Dan Schwent's Reviews > Babylon Steel

Babylon Steel by Gaie Sebold
Rate this book
Clear rating

by
870755
's review
Jan 24, 12

bookshelves: fantasy, 2012
Read from January 22 to 23, 2012

Brothel owner and operator and former mercenary Babylon Steel has religious zealots, the Vessels of Purity, driving off her business, tax problems, and a secret past she'd rather keep hidden when casino owner Darask Fain pays her to find a missing girl. Only every step she takes brings her a little closer to her secret past. Can Steel find the missing girl before her past finally catches up to her?

Right off the bat, I'd like to say this book is a super nova of pure entertainment. Don't come in expecting to discover a lost work of Shakespeare.

Babylon Steel tells two stories, one of a brothel owner, the other of an orphan girl who eventually becomes the avatar of a goddess. I'm not going to come right out and say it but you can see where the tales will intersect. The story is largely a mystery. Without giving too much of the plot away, I like what Sebold has done with certain fantasy cliches like prophecies, chosen ones, and gods in this book.

Babylon is a fairly well-rounded character. She's tough but feminine. The fact that she's a prostitute that runs a brothel seems almost secondary. Actually, I didn't quite buy her as a prostitute until (view spoiler) The supporting cast is fairly well done, from her staff at the Red Lantern to her uneasy relationship with Chief Bitternut, the head of the city watch. Scalentine, the setting, is one of the more interesting fantasy cities I've read about in recent years. It's located at the conjunction of multiple planar portals. It's no Bas Lag but few fantasy cities are.

Both the city and the writing style remind me of Simon Green's Nightside series quite a bit, only with less tedium and more smut. I'd say the writing is better than Green's.

Any complaints? Not really. Like I said earlier, this is a brain candy book. You probably won't find yourself quoting the prose to your friends while you're reading it. That being said, I think this will be a big hit with fantasy readers who also enjoy a bit of paranormal romance. Based on entertainment value alone, I'm caving in and giving it four stars. It was a lot of fun and I couldn't seem to put it down for long.
34 likes · Likeflag

Sign into Goodreads to see if any of your friends have read Babylon Steel.
Sign In »

Reading Progress

01/22/2012 page 1
0.0%
show 20 hidden updates…

Comments (showing 1-18)




dateUp arrow    newest »

message 18: by Daniel (new)

Daniel I remember you bringing this one up a month ago. How is it?


message 17: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent Not bad. It's a mystery of of sorts and reminds me of Simon Green's Nightside a bit. Only without being tedious and more smut. I'm only halfway through but I'd read another book featuring the same characters.


message 16: by Traci (new)

Traci Hmmm... I really like Simon Green's Nightside series. Might have to look for this. Thanks!


message 15: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent Traci wrote: "Hmmm... I really like Simon Green's Nightside series. Might have to look for this. Thanks!"

I really liked the first couple Nightside books but I thought they were a little formulaic after that. The setting reminds me of the Nightside in that it's a city linked to a lot of portals to other dimensions. The tone is also kind of similar.


message 14: by Traci (new)

Traci Yeah, the Nightside books do tend to read pretty much the same, as does Green's Secret Histories series. But then again, I like going to back to see my old friends, so I'm OK with that. Would probably wear pretty thin if you read them all back to back, tho.


message 13: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent Traci wrote: "Yeah, the Nightside books do tend to read pretty much the same, as does Green's Secret Histories series. But then again, I like going to back to see my old friends, so I'm OK with that. Would proba..."

That was probably my mistake. I started wolfing them down one right after another until I just wasn't hungry anymore.


message 12: by Traci (new)

Traci I think that happens with almost any series. It's so hard to wait for the next installment to be published, but really, it works better to read them with time in between. Unless it's an author that takes 10+ years to publish the next installment, that is!


message 11: by Stephen (new) - added it

Stephen This looks like something I would really like. A tip of the cap to you, sir.


message 10: by Dan (last edited Jan 23, 2012 05:48PM) (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent Stephen wrote: "This looks like something I would really like. A tip of the cap to you, sir."

Thanks! It was the mention of a lizard man with two penises that sold you, wasn't it?


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways Dan wrote: "It was the mention of a lizard man with two penises that sold you, wasn't it?"

No, that would be me...and the less tedium, more smut line worked too.


message 8: by Stephen (new) - added it

Stephen Actually, I had not seen that because I did not read the spoiler the first time around. Of course, now I am off to buy it immediately. Being from Vegas I don't get to see a lizard man with two penises but one or twice every year.


message 7: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent Stephen wrote: "Actually, I had not seen that because I did not read the spoiler the first time around. Of course, now I am off to buy it immediately. Being from Vegas I don't get to see a lizard man with two peni..."

Lizard men with two penises are pretty common in Missouri. It's the ones with only one penis that are rare.


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways Not to be prurient or anything, but would you two straight boys care to enlighten an old 'mo as to howinahell y'all know so much about the penes of other male creatures not your own good selves?


message 5: by Dan (new) - rated it 4 stars

Dan Schwent Richard wrote: "Not to be prurient or anything, but would you two straight boys care to enlighten an old 'mo as to howinahell y'all know so much about the penes of other male creatures not your own good selves?"

It doesn't count if they're another species, Richard.


message 4: by Stephen (new) - added it

Stephen Dan wrote: "It doesn't count if they're another species, Richard. "

That just made me spit water out my nose. I have to learn to put the drink down before reading posts.


Richard Reviles Censorship Always in All Ways Dan wrote: "It doesn't count if they're another species, Richard."

Oh. I see.

*adds new justification to list beginning "Wow were we drunk last night"*


message 2: by Melki (new)

Melki Sounds like this should be in the "Top Ten Books About Brothel Owners" list.


 Danielle The Book Huntress (Self-Proclaimed Book Ninja) You have me a little scared about the spoiler part, but this sounds like a good book, otherwise.


back to top