“The Wonder #2: Deep Blue” by James Devo

“Deep Blue” continues the story of the picaresque characters introduced in “Blood Red.” Alliances are broken and reformed as our (anti) heroes have to face an army of undead and mechnological horrors…

The book is action-packed, with multiple storylines running at once. This is something I tend to find a little difficult to follow (I like more explanation than is generally provided here), but it also adds to the variety and the sense of excitement in the story. We find out more about the history of the world in which it is set and the Grand Quillian Empire, as well as the backstories of several of the characters. There are some great world-building touches, my favorite being the slideways, ice “railroads” on which high-speed ice yachts transport passengers. In a nod to the tradition of Westerns, some of our heroes jump/climb aboard one of the ice yachts, only to find themselves face-to-face with their antagonists, and, well…you’ll have to read the book to find out the rest! This is one of the most fun aspects of the book, as various tropes from 19th-century adventure stories are reused and retold from an unexpected and frequently delightful angle: e.g., the gruff sniper/soldier of fortune who is a lesbian and has conceived a passion for the elegant-but-tough lady adventurer. This is steampunk with a tough and witty edge.

I received a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.

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