Andrea Blythe's Reviews > The Gaslight Dogs

The Gaslight Dogs by Karin Lowachee
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's review
Oct 24, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: fiction, fic-steampunk, fic-fantasy
Read from October 24 to November 01, 2011

This is a vision of an alternate world that presents wild west style frontier very similar to our own historical west. It presents a group of colonizing whites, who are at conflict with the native population. Lowachee does an excellent job of portraying both perspectives, showing how the differences in cultural perspectives are at the heart of the conflict. They don't understand each other and why they live the way they live.

She does this by writing both from the perspective of Sjenn, the Aniw spiritwalker, and Captain Jarret Fawle of the Ciracusan army, and she treats both of them as complicated, messy, uncertain human beings, who have their own motives and desires that are influenced and driven by their own cultures. They are forced to work with each other by General Fawle, Jarret's father. Neither is happy with working with each other, both are forced to participate, and the tension between them never truly eases completely.

Another important character, which the back of the book description leaves out is Keeley, a Wishishian warrior. (That's another thing that's great about this book. There are many different tribes, each of which have their own unique history and cultural heritage.) Keeley works for General Fawle, hired to watch over Sjenn and Jarret. He is Soreganee warrior who was partially raised by Ciracusan's. He's a man who hold on to his native heritage, while living amongst the Ciracusans. He's a more mysterious character in the book, but the author subtly add complexity to this character, and he is as vital a character to as either Sjenn or Jarret.

The Gaslight Dogs started out slow, but by the third chapter I was completely absorbed, and by the time I reached the end, I was begging for more. While there are definitely threads left untied (leaving room for a book two), the book manages to end on a satisfactory note and feels complete in and of itself.

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Reading Progress

10/24/2011 page 54
10/25/2011 page 84
23.0% "Was going rather slow for me, but I'm starting to get into it now."
11/08/2011 page 359
100.0% "Seriously?! That's how this ends? There's better be a blooming sequel, that's all I have to say."
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