Although the devisers have civilized the East with their contraptions, civilization hasn't tamed the frontier that bounty hunter Cedar Hunt rides. Cursed by lycanthropy and carrying the guilt of his brother's death, he's a hard man for hire. But when a trio of miners offers him the possibility that his brother may yet survive, Cedar isn't going to haggle for payment. All he has to do for them is find the Holder, a powerful device created by mad devisers from the realm of the Strange.
The Holder is in the hands of Shard Lefel, a dandified railroad tycoon who has come to Hallelujah, Oregon, promising a civilized tomorrow. But what Cedar doesn't know is that Lefel is an ancient Strange banished to walk this land for centuries. Now nearing the end of his sentence, Lefel is desperately searching for a way to fend off his own mortality---and the Holder may be the key.
In a land shaped by magic, steam, and iron, where the only thing a man can count on is his guns, gears, and grit, Cedar will have to depend on all three if he's going to save his brother and reclaim his soul once and for all.
Oh boy, oh boy, oh boy! I don't know who here as watched the TV shows 'Wild, Wild West' or 'Briscoe County, Jr' (starring my *boyfriend*, Bruce Campbell), but, for me, reading this book was like watching a supremely excellent episode of one of those shows. I now have my favorite style of steampunk and it is written by the highly fab Devon Monk (http://www.devonmonk.com/).
I know others prefer their steampunk set in Victorian times or other alternate history and I've read and highly dug them, but this is now my favorite.
There's the rustic of the Wild West with the saloons and general store, stables and blacksmith. And there's the mystery of the paranormal and the things that steam and iron make things go forward or go boom. It's a very hypnotic combo. I really cannot wait to read the rest of this series!
A big bowl of rough and tumble diamonds.....