Karen Memory

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❰PDF / Epub❯ ★ Karen Memory  Author Elizabeth Bear – Hookupgoldmilf.info
  • Audiobook
  • 13 pages
  • Karen Memory
  • Elizabeth Bear
  • English
  • 21 May 2017

10 thoughts on “Karen Memory

  1. says:

    4.5 of 5 stars at The BiblioSanctum You ain t gonna like what I have to tell you, but I m gonna tell you anyway See, my name is Karen Memery, like memory only spelt with an e, and I m one of the girls what works in the H tel Mon Cherie on Amity Street H tel has a little hat over the o like that It s French, so Beatrice tells me A lot of times, it s the books that initially fly under my radar which end up impressing me the most This was the case with Karen Memory, whose description didn t actually appeal to me at first After all, as much as I love steampunk, I ve read so much of the genre that admittedly I ve gotten a lot pickier in recent years It s going to take than just airships and clockwork gadgetry to entice me these days.The moment I read the first paragraph though, I knew I was going to be in for a treat It s not even just the Old West feel of the setting which I m a sucker for and gets me every time that caught my attention, but the distinct and down to earth voice of the narrator which immediately tugged at something in my heart Right away, I knew I wanted to learn about her I wanted to get to know her and hear her story.Our protagonist Karen Memery turns out to a young seamstress a euphemism those around her parts use for prostitute working for Madame Damnable at one of Rapid City s upscale establishments It s late 19th century and the Pacific Northwest is at the height of another gold rush like any frontier town that s sprouted up around the mining industry, life is rough and the folks even rougher Working girls like Karen at the H tel Mon Cherie know that the best way to survive is to stick together and look after one another, but not everyone is so fortunate to have an employer like Madame Damnable or friends to watch their back.The calm is shattered one night when two young women arrive at the Mon Cherie seeking help and protection This is how Karen first meets and falls in love with Priya, a prostitute who managed to escape the horrific conditions of a rival brothel, but not without its mean and nasty proprietor Peter Bantle in hot pursuit Thwarted, Bantle vows to make Madame Damnable and her girls lives a living hell, and with what appears to be mind control device in his possession, he might be dangerous than anyone believed When the flogged and bloody corpses of women start appearing around town, one begins to wonder if all of this is connected somehow A new lawman rides into town with his Comanche partner on the tail of a vicious serial killer, and together with Karen and the friends, this ragtag but resourceful crew is determined to get to the bottom of this conspiracy.At times, Karen Memory did feel very much like my perfect book It is imaginative steampunk that feels fresh and full of life, served up as a rich blend of mystery, suspense, action and romance The end result is difficult to describe, but delightfully easy to enjoy As I said before, I have a weakness for westerns and stories that take place during the expansion into the western frontier, so I was charmed at once by Rapid City, resplendently brought to life by Elizabeth Bear s evocative and vivid descriptions Despite a healthy dose of fantastical steampunk, we never lose sight of the distinctive characteristics or nuances of this particular era.Karen herself is an amazing one of a kind character, telling her story with a candidness that I found very charming The narrative style won t be for everyone, riddled with its colloquialisms and informal jargon, but it worked surprisingly well for me It made Karen feel so real I could practically hear her voice and imagine her mannerisms in my head I ll say this whoever is narrating the audiobook will have her work cut out for her, as it ll be hard to top what s already written on paper Usually prose littered with slang and grammatical errors, whether they re intentional or not, would drive me nuts especially my personal pet peeve, would of instead of would ve , which Karen repeatedly commits That I was able to overlook them in this case says a lot.No doubt the book would not have been the same without Karen s unique voice, but the other ladies at the H tel Mon Cherie surely deserve a mention too This entire cast of brave and capable kickass women will rock your world and fill you with admiration After Karen, I m especially taken with the character of Madame, inspired by the real Mother Damnable, Mary Ann Conklin who ran Seattle s first hotel and high class brothel For a certainty, this novel features no shortage of spirited women will go to great lengths for those they love and what they believe in, and will not back down without a fight.Karen Memory is a book about a lot of things solving a mystery, hunting a merciless killer, saving the city from evil, and all the spectacular drama that comes along with such activities But at its heart, the book is also about forging friendships, growing up, and chasing one s dreams Behind the rollicking adventure is also a softer, introspective side to the story that will surely resonate with a lot of readers.Final verdict I would definitely recommend this It s actually my first book by Elizabeth Bear, but regardless of whether you re a long time fan of the author or relatively new to her work like me, you really can t go wrong with this one Check it out.

  2. says:

    After making it to page 90 something, I just couldn t go on Karen Memory is a mixed bag of genres telling a story that s been told before prostitutes with hearts of gold become targets of big, bad men in a frontier town Now, I like a good western and I like good science fiction, and nothing makes me as giddy as when the two come together seamlessly R.I.P Firefly , but Karen Memory wasn t a particularly good western and it was only sci fi by way of some very minimal steampunk elements so tangential were such elements to the plot, in fact, one could read entire chapters and forget that such elements existed Overall, the effect was underwhelming.There were some good elements, primarily the diversity of the characters which has been mentioned in several other reviews, and with good reason Bear is to be applauded for creating a world that includes so many varying races and sexual identities, but ultimately many of the characters seemed one dimensional to me especially Karen Memery her name is unnecessarily spelled with an e in the book itself Karen is an inconsistent character throughout, primarily defined by the following she speaks in a backwoods dialect that seems to come and go throughout the novel, she sure does wear out needless euphemisms for turning tricks, she sure does love her some horses, and, boy, howdy, she sure does love the Indian waif who ends up on the doorstep of Madam Damnable s house of ill repute Two things in particular bother me about Karen The first is that dialect does not an interesting character make dialect should be a part of the character, but should not be the means by which a character is defined Secondly, she falls in love with Priya aforementioned Indian waif the moment she sees her Karen, based upon no real interaction with Priya, decides she s the toughest, prettiest, smartest person in the whole wide world Few things are as maddening to me as the love at first sight plot device.Maybe the book gets better and, as you can see from a sampling of the other reviews here on Goodreads, I m in the minority However, instead of spending time with Karen, I think I m just going to go re watch Captain Mal and his band of misfits aboard the Serenity aim to misbehave.

  3. says:

    This was a high adventure and a barrel of laughs Karen Memory is a fantastic protagonist with a very authentic voice An action filled western with lots of shoot outs and shenanigans A wonderfully varied cast of characters, heros and villains alike A badass bunch of women saving the day. surely this would do well on the big screen Well worth a read

  4. says:

    Reposted to Booknest.euGentle readers you might not know this about me but I am a shitkicker to the core I may put on high airs and use proper grammar and such to the best of my ability but in reality I am genuine hick I raised hog for most of my growing days and have a fair hand with a hoss Get me around my mama s kin for than an hour and this ol boy could fit in to the most authentic casting of Oklahoma y all have ever seen.So you bet your ass I fell in love with miss Karen Memery, spelled like Memory but with an e there in the middle She may not be from Oklahoma but with that accent I could sure enough take her home to meet my grandma She is in Seattle territory, back before the states were all carved up, or maybe never will be since this ain t your granpappy s old west there are airships and steam powered autotrons bouncing around that can t be seen in any old pictures I have ever laid my eyes on Karen is a simple girl, which don t mean stupid, mind She got enough lernen to read and has a real keen mind But damned if her accent didn t make me think of family here and gone I fell back into it and so far ain t looked back.She calls herself a stargazer, and she pays her taxes as a seamstress, and I don t think you need a schoolmarm to tell you what that means She got lucky though, fell in with the right type of lady who runs a better sort of house Only has to take those clients that she needs and the house muscle don t let anything rough happen Got herself a dream too, saving up to run with a stable of her own liker her and her daddy used to work before well, just before Would be no kind of story at all though if trouble didn t come around, or maybe it would be a different kind of story, but this is the kind of story were trouble does end up coming around.A ground war is brewing, with Karen s Madame facing a bad sort of man who runs his own group of stargazers but in a whole different way When two girls come to the door all bloody like a spark is hit that threatens to build quick One of the girls escaped from Peter Bandel, the Madame s main competition in towns a right swarmy heel The other gal is the one doing the break out, and has a reputation for doing it than once Peter damn sure wants back what he reckons is his by right, servitude he don t call slavery even with the lack of choice involved It all goes to hell from there Enter a U.S Marshall chasing a serial killer, a little gun play and some steam contraptions, and a hell of a lot of people usually found sitting in the corner of a book instead standing up and taking action.Shitkicker I may be but a long ways from the worst of the hick side of my family I sit I love seeing a diverse cast take over a story completely Did I mention Karen might lay with men, but paying is the only reason that would ever happen No I didn t because it don t matter much where Karen s attention lays at least until it does Because when she finds love she fights for it with the same fire as anyone else would The Hotel Mon Cherry ain t just color blind, it is completely blind Women who are part of the madam s circle are loved and cherished, no matter their color or where their attraction lays or even if they have a little something extra under their skirt Don t mean Seattle is suddenly the most enlightened town in the West, not at all But a group of outsiders that stick together can do all right for themselves.Call a spade a spade Karen Memory note the spelling, with an e it is a name, but if that o is there I am talking about the book and not the person , is a fast paced dime novel This is a cast to adore, sure, but it ain t no character study Adventure full of twists and turns, gun play and chases, and a few gizmos doing what they do make up the base of this tale Louis L A sits on a good many shelves in my family, bout the only books to be found outside of the bible, and as far as I know the man wrote one book forty different times Black hats take the girl and the cowboy gets her back And that is what we got, excepten the cowboy is a seamstress who ain t afraid to rough it up with the boys or if she is she puts on her brave face and does it anyway And she got a posse of men and women of every color and walk of life right there with her to back up her moves Even the damsel of Karen s tale don t lay back and wait, doing her fair share throughout to make sure the black hats don t carry the day.I ain t too certain this a book I will always remember It is a simple story after all But I am also pretty damn sure I haven t done my reading of a single book this fast in quite some time Karen Memory is a tale full of diverse characters but it don t lean on that as its crutch nor a gimmick it just runs a fun story using the people that have always been there but don t always get their face on the cover.One last thing, any character that knows what a Tobiano is, even in just a single mention Well, she is all right by me.4 StarsCopy for review provided by publisher.

  5. says:

    I don t read a lot of steampunk The Gail Carriger Parasol Protectorate series though I count that as PNR than anything, but I guess it does have steampunk qualities, so shrug and one or two others, and now this book But my friend Colleen says that a lot of things are CALLED steampunk when they actually aren t a distinction I ll likely never understand because I m just not that into it to get the finer nuances of the steampunk genre sub genre stuff I m bad at genre categorization anyway Just look at my shelves Exhibit A I DID try to do my due diligence and find out what steampunk actually is and suchlike But I didn t get very far I started to read the wikipedia article and I tried to watch a youtube video explaining it but I got bored If you have a higher boredom threshold, I link you to the article and video, thusly Click here for the Wiki Click here for the video Anyway I think this book might could be steampunk Unless Colleen says no, in which case I default to her decision I don t know if it s a very good example of it though Is there steam Yes Are there devices that run on said steam Indeed But that was kind of it Is that enough to steampunk make I defer to Colleen She knows things I, personally, was hoping for a bit of a broader world build than we got I understand why we didn t get it, but I am still disappointed by the lack Though I haven t read much steampunk, it is one of the settings that allows for such creativity in worldbuilding, and comes with it s own handy starting platform to build from And I want to see what s been built To spend so much time thinking of this alternate history world these characters live in, and then only show us a tiny sliver of it, is frustrating to me I wanted I was also frustrated by the narrative voice, and by extension, the main character She narrates our story in a very London y low class patois I knowed this and it weren t no problem For instance There were many, many times during the course of the story when I was caught up by her phrasing of something, and had to read it several times to understand what she was getting at More than a few times, I had to conclude that I wasn t going to get it, and I d continue on, only to have the context make it clear a couple sentences later Likewise, it was inconsistent One sentence she d say knowed , then it was know d , then when things got serious she knowed knew it and then back to knowed with a smattering of knews thrown in for, I dunno, flavor She grew up on a farm, where her dad gentled horses, until he died and she was left destitute and had to turn to seamstressing her euphemism for whoring She s not educated, and it shows in her grammar Which isn t a problem, usually Though I expect the authors who write these dialects to do them right But what IS a problem for me is that she is fucking smart Smarter than she gives herself credit for She knows words like relict and prurience and pyrrhic but can t manage to learn when to use the past tense verb form, or avoid double negatives I was frustrated by this the whole book through, but then at the very end, when it was revealed that this was supposed to be the book she wrote about her adventures, Calamity Jane style, it irked me even Take the time to edit your shit, Karen I don t care if it s your debut novel and you re only 16 If you want people to read your story, make it readable Madame Damnable irked me, too She is described as a smart and forbidding woman, who is strong and protective of her girls, and brooks no bullshit So it really bothered me that every sentence she uttered contained an F bomb Yes You read that right It bothered ME, that she said some variety of fuck word every time she opened her mouth Because she s better than that I expect that type of woman to not need to resort to such vulgarity She should be able to shut shit down with a look, or her presence alone She s respected and revered and the fucking language that comes out of her mouth spoils the whole image And then to call it artistry of language Are you kidding I curse I curse like a fucking sailor But I m not a woman like the Madame is portrayed to be who has clawed her way up from nothing and earned her stripes and is now a woman supporting herself and her house full of girls and staff who have nowhere else to go She s a woman of different times, and I expected her to be classier even for a whorehouse madame Because she was except for when she spoke There were things that I did like about this though I really liked the socio political environment of the story, meaning the way that women were edging up to close the gap between what men were allowed to do vote, hold office, wear pants, etc and what women were allowed to do lie back and think of airships I liked that there was a whole slew of cultural and ethnic diversity, and I really loved Tomoatooah He definitely should have had a bigger role in this book I loved how the women in this story took matters into their own hands and tried to make things better for themselves and their peers even though that was dangerous I loved that Karen and her housemates loved and respected the negro staff that worked with them, and didn t look down on them for being black I loved that Karen fell in love with someone so different from her, and was willing to bridge the cultural and religious gaps, as well as societal gaps one assumes no mention of this in the book though to be with her I loved how she approached the romance as well taking her time and letting the friendship grow into maybe something This was super refreshing No freaking insta love WOOT WOOT So, anyway, long story short I liked it I d recommend it to certain readers that I think either wouldn t be bothered by the dialect, or wouldn t notice it I ll likely check out of Elizabeth Bear s books in the future though It was well written overall, except for a few nitpicks, and I ve heard that another book of hers has a completely different feel, so I m curious to see for myself.

  6. says:

    Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear is a difficult book for me to review If I took a deconstructionist perspective, then it would get a higher rating because there were things about the book that I enjoyed however, I did not enjoy reading the book as a whole it was downright burdensome, which is never enjoyable.Things I enjoyed I loved the theory of this book The idea of reading about a brothel in a Seattle like city fascinated me The feminist intention I can t really say it had a feminist message , per se, but the intention to empower women, including prostitutes, was really intriguing The diversity Chinese, Indian, Native American, African American, transvestite, women, etc It really had a well rounded, diverse cast of characters, and I was grateful for that Things I disliked The dialect Karen tells the story in first person POV, and she has a very unique voice But Elizabeth Bear wavered at times when it came to the voice Sometimes it was ridiculously strong, southern twang blaring Then she would switch to a eloquent voice The shift was so clear that even the voice in my head changed, which had never happened before with the same character The pacing This book was a pacing nightmare I struggled through it I even considered DNFing it, but I just couldn t bring myself to do that I know that authors work so hard on their craft I can t bring myself to just quit on their effort half way through Out of respect for authorship and writing, in general, I had to finish it But I dreaded it ever time The action would be rolling along and it really does have some great action , but then Bear would stop mid sequence to flashback to something, or give some sort of metacognitive insight This was probably most apparent in the bar fight scene this isn t really a spoiler, so no fear In this scene a man is about to hit Karen with a bar stool He has hoisted the stool above his head and is about to bring it down upon her, when out of the blue, Bear side steps the action to flashback to Karen s dad and a horse, or some randomness The movie in my mind was going bonkers one minute I would be imagining one scene, and just as I would be anticipating the next action, wham o, tangential side story barges in and messes everything up And this happened a number of times And it was ABSOLUTELY INFURIATING The pacing was such an out of control roller coaster ride all I wanted to do was get off and run far, far away But I had to at least finish it Honestly, I really did not want to pick up the book any I resented it after a while The convenient plot twists I m sorry I know writing is hard work, and that making a plotline function is maddening, but one can t just make stuff conveniently appear for the character, or make the character endure totally impossible situations And both of these things happened in this book many, MANY times Sorry, but if your character gets burned, beaten, and bruised, she can t just run out there and fight another battle Oh, and did I mention that she was a 16 year old, orphaned, prostitute I had such a hard time imagining her as 16 years old I kept seeing mid 20s, but nope she is supposed to be 16 And yet, she can endure crazy abuse, come up with insane solutions, and almost single handedly save Rapid City from complete decimation And while she definitely struggled, things happened that seemed WAY too convenient characters would magically appear or disappear just when she needed them And, characters would break their normal personality so that she could survive and keep the story going If the bad guy has Karen and knows that she is trying to get in his way, he d dispose of her Why would he want her to live He is heartless and cruel he has killed people before Why would he all the sudden want to keep her alive Totally not going to happen The would of, could of, should ofARRRGGGGG a grammarian s nightmare Yes, I know this is a totally nit picky qualm 1st world problem, for sure I mean, most people don t even realize that would of is incorrect, but it is, and Bear uses it incessantly, and it DROVE ME INSANE I don t even see the point of it, really Using the of form didn t even match Karen s voice If anything, Karen should have sad woulda, shoulda, coulda instead of would OF , etc I get that she wouldn t have said would have because that is entirely too proper even though she is actually an avid reader of dime novels, and a housemate of a uber proper, grammar correcting bar maid But why would of It doesn t even read correctly woulda would have been so much better So I am torn with this book The idea of it was brilliant, but the execution of it was off And maybe it was just me maybe other people will really love it, for it does have a few redeeming qualities But for me it was torture It took me almost a month to read this 350 page book I can read pages than that in less than a week, but this book took me forever I never felt like reading it, and I even avoided it at times That is not how I want to read a book I want to love it, devour it, hug it close.Read it if it sounds interesting to you, and let me know what you thought Maybe I m the weird one who just didn t get it Maybe you will enjoy it than I did.

  7. says:

    By now you ve probably read than a few gushing, over the top, positive reviews of Karen Memory I got sucked in by the praise myself, to the point where I rather boldly harassed the local Chapters for not carrying a copy, but I m pleased to declare the praise warranted.Elizabeth Bear has crafted an unassuming sort of story that s equal parts science fiction, steampunk, alternate history, western, pulp adventure, romance, and thriller Surely, it seems like it should be too much, like there should be too many things going on, but it all comes together in just the right proportions to make for a fun read that will have you turning pages late into the night.It all begins and ends, of course, with Karen Memery she spells her name with an e in place of the o , who serves as both protagonist and narrator She has an incredibly distinct voice, all but defining the story with her cadence, pacing, and word choices She s unfailingly polite, and rather coy about her profession, but also honest about just what sewing entails Really, it s Karen who makes the story work so well, with so much of the drama, the tension, and the humor resting solely on her shoulders In addition, it s Karen who keeps us grounded, and who provides such a down to earth sort of feeling for what is, at times, such an oddly fantastical tale.Surrounding Karen is a solid cast of characters, comprised not just of the kind of strong, bold, brave women you d expect to find in a frontier town, but also of a few good men including a lawman who inspired legends of Lone Ranger, and his Comanche sidekick Even important to the story, however, is the villain one Peter Bantle It s incredible to have such loathing for a character of whom we see so little, but Bear does a fine job of driving home the physical, emotional, and psychological implications of his villainous acts Even without his electrical mind manipulation device, he epitomizes the concepts of scum and villainy It s rare that I want to see a literary character dead with such passion, but he really gets under the skin.If I were to have one minor issue with the book it would be the pacing The first half is rather slowly paced, seemingly concerned as much with the telling as the tale, but then the action just explodes and we race towards a frantic climax It s almost like two books in one, mashed together for the sake of convenience The first half is a period piece, a romance, and a western, while the second brings the thriller and the steampunk elements to the forefront It does get a bit silly with the pulp and steampunk elements you have to see what Bear does with a massive sewing machine, and the homage to Captain Nemo is fantastic but that s part of the fun That s not to say I didn t enjoy both halves, but there is a distinct boundary in the text where we transition from one story to another.I doubt there s much else I can say that s already been said before, and I m conscious of spoiling some of the surprises, so I think I ll just leave it there Karen Memory is a book crosses genres and pushes some boundaries, but it s Karen Memery s narration that really makes the tale If you re at all curious, take my word for it, the hype is legitimate, so grab yourself a copy and settle in for a read Originally reviewed at Beauty in Ruins

  8. says:

    Okay, let s start with the publisher s description You ain t gonna like what I have to tell you, but I m gonna tell you anyway See, my name is Karen Memery, like memory only spelt with an e, and I m one of the girls what works in the H tel Mon Cherie on Amity Street H tel has a little hat over the o like that It s French, so Beatrice tells me Hugo Award winning author Elizabeth Bear offers something new in Karen Memory, an absolutely entrancing steampunk novel set in Seattle in the late 19th century an era when the town was called Rapid City, when the parts we now call Seattle Underground were the whole town and still on the surface , when airships plied the trade routes bringing would be miners heading up to the gold fields of Alaska, and steam powered mechanicals stalked the waterfront Karen is a soiled dove, a young woman on her own who is making the best of her orphaned state by working in Madame Damnable s high quality bordello Through Karen s eyes we get to know the other girls in the house a resourceful group and the poor and the powerful of the town Trouble erupts into her world one night when a badly injured girl arrives at their door, seeking sanctuary, followed by the man who holds her indenture, who has a machine that can take over anyone s mind and control their actions And as if that wasn t bad enough, the next night brings a body dumped in their rubbish heap a streetwalker who has been brutally murdered.What the publisher really should have opened with is the fact that this book features a steam powered Singer sewing machine mecha suit that s been heavily modified and upgraded Readers might ask if it really makes logical sense to transform a sewing machine into something so complicated and mechanically convoluted To which one could reply, Who cares It s a freaking sewing machine mech While there are other elements that are just plain fun, there s a lot going on in this book You ve got a group of women teaming up against several different layers of villainy, from a serial killer to large scale political mind control schemery There s high stakes action with a nice bit of romance thrown in Some of the plot revelations and twists at the end came a little too fast for me, but that might be a matter of personal taste.Karen and company aren t exactly the privileged class of 19th century society, and Bear doesn t ignore the prejudices of the time She s worked to create a diverse cast of characters, but those characters face additional challenges Marshal Bass Reeves is a black man, and at one point is threatened with lynching His partner, a Comanche named Tomoatooah, is forced to flee the town And while Karen is relatively open minded and accepting, you also see her using the language of the times, and occasionally stumbling over her own prejudices.While Karen and her allies live and work in a bordello, nothing sexual happens on the page Karen s life isn t romanticized, either Bear acknowledges that this can be ugly work But it s not something that needs to be on the page for the story Bear s telling.Bear brings together a strong plot, an engaging voice, and good characters I m particularly fond of the foul mouthed Madame Damnable.

  9. says:

    Stimpank vestern Nije prvi put da naletim na ovaj svet Wild Wild West anyone ali je opet redak spoj da pretstavlja vrlo interesantan koncept Plus dodamo grim dark ose aj sa glavnim likom koja je prostitutka i dobijamo knjigu koja ima vrlo jedinstven glas.Cela knjiga je naracija iz prvog lica, sem razgovora, i ceo svet gledamo iz samo jednog ugla i vidimo samo to Karen vidi Generalno nisam fan takvog pisanja ali ovde je bilo dosta efektno po to je Karen odli an narator i sve je prikazano tako da dr i pa nju injenica da je prostituka igra va nu ulogu ali nije uop te u fokusu po to za nju to je samo posao ko bilo koji i nema nikakvih te kih emotivnih konotacija Plus sama li no ne ka e ta je ta no to to radi neko koristi eufizme tipa gledanja u zvezde iako je to malo te e kada si u ku i ili ivenje po to zvani na profesija bordela je kroja nica.Pri a je zabavna mada iskreno re eno ve vi eno i predvidivo ali dr i pa nju i vu e dalje Likovi koji su opisani su interesantni i pokriveno je dosta seksualnih orijentacija po to imamo lezbejke, mu karce koji se obla e i pona aju kao ene itd Ali sve je prikazano kao normalno i organski tako da ni ta nije tr alu ko forsirano.Sve u svemu zabavno tivo vredno pa nje.

  10. says:

    Karen Memory is a wonderful, almost literary, entertainment, full of inventive steampunk machines mixed into the actual true history of Pacific Northwest cities, probably mostly of Seattle, Washington, in my opinion Author Elizabeth Bear doesn t forget to add in interesting characters and thrilling scenes The only issue I really had with this fun adventure is that while it started very strong with a literary exploration of a brothel and its multicultural lgbt residents in an alternative Western universe of 19th century Rapid City I think Seattle , whose savvy Madame was navigating the rough waters of politicians and police while Karen, a 15 year old prostitute, was learning about being in love and developing self confidence, the story took a slight turn into a different genre in the middle, and then it morphed completely into something else again Because the story takes such turns, it felt unevenly paced.The novel is narrated by Karen Memery, who speaks in some sort of colloquial English Her use of language was often quite full of poetic phrases, but sometimes, at first, I had to read a sentence a couple of times to make sense of it After beginning like a coming of age, historical but edgy, first love YA steampunk romance, it changes into a serial killer murder mystery Then, the plot slid entirely off the path into a James Bond movie The author wrote a very entertaining book, but I do not know how to classify it I know it is being put on science fiction shelves because of the steampunk elements, but the fictional machinery strayed very far into fantasy, in my opinion For me, I struggled near the end to suspend disbelief, but still, the book is very enjoyable to read Saying too much about what happens, though, I think would diminish the fun of discovery I enjoyed it, but it felt like an early novel of a new author I have no idea if that is true, but in any case, Bear always gives her admirers a good story, interesting characters and cool world building, all of which stick in readers minds for a long time.P.S Here is a link to wikipedia on Steampunk

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