I have mixed feelings about this book. Overall, it was a fun, light read, and was one of the stronger, less-obnoxiously overt books in the Steampunk gI have mixed feelings about this book. Overall, it was a fun, light read, and was one of the stronger, less-obnoxiously overt books in the Steampunk genre. I have some issues with Steampunk in general in that there seems to be a kind of ridiculously pervasive feel of "weirdtech for the sake of weirdtech" through most steampunk genre novels. There was not so much of that here; rather this book felt more like a historical fiction piece with a happenstance connection to steampunk tech and concepts, which was somewhat refreshing. The author certainly did their historical homework, as well as geographically, including references and locational scenes that led me to believe that the author had visited these places, such was their detail.
The one sticking point I had seemed to be that this book had a bit of an identity crisis. It felt wholeheartedly as though the author was writing for a YA audience, with a style and idiom that seemed aimed entirely at the teen/late teen crowd. Perhaps it's a generational thing, but I don't remember my YA books having quite so many vulgarities tossed into their chapters.
Additionally, on the stylistic front, I felt that there was an odd feeling of nonchalance in the writing. During action scenes, I didn't get a lot of a sense of actual action, so to speak, as while the writing wasn't dry overall, it lacked a certain oomph that other books' fight scenes and battles seemed to have. Everything seemed to happen almost as if it were preordained in the protagonist's mind, and there was little sense of impending failure, even when things seemed like the author was trying to portray them as the "bleakest moment" of the book.
Overall, not a horrible book, and definitely entertaining in parts, but not one that entirely captivated me and made me want to just keep reading. I will probably check out some of the other books in this series just to see if my issues with the book stemmed from "Debut Novel" jitters, or if they span the entire series. ...more
There are very few books that I put down and walk away from in frustration. As can be guessed, this book happens to be one of them. Overall, this fallThere are very few books that I put down and walk away from in frustration. As can be guessed, this book happens to be one of them. Overall, this falls into my "good attempt, but failed to stick the landing" category of books, in that there were excellent concepts, ideas, and themes throughout the story, but this was foiled by an overall lack of cohesion, relatable characters, and definable style.
I liked a lot of the concepts that were put forth throughout Six Gun Tarot, and many of the characters had unique traits that made them distinguishable on a surface level, but they lacked a certain something to make them enough for me to get involved with.
Another problem I had seemed to be scale and management of the story. The author seemed intent on cramming so much into the plot that many things had to be shaved down to a minimum of effort, like the aforementioned characterization. Many things seemed to be skimmed over and lightly touched upon, but never fleshed out, and partly because there seemed to be just so much to deal with.
As far as stylistic issues, I will acknowledge that I may be judging a bit too harshly on this front. I had just come off of a couple of novels by William Gibson, and the stylistic differences between Gibson and Belcher are not only jarring in theme, but also seemingly on entirely different levels of competence and nuance. Six Gun Tarot seemed to be somewhat blunt and forthright in how things were described, while Gibson's prose takes on a dreamlike quality that flows once you get into it. Needless to say, this was a jarring switch when going from one book to another, and was probably why I had such issues with it. It didn't help that nearly every single chapter had flashbacks and remembrances that seemed to bog down the flow of the book - especially during the climax and denouement. Flashbacks are, when used sparingly, effective tools of writing, but they do tend to apply the literary brakes to the feel of the plot.
While I had quite a few issues with this book, I admit that it was probably not the best thing to follow up a William Gibson book, and I acknowledge that this may have colored my perception of the book somewhat. I'll have to possibly pick this one up and give it another go at some future date. For now, though, I remain unimpressed in general. ...more
Not the best of the Clockwork Century series that I've read, but not bad in general. My one major complaint is that there seemed to be a lack of tensiNot the best of the Clockwork Century series that I've read, but not bad in general. My one major complaint is that there seemed to be a lack of tension towards the latter parts of the book, making the whole thing seem like one big amusement park ride, rather than a submarine adventure story.
Other than that, I can't really say much more about it. Maybe on further readings, I'll be able to come up with more. ...more
While I couldn't quite get into this book as wholeheartedly as some other books (the whole historical-novel-rewritten-with-supernatural-aspects trendWhile I couldn't quite get into this book as wholeheartedly as some other books (the whole historical-novel-rewritten-with-supernatural-aspects trend not really being my cup o' stewed leaves), I did like many of the premises and ideas behind the book.
That being said, when compared to the movie, this book is a piece of friggin' genius. If you want to be disappointed, read the book then see the movie (preferably at a friend's house or in some other way that will not cause you to lose any money); if you wish to be entertained, struggle through the movie, then enjoy what is actually a thrillingly good read, comparatively speaking. ...more
A fairly well-paced, (generally) gripping tale with somewhat of a predictable twist-that-wasn't at the end, this book combined a few things I've enjoyA fairly well-paced, (generally) gripping tale with somewhat of a predictable twist-that-wasn't at the end, this book combined a few things I've enjoyed in the past and, while it was fairly well set up from the word go, jumbled them together with a somewhat tired plot-thread that has seen so many usages before that it is becoming transparent with use.
There were only two things that really bothered me about this book, but they were big enough to make me give it the rating that I did. One was the racist warden - what purpose did such a character serve, and what purpose did the scene he was in serve? The other was the ending itself, which I shall not spoil for those of you with no ability at predicting the ultra-predictable. ...more
I'd have to agree with most of what others have said: this book has a feeling like the reader is missing something vital throughout the entire story.
WI'd have to agree with most of what others have said: this book has a feeling like the reader is missing something vital throughout the entire story.
While it is written with Gibson's crisp prose and fairly minimalist style, there just didn't seem to be enough of the implied 'meat' behind the plot (as there was in Neuromancer, for example) to keep me really interested. It took me a while to actually get into the story - I started and stopped reading several times.
Would I recommend this book? Well, it's hard to say. I understand there are two other books that relate to this one, so they may have some additional worth to provide to the experience - and completists might find it worthwhile just to keep on top of the Gibson catalogue - but while I do enjoy Gibson's world building skills and some of the theories that he dreams up, I can't really say that this one is worth more than a once-over, if that....more