Ringman Roth's Reviews > Infernal Devices

Infernal Devices by K.W. Jeter
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's review
Aug 22, 2012

it was ok

I liked parts of this book, but overall there wasn't enough steampunk in it. The main character's personality was rather boring, and the pacing was all over the place. Furthermore, there were some really silly, "out - of place" elements in this book.

Warning Spoilers ahead!

I'm talking about the fish people. At first I thought this was some kind of lovecraftian(Shadow over Innsmouth) element, but the fish people serve no real purpose to the story. Most of them are part of a prostitution ring. You heard right, they are fish hookers! The woman running the ring is actually posing as the leader for the Ladies Union for the Suppression of Carnal Vice. God knows why they were shoe-horned into the plot. I think the author just has a fish-fetish.

Furthermore, a mystery character "The Brown Leather Man" also ended up being a fish person, who actually aided the main character through out the story, but then at the very ending revealed that he was one of the villians, by literally popping into the scene, and saying "HA!" Then he disappeared and was never heard from again? What kind of "twist" is that? I usually avoid spoilers, but I'm trying to prevent people from reading this silly waste of time. The book has the honor of being the first one to be "called" a steampunk, coined by the author himself, so many may pick it up for that reason. There a much better classic steampunks, however, that existed before the label. Pass up this for some HG Wells or Jules Verne instead.
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