Steam Punk is okay, I love Film Noir, but it doesn’t matter, the only thing I truly care about when I read a novel is if it’s well written, and by that I don’t mean literary (some of the worst books I’ve read lately fall under the header “Literary Fiction”.) By well written I of course mean that the author has a command of the English language and is either a good editor or has a good editor, but that’s like saying a beautiful person worth knowing has a healthy and well-groomed body–what it’s really about is the book’s soul, as expressed through its voice and the characters we live with and through while we’re reading it. This book has a soul. I was astonished by the psychological depth expressed in the author’s portrayal of different points of view, how effortlessly he juggled them, so believably, without once going too far and stalling the pace of the story. This was a page turner from start to finish and yet it was substantial. We experience everything Essie does, really experience it, moment by moment, believably; I never once got the feeling the author was looking down on his characters and describing action from a bird’s eye view, the mark of bad writers in all genres–he was inside the heart, soul and mind of all his characters, he was really living what they did, and as a result, so does the reader.
I find myself hoping this story might go on… The only minor critcism I have is that there were too many “he said” and “she said” inserted in the dialogue where it really wasn’t necessary and which ruined the otherwise perfect, masterful flow of the conversations. But so what, who cares. If the author is this good already, I’m really looking forward to whatever he writes in the future. A great read.