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Dangerous Gifts

(Babylon Steel #2)

3.91  ·  Rating details ·  247 Ratings  ·  32 Reviews
Babylon Steel, former avatar of the goddess of sex and war, currently owner of the Scarlet Lantern, the best brothel on Scalentine, city of portals, has been offered a job; as bodyguard to Enthemmerlee, the latest candidate for the Council of Incandress; and as spy for the Diplomatic Section, the barely-acknowledged government of Scalentine.

She doesn't want it. Incandress
Mass Market Paperback, 443 pages
Published January 29th 2013 by Solaris (first published January 28th 2013)
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CJ - It's only a Paper Moon

I like Babylon Steel. She's a bad-ass, she's neither self-conscious nor pretentious and she's vulnerable enough that you sympathize and root for her.

SO why didn't I love this installment like I did the first?

I don't really know. There's not one thing I can put my finger on. There's no particular moment in which I said to myself, Hmmm, why isn't this book as great as the first?

Maybe it's the confusion of portals and magic and Mokraine half-riddles (yes, that did confuse the hell out of me and
Nov 01, 2012 rated it it was ok
Sad to report that I was disappointed by this one. I adored the first Babylon Steel book for its pacing, humor, sexiness, and great characters. Unfortunately, I felt all three were less present in this book than the first Babylon Steel novel. Most of the book takes place on Incandress, so we don't get much time at all with Babylon's hometown crew. The book felt bogged down by all the politics (grain! caste systems! xenophobia!), and I say that as someone who loves the author's leanings. I was cr ...more
Nick Brett
Feb 20, 2013 rated it liked it
The follow up to the excellent Babylon Steel which was a refreshing entry into the world of fantasy and a very entertaining debut from the author.
This is the follow up and one I was very much looking forward to. The problem was always going to be that so many clever ideas had been packed into the first one, that a follow up was always going to be challenging. A warrior brothel owner, who is also a former avatar of a Goddess in a world that sits at the centre of many others....hard act to follow.
Growing Young Ⓥ
This book follows on perfectly from 'Babylon Steel', with all the usual characters we were introduced to in that book. And it's much the same kind of fantasy stuff that really isn't for children as there's a fair amount of sex and some quite graphic descriptions of interspecies relationships - Babylon is a whore house madam after all is said an done.

I have to say, Gaie has created a really interesting universe with The Planes and there's obviously a much bigger story going on in the background c
Lisa Lenox
Mar 15, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Not *quite* as engrossing as the first book, this one is still a winner. I love how matter of fact she is about sex, especially sex with aliens whose bodies are different than humans.
Gifts rounds out a story arc begun in Babylon Steel #1, and has its own arc for the book. Sebold relies on unpronounceable names for her aliens. I find this annoying, but at the same time atmospheric. They’re full of glottal stops and diphthongs that we just don’t usually use. But that’s a small quibble in a really
Sam Goodings
Apr 27, 2018 rated it really liked it
Enjoyed this second outing of Babylon Steel. A little different in feel and pace to the first and plenty more world building. Mokrain and Fain stole the show for me, would be interested to see where Sebold is going to take the series as although the adventure wraps up neatly, many of the more interesting questions such as the nature of the portals, the Avatars, Fain's mysterious device and Mokrain's connection to the portals is all left wide open.
Chloë Yates
Jul 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Babylon Steel is a cracker of a heroine and Gaie Sebold is one hell of a writer. Someone should snap her work up and put it on screen, big or small. Fearless, fun, and fantasy done right.
Apr 12, 2018 rated it really liked it
Shelves: classic-fantasy
I liked it even better than the first one; I hope there will be a third (the author certainly set it up for another.)
Jerold Farver
Mar 12, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Good stuff, casual references to sex and sexual bits.

There's a good read in store for the people that sex doesn't scare.
Strong characters and interesting plot. Hope there's more.
Nov 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
Another thoroughly enjoyable installment in the Babylon Steel universe. Lots of fun to read, plenty of plot twists, and once the action winds up toward the midpoint, it is impossible to put down.

Gaie Sebold has a talent for memorable characters, and her descriptive scenes, settings, and cultures are brilliant. It's fascinating to read about a lot of social issues/situations that have enough in common with some of our own that we feel a sense of connection, yet different enough to be interesting,
May 03, 2013 rated it liked it
You can read the review here at The Qwillery

Dangerous Gifts is the second book in the Babylon Steel series which takes our plucky heroine far away from her home and friends to Incandress in order to guard the new counselor Enthemmerlee. Tensions are mounting at home as humans create discord and shifters are being killed. No matter how much she would like to Babylon, finds she is unable to refuse the job despite wanting to stay at home to protect her frien
Nov 27, 2016 rated it really liked it
I like Gaie Sebold’s writing style. It grabs attention and has a good character voice. In this case the voice belongs to Babylon Steel, whorehouse owner in Scalentene, whore, part-time bodyguard and one-time avatar of the god of soldiers and sex. Now if that’s not a great resume, I don’t know what is. This is the second outing for Babylon. In the first one she rescued a young woman, designated as the Itnunnacklish, designed to bring together the Gudain and the Ikinchli – two races of Incandress ...more
Feb 16, 2017 rated it liked it
Pretty close to a 4, I think I enjoyed the first novel better
Feb 03, 2015 rated it really liked it
I liked this Babylon Steel novel even better than the first one. In this book, Babylon goes bodyguarding in Incandress. It was nice that this book was connected to the first one in that we get to see where the characters from the first book came from. This book felt a little more structured than the first one, there was a definite plot with only a couple of side plots going on.
The characters were mostly the same as the first book with a few additions. Of course, Babylon Steel is the best charac
I liked this followup to Babylon Steele, albeit not quite as much as Book 1, and I'm not sure why.

It lacked the epic expansiveness of the first instalment, although that's not usually a major issue for me. Perhaps it's that there were SO MANY awesome new characters to meet and get to know in the first book, and most of them weren't in this one (although we did get to see more of Darask Fain, which I'll admit was fun). We got to meet new characters too, but I don't think they were quite as intere
Jan 27, 2013 rated it liked it
I so wanted to love this because the first one was so awesome. But Sebold uses Mokraine and Babylon's ties with the goddess to get over plot points she can't get past without a gimmick. I just closed my eyes, took a deep breath and let the nitpicking go. Once that was done, I liked the story but missed many of the characters from the first story because their parts were so small in this one. I'll still read the next one because I like the worldbuilding and the main characters. Maybe this was a f ...more
Jul 28, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Aaah, I thought this was great. I understand other reviews suggesting there isn't enough of Babylon's "crew" and missing the general feel of Scalentine, but I still loved it anyway. It's zippy and fun with just enough politics to be interesting without ladling it on. There is a little deus ex-ing going on but I think/hope that's just 2nd-book-itis and will become very much clearer in the next book. The subplot concerning the portals looks like it will take the lead and that's well worth looking ...more
John Cleland
Mar 22, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: classic-fantasy
If Gale Siebold's introduction to Babylon Steel (title and heroine) was a rollicking, fun to real tale full of interesting people living in a wondrous world, then Dangerous Gifts, the second in the series, takes all of those characters fills them out, deepens them and puts them into new adventure that is even more complex this time around.

If adventure, fantasy, complex characters and plot are what you're looking for. This is a series that will have you turning pages deep into the night. And it's
Saif Bagmar
Apr 01, 2014 rated it liked it
I was in love with Babylon steel, she is sexy, caring, kind, cruel and dangerous. Why I could not see much of her in the second sequel? I hope there will be third book where I will get my beloved girl again.... :-)
One thing is sure, Babylon steel understands men,,, with their strength and stupidity.
Apr 18, 2013 rated it really liked it
Loved this second book in the series. Excellent use of previously introduced characters and a good deal of world-building. The characters continue to grow and despite the humorous tone, the story s serious and is engaging from beginning to end. Love it! Keep 'em coming!
May 08, 2014 rated it really liked it
Bit more character development with this one building nicely on the first. Some of the plot points are well telegraphed and others a surprise, over all a pleasant and addictive read. I look forward to more
Maggie Lauren
Jan 18, 2014 rated it liked it
I would have preferred more world-building and character-building on Scalantine instead of introducing us to a cool world/cool people and then taking us elsewhere for the whole book, but I guess that's the problem I had with the first book, too. Maybe the next book will take place at home?
Nov 21, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Better even than the first novel - a fantastic trip outside Scalentine to yet another rich land filled with vibrant characters. At points it had me in bleddy stitches. Funny, immersive and sexy, but never trashy.
Mar 09, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: scifi, gaie-sebold
Another Babylon Steel novel, another fun read. Ms. Sebold has done another good job of putting together a complicated plot that keeps you guessing until the end and fills in the holes well to wrap things up. In my opinion it helps if you read book 1 first.
Martin Owton
Jan 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Babylon Steel returns in another twistingly plotted adventure. Beautifully realised characters and a solidly developed world. Read this if you enjoyed Babylon Steel.
Sep 03, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf
A more straightforward story than the first and not quite as much fun. Still very good though.
Jul 15, 2013 rated it liked it
Not quite as compelling as "Babylon Steel", but still good. I hope there will be another book in the series.
May 28, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: for-the-eyes, ebook, 2016
2.5 stars
May 22, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: fantasy
Not quite as good as #1 but perfectly acceptable. Unfortunately, I think this only comes in mass market size and it's just too hard for my arthritic fingers to hold the small book open : (
Robin L
Oct 26, 2015 rated it it was ok
45% DNF. I just couldn't do it.
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Gaie Sebold
Gaie’s debut novel Babylon Steel was published by Solaris in January 2012 to enthusiastic reviews…
“…a pacey fantasy romp;” The Guardian
“Ingenious, gripping and full of pleasures on every level. Exceptional.” Mike Carey
“…an absolutely wonderful author who should be warmly welcomed alongside those authors pushing fantasy into new directions,” Fantasy Faction
… a

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