The Half-Made World
The world is only half made. What exists has been carved out amidst a war between two rival factions: the Line, paving the world with industry and claiming its residents as slaves; and the Gun, a cult of terror and violence that crippl...more
The author takes the American West and plops it into a fictional world, with several warring factions fighting over the future of the country, none all the way black or white. The complexity of the world and characters was so engrossing, similar ...more
The Half-Made World gets a solid 3 stars – it falls between 3.5 and 4 but I can’t quite bring myself to give it the coveted fourth star.
When I first read the blurbs for the book I was immediately reminded of the opening scene in Michael Moorcock’s The Weird of ...more
The only part I am unclear on - is this supposed to be a standalone? If so, the author makes a really good job of building a unique world ...more
Ahahahaha wow I read this so quickly?? Fair warning, I'm gonna gush unreservedly in this review because this book turned out to be my EVERYTHING and hit all my buttons.
The Half-Made World is a steampunk Western with some helpings of magic, set in an alternate world where the land is still half-made, where reality disintegrates at the frontier. It's a wonderful fantastical stand-in for a Western, depicting a world at war caught between two inexorable factions: Gun and ...more
Half the fun of this book is not knowing where the plot is going and figuring out what’s going on in the worl ...more
I can't even place it in a genre. Steampunk with magic realism? Dystopian? Or fantasy? A Western? All of those. Clang clang go the Engines of The Line. Devouring the land into gray. The Guns embody their Agents to war with the Line, but they are dem ...more
The novel starts with an excellent prologue, where The General, who is losing his mind, tries desperately to cling to anyt ...more
The setting of The Half-Made World starts out exciting and fresh, with its mix of cursed gunslingers carrying demon-haunted guns, and the grim, Nazi-like servant armies of steampunk sentient Engines. There's also the promise of an u ...more
The world is divided between the settled East and the expanding into uncreation West. Some centuries ago the seemingly impassable mountains that formed the border of the settled world, opened and people started settling the lands beyond and in the process fixing them into reality.
However un-natural or supernatural things sprung out here and there, most ...more
The Half-Made World gives snapshots of extensive world building but when all is said and done, I don't feel that I understand the world at all. I still don't understand the motives of the Gun and the Line and I don't even have a vague idea about what the Gun does beside oppose the Line. I can tell that Gilman knows ...more
The Half-Made World is set in an alternate America, but Gilman has gone well past the add-a-few-inventions-that-weren’t-there-and-change-the-Civil-War kind of alternate world-building here. We have an old, established East (w ...more
It's not you, book, it's me.
By all means, this feels like it should have been interesting, but it just...isn't. I may return one day, but currently, I just can't get myself to push through.
I'd describe it as a western with a steampunk and slight New Weird flavour. From what I gathered, the world in the West is unformed and divided between two warring factions, between lawful evil and chaotic evil. One is the Line who represent order, technology, a highly bureaucratic society, travel with ...more
The world is quite literally half-made. People are slowly pushing west, claiming more land, guided mostly by The Line. The Line is a mass organization of men, and I do mean men as in males not humans, working for The Engines. These engines are some manner of gigantic train-like things, that were created by The Line but ...more
The positives: the writing is solid - in particular, the descriptions of the Half Made portions of the world are cool, since the laws of physics and nature haven't been completely sorted out. The prologue was quite gripping (almost deceptively so - I feel like I was tricked ...more
It has much of what one seeks in good fantasy or sci fi. There is a strong cast of characters. They're gritty, naive, willful, brave, foolhardy and any number of other highly readable traits. The world building is spectacular. It grounds itself with many if our notions on what the old west was like, then adds a technological twist, and a supernatural twist, and a little bit of the weird for good measure. The book is dark at times, but ever ...more