Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Infernal Devices

Infernal Devices by K.W. Jeter
Angry Robot, 2011
Originally published 1987
227 pages
Science-fiction; Steampunk
3/5 stars

Source: Received a free e-galley via Netgalley in exchange for an honest review.

I wanted to read this book because Jeter is credited with coining the word "steampunk" and such books have seemed to have a renaissance in recent years; not as much as vampires and dystopias but a definite resurgence.

I had such a hard time getting in to this book, with its language as impenetrable as the stereotypical Victorian novel and with sentences just as long.  The style was very off-putting and kept me distanced from the characters.  When difficult style and unsympathetic characters combine, I find myself less interested and I really had to force myself to read this, hoping to understand more about the steampunk genre.  My difficulty can be seen in that it took me four days to read this 227 page book, whereas I routinely polish off 300+ page books in a day.

The main character had little idea what was occurring for most of the book and consequently I had little idea about what was going on.  The world shown had some interesting bits and there were  instances of humor.  My favorite was the Brown Leather Man, as he is dubbed by the MC, who speaks like Yoda, an observation that never failed to make me giggle.  I also liked two characters with a villainous slant who, having spent so many hours looking into the future, talk like stereotypical '20s gangsters.  However the MC was so blah, that I only cared about him insomuch as I wanted to understand what was going on as much as he did.

Overall: Style not to my taste; made the book drag.


  1. Thanks for your honest review, I think the cover is intriguing, but this is not something I probably would've like either. Maybe better luck next time. Happy Wednesday!

  2. Thanks for the honest review. This isn't my cup of tea either. It takes me a long time to read books that I don't like as well. It makes it even worse.

  3. Oh, I'm sorry this didn't turn out to be so appealing. I wanted to read Jeter myself, precisely because of his importance for the genre, but now, I'll see. Great honest review!


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