Saturday 30 December 2017

Karen Memory - Elizabeth Bear

Set in the late 19th century—when the city we now call Seattle Underground was the whole town (and still on the surface), when airships plied the trade routes, would-be gold miners were heading to the gold fields of Alaska, and steam-powered mechanicals stalked the waterfront, Karen is a young woman on her own, 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 one night when a badly injured girl arrives at their door, begging sanctuary, followed by the man who holds her indenture, and 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.

Bear brings alive this Jack-the-Ripper yarn of the old west with a light touch in Karen's own memorable voice, and a mesmerizing evocation of classic steam-powered science.

Paperback, 352 pages
Published jan 12th 2016 by Tor Books
Karen Memory #1

My thoughts:
Sometimes I just dig my heels in. Dunno why, but I do. Maybe cos it was a book that I really wanted to enjoy. So I read half of it and was bored. I kept thinking that I must suffer through. But then I started to skim cos I was all hell with this!

Karen works at a brothel.
Someone is killing ladies of the night.
In comes the lone ranger
It was a steampunk book
Not a lot of steampunk in it.
I did not care for anyone or anything.

I was bored.
I do believe it would work better on audio though...hmmm


  1. Aw that sucks. Badass cover! Needs more steampunk sounds like...

  2. A western gold rush era steampunk mystery does sound interesting. Too bad about it getting boring.

  3. Life is too short to be bored by a book - move on is the motto.

  4. Aw that's too bad, I really liked this one! But I can understand too why it wouldn't work for some, as I recall, the protagonist had a very strange narrative voice. Makes me think that it might work better in audio too, yes.

    ~Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    1. I just could not connect, at all! Sigh, it had so much promise

  5. Sorry to hear you didn't like it as much as you'd hoped.

  6. If I'm bored I'm going to stop reading.

  7. sorry it didn't work out that much. I did read it and it was an ok read for me

  8. Sorry that this one didn't work fo you.



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