Donovan Schist’s current job was supposed to be an easy one: grab Phoebe Mosey before pimp and murderer Stanny Slash does, and drag her back home to Ohio—kicking and screaming if necessary. But when a blazing river halts their steam train in the middle of nowhere, the veteran turned detective starts to wish he had stayed in New York.
With a homicidal Stanny hot on their trail—maybe poisoning Stanny’s man was a bad idea—Donovan needs to get Phoebe out of Juniper Junction fast. Even if that means taking a few jobs for some quick cash.
He doesn’t expect to find a mining company on the brink of war with a union, or bloodthirsty strike-breakers itching to use a steam tank and other weapons he hasn’t seen since the War of Southern Secession. Or that underneath it all lies something much darker—an unspeakably diabolical conspiracy
Nearly a year ago I read the first book in this series, and said some not very nice things about it. In fact, I’m pretty sure I accused it of lacking everything I want to give Vacant Graves kudos for having. I’m not sure if this was because the blurb on the back of the first book implied (in my mind) that the book was a romance and I felt that I’d been tricked, or if my points were actually valid…
Fuck I’m not sure of anything right about now.
All I know is that Vacant Graves was so damn good, I’ve pulled my review of Cruel Numbers so I can go back and reread it.
If you don’t want to read Cruel Numbers, well I can’t tell you if that’s a smart idea or not. What I can do is sum up the current world order. The South won the civil war. The good old U S of A is no more, instead being ruled by corporations. And there’s steampunk shit. There, now you’re up to speed.
Okay, you might need a few moments to acclimate, but you’re smart so I’m confident you’ll pick it up in no time.
Especially since HOLY FUCKBALLS THIS BOOK WAS GOOD.
It had everything I like in my steampunk novels. Well except romance. But I’m willing to overlook that because there was a female mainish character who Donovan Schist has this kind of fatherly/older brother relationship with that lends the book a certain male/female back and worth. Sexual tension there was not, but you don’t actually need it with Donovan and Phoebe mixing it up.
Especially since… well actually I can’t tell you my especially since. I can’t. Cannot. It would ruin too much of the story. I will run into the bathroom at work and shout the reason followed by an absurd little dance and a victory arm pump… but you’re not here to see that so it’s okay.
Some people I work with will now be avoiding me in the break room though.
4.5 stars. Aside from containing one of my all time favorite things, of all time the book also has one of those onion mysteries. You know. The ones with layers. Like ogres. Where you peel through one layer only to find another one with an even more pungent odor to assault your eyes while you yell “you’ve got to be fucking kidding me!”
Good show, Vacant Graves, good show.