Genre: Western Fantasy, Steampunk
Paranormal-Elements: Magical Realism
Purchase: Amazon.com | BookDepository.com
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Hardcover provided by publisher, audio book purchased on audible.com
PJVs QUICKIE POV:
A tale of fantastical proportions, Gilman’s mind and his imagination astounded me in The Half-Made World. I’ve never been a fan of westerns, leaving those novels and movies in the “maybe someday” category. What drew me to Gilman’s novel though, was that it was a re-imagined western, with steampunk and a few paranormal elements. My interest was worth-while, because this was something new and very original and I enjoyed making the trek through the Half-Made World.
The world is only half-made. The lands of the East are cultured and refined. The lands of the West are in constant war and upheaval. Further West and the world is unmade, unknown and rumored to be filled with immortal beings and magical landscapes that shape themselves with the thoughts of mortals. The West is ruled by two factions, The Gun and The Line. They are lorded over by entities that drive humans to murder each other in the name of expansion and power. There has only been one challenger to these almost unstoppable groups – the Red Republic. But their great leader, the general has gone missing and with him the secret that could end the war forever.
Liv Alverhyusen, a scientist of the mind and denizen of the more refined and cultured East is surprised to receive a letter for her husband asking him to come to the far reaches of the West to be employed by a hospital that services the injured of the war. While her husband has just recently passed, Liv is pretty sure the letter was meant for her, since her focus is the mind. She accepts the position and heads off into the unknown and unwittingly into a war, where she might become a major pawn.
Verbose and richly woven, the Half-Made World is an epic adventure that had me flipping page after page dying to know what would be the conclusion. Gilman’s imagination had me itching to sketch out his unique creations. His ability to describe the fantastical half-made world made the book what it was and kept me going until the end. But, with this richly imagined world, there did come a bit of confusion as the world expanded and got deeper and deeper. The characters were almost maniacal at times and were hard to follow at points. I was always able to catch on, though and trudged further and further into the world.
The one problem I did have came with the ending, I found that there was much more to accomplish and while some plot threads were concluded, there were a few that still needed resolutions. I’m unsure if this will be continued in a series, but I’m assuming so considering they still have a few things to accomplish. Other than that, no complaints.
Regarding the audio book, one thing I did notice is that they did not have the prologue that was featured in the Hardcover. I thought this was pretty serious considering it covered the General’s brain scramble. The narrator, Tamara Marston was very pleasing to listen to and I enjoyed her inflections and accents.
Fans of steampunk and westerns unite. This isn’t a romantic tale, it has war and murder and mayhem so fans of the baser side of human nature should enjoy. You’ll find violence and foul language throughout the pages but that is about it.