Saturday, July 12, 2014

Review: Mine by Bryan Fields

After finishing Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie, I was hungry for more good reading material. Books are the opposite of food that way. The more you read, and the better the quality of the work, the more room you have in your brain for new and incredible things.

 Ancillary Justice was so good it left me starving, but I worried that whatever I chose would sully the memories, like chasing a shot of 21 year old scotch with a glass of Bud Lite.

Nevertheless I wanted something.  I knew I was not ready to tackle another full novel, so I went prowling through my ebook library in search of a light snack. There in my new-books-downloaded section,  I found this delightful treat. It's not a major work, nor a long one, but it's a delicious mental palate cleanser. A nice little nosh between meals.

This tale contains many of the tropes of steampunk that evoke the usual techno-retro feel, but it also tosses some classic fantasy elements into the mix along with a hefty dose of modern sensibility. It's a refreshing, crunchy-tasty mix. Perfect for snacking.

The title is a play on words. The theme of possession defines the plot, and a mine is the object of contentious ownership. The owner, determined to see his claim worked, refuses to compromise with an interloper who sets up shop on the site. He would rather hire an experienced gunhand to settle the issue with fire and blood than give an inch in negotiating a compromise. Chaos ensues.

I won't tell you how it ends. Go buy it and read it. Here's a link: Mine on Amazon

ps: "Hearts Before Diamonds," by the same author, is another fun little steampunk-meets-full-fantasy mashup. It also has a brilliant piece of wordplay for a title, Great stuff.



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