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The Engineer

Friday, August 7, 2020

The Engineer (2020) C.S. Poe (Magic & Steam)

The EngineerSet in the American West in 1881.

Gillian Hamilton is a Special Agent for the Federal Bureau of Magic and Steam–and a powerful magic user. He is sent out west to catch a renegade magic user, but runs into a completely different wanted man while on the hunt.

I’m not quite sure I understood this magic system.

The raw magic passed through us without harm to our internal workings, while concurrently, our life energy replaced what was taken from the stream.

Does that mean he ages more rapidly the more magic he uses? It’s not clear, although there is another book in the works, so it might become more clear later. Regardless, this use of magic is not without cost–which is good.

Gillian may be a lawman, but it’s clear to the reader (if not to him) that he didn’t have a lot of choice in the matter if he wanted to be able to legally use his magic–and do so for the good of society.

I generally avoid historicals set in the US, since I have a hard time reading about slavery and Reconstruction and Jim Crow but books that don’t have those evils are inaccurate enough that I don’t want anything to do with them. So I just don’t read those.

But as this is steampunk and clearly alternate history, it doesn’t bother me if characters don’t deal with those issues, because it’s possible the world has a history without those evils.

For a novella, this covered a lot of ground. I’m not sure that everything was consistent, but with stories that short, there’s a lot left out, so the things that felt off might be worked out in a longer story.

We’ll see.

Publisher: Emporium Press
Rating: 7/10

Categories: 7/10, Fantasy, LGBT, Sexual Content, Steampunk     Comments (0)    



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