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Cold Copper: A Tale of Trouble in a Steampunk Des Moines
Cold Copper by Devon Monk
Cold Copper by Devon Monk
So it has been a while since I read some dumb fun stuff. I mean I’ve been reading some horror novels and very heavy character studies set in either high fantasy settings or dystopian futures. And to be honest, I need a break from heavy material. So I decided to return to a series that I have left out in the cold maybe a little too long. It’s the third book in the Age of Steam series by Devon Monk called Cold Copper. And it just might be the steam punk western werewolf cowboy book that the doctor ordered.
So what is it about? Well the series up until this point this steampunk western followed Cedar Hunt and his misfit crew as they search for a mysterious holder before the otherworldly Strange takes hold of America. In this book they are in the heartland of America, lost in a blizzard. Cedar brings them to Des Moines Iowa so they can have a shot of even surviving despite the warnings of from the Madder brothers. In town they find shelter at a church just outside of town. There the Madder brothers learn they owe a promise to the father of the current priest and now must pass the favor onto his son. The priest tells them the town’s children are walking off in the night to never be seen again. He asks them to find the children. Despite fear the they have of the town, promises mean a lot to the brothers and they decide to help. Cedar and the rest of his crew decide to help as well. But they find things are not what they seem. The creepy and demonic Strange all around are whispering for help oppose to tearing people apart. Odd devices are being built in the mine. Cedar's powers aren’t working quite right and the town’s current mayor is out to get revenge on the Madders and anyone close to them for being wronged in the past.
Also there is another plot that ties into this. It involves a side character Rose Small, who decided to stay with her boyfriend, an air pirate, rather than following Cedar on his quest. The couple have a fight and Rose decides to leave him. Yet during a train heist and some amazing extraordinary circumstances, they are brought to Des Moines where they must help their friends.
The Good? Its dumb fun. There’s nothing smart or intelligent here, but it is the novel equivalent of a fun summer movie. The story is imaginative and I feel it’s an improvement over the last novel. I really enjoyed the snowy industrial town. It was simpler and more relatable than the airship settings of the last chapter. Also Mr. Shunt, a creature made up of the Strange, is not the main antagonist again. As creepy of villain he is, I’m glad he’s not killed at the end of every book just to come back again as a villain in the next one. The mayor is the villain instead and it gave the book fresh blood as Mr. Shunt was the big bad in the two previous novels. How they handled the Strange was interesting as the series up until this point painted them as monstrous and otherworldly evil. Oddly they are more humanized than before. This book just offers a lot of new things for the series.
The bad? Three books in, the characters are still shallow. The detail is lacking. It all could have been a little more polished.
Overall, the book is fun. It’s worth the read. And if you enjoyed the previous books this is very good. It’s not smart, witty or even amazingly original story. It’s just dumb fun. If you’re looking for a nice fluff read, this for you.
Overall Rating: A Tale of Trouble in a Steampunk Des Moines
3 ½ Smoothies out of Four