Johnny rated it really liked it
Shelves: steampunk
What if Neil Gaiman’s short-lived Mr. Hero: The Newmatic Man comic was to meet Alan Moore’s From Hell, the original Wild, Wild West television series (at least for the ambiance of cool private rail cars), and Marvel’s old Werewolf by Night with more than a little Native American garnish? If that doesn’t pique your interest, Dead Iron: The Age of Steam is Deadlands, Doomtown, and Malifaux, classic steampunk western settings for gamers combined with an unsettling mix of Victorian invention (in thi ...more
Elf M.
Oct 30, 2011 Elf M. rated it liked it
Devon Monk's Dead Iron: The Age of Steam, #1 is a mash-up urban fantasy-meets-steampunk-meets western. Set in a 19th century Oregon small town facing change as the rail comes closer, Dead Iron is a satisfactorily well-written but by-the-numbers example of how steampunk ought to be written.

In Monk's formulation, the veil between faery and Earth is very thin, and a mysterious, rare substance called glim enables those blessed with the Gift of Artifice to empower marvelous steam-powered "matics" wit
Andreea Daia
******Full Disclosure**** This was an ARC copy, that was received through the GoodReads Advance program. I am grateful for the chance to have read this novel, which I might not have purchased otherwise.

Up until now it's been an enjoyable read, if maybe a bit simplistic and redundant (i.e., mentioning over and over Cedar's curse). I would recommend this novel mostly for young adults, and adults interested in raw action more than character development.

This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
(Tori-Smexybooks) smexys_sidekick
Originally reviewed at

Favorite Quote: “I mean to find his killer. And there is nothing that will stand in my way.”

Cedar Hunt and his brother Will were cursed with lycanthropy by a Pawnee God to hunt the Strange. Settling in the small town of Hallelujah, Cedar does some small time bounty hunting, haunted with the loss of his humanity and guilt of his brother’s death. When a small boy is stolen in the dead of the night, Cedar offers his service to the paren
Jun 26, 2011 Mardel rated it it was amazing
This is one of those books that I would give 10 stars to if I could.

I am liking this cover. See the intense man, gun in his hand...he means business. Notice the trees in the background - there is a forest in the novel. I like the whole feel of the cover. However, looking at the cover, you'd get the impression that it's mainly about one man, when in fact there are quite a few important may start out with one man being the focus but I think that at least two other characters have
Garrett Jones
Mar 07, 2012 Garrett Jones rated it it was amazing
Shelves: top-favorites

The first installment in a new series by Devon Monk (author of the Allie Beckstrom novels), Dead Iron is a wonderfully fresh and intriguing combination of steampunk technology and western action.

In a world running on steam and gears, science has taken the forefront. However, tales of magic still circulate; magic, and something largely regarded as superstition, a mysterious realm tied to the mortal plane: The Strange.

Cedar Hunt, teacher by schooling but bou
Aug 08, 2011 Maria rated it really liked it
I reviewed this book for Night Owl Reviews with a rating of 4.25 Stars:

Dead Iron: The Age of Steam (Cedar Hunt) by Devon Monk is an exciting new entry in the steampunk genre. I was captivated by the characters and their story. While the action started a little slowly, like a rollercoaster it picks up speed and races towards the end. The world building was well done and the blend between magic, steam powered machinery and man was unique.

Cedar Hunt is an interesting main character; young, intellig
Jan 03, 2013 Brian rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Kathy Davie
Jan 29, 2016 Kathy Davie rated it it was amazing
First in The Age of Steam urban fantasy/steampunk series for young adults set in the Old West.

My Take
This is fascinating! Monk has created an Old West steampunk-style with all the usual suspects: an evil railway man, jealous biddies, a biracial couple, a put-upon young girl, the lone wolf (pun intended!), and the irascible miners. The twist is other-worldly with an exciting tease at the end…I hate that I have to wait until 2012 for Tin Swift , 2!

LeFel's machinations, kidnappings, and all-around
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Devon Monk has one husband, two sons, and a dog named Mojo. She lives in Oregon and is surrounded by numerous family members who mostly live within dinner-calling distance of each other. She writes the Allie Beckstrom urban fantasy series and the Age of Steam steampunk series. Her collection of short stories, A CUP OF NORMAL is a finalist for the Mythopoeic and Endeavour Awards. When not writing, ...more
More about Devon Monk...

Other Books in the Series

Age of Steam (4 books)
  • Hangfire (Age of Steam #1.5)
  • Tin Swift (Age of Steam, #2)
  • Cold Copper (Age of Steam, #3)

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“Don't know about my knives, but my gun's made of pain.” 3 likes
“Hallelujah might be putting itself on the map, but that mark would be made in blood, as well as iron.” 1 likes
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