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review 2020-06-03 12:50
'The Gaslight Dogs' by Karin Lowachee
The Gaslight Dogs - Karin Lowachee

In 'The Gaslight Dogs', Karin Lowachee has built a powerful, convincing vision of a world in the throes of a familiar colonial conflict, has populated it with real people who have very little in common except their enforced servitude and then added an original, credible supernatural twist that gives the story its edge.

 

 

The first thing that hit me about 'The Gaslight Dogs' was the quality of the writing. Language here isn't a thin skin stretched over the bones of a clever plot, it's an invitation really to see the world that Karin Lowachee has created, to take in its sights and scents, its beauty and its ugliness with the fresh eyes and nose of a stranger. It's not language designed to get you to the next piece of dialogue or the next action scene as competently as possible. Nor is it purple prose of the over-long self-indulgent guitar solo kind. Its language that says: take the time to take in the place or you will not understand the journey.

 

This story is really two linked journeys, neither of which is voluntary and both of which are shaped by the obsession of a ruthless powerful old man with an insatiable hunger for conquest. We start with Sjennonirk, a young Aniwi spirit walker who is taken in chains from her home in the Arctic and brought south to a city built of brick and lit by gas, where high walls block off the view of the horizon in every direction. Then we meet a Captain Jarrett Fawle, a young man who, uncomfortable and unloved at home, only feels free when leading his men to hunt and kill the aboriginal tribes as part of the push to expand his country's territory. He is sent home on leave and kept there until he complies with his father's will. His father, General Fawle, is the man whose plan for power effectively enslaves both Sjennonirk and Captain Fawle. He sees them both as commodities to be exploited and makes their freedom conditional on meeting his goals.

 

It's easy to see 'The Gaslight Dogs' as a story about the ruthless use of technology by colonial powers to gain territory, to paint a picture of genocide and environmental destruction but I see it as more than that. This isn't a 'good guys stand up to bad guys' kind of story. Nor is it the Star Wars fantasy of brave rebels opposing an evil empire. The power of this story comes from its refusal to move to that Big Picture, Sweep Of History perspective. It stays focused on Sjennonirk and Captain Fawle and the choices that they make. Neither is a hero. Neither wants to be on the journey that General Fawle has sent them on. In their different ways, each just wants to go home. Each of them both representative of and outsiders to their own cultures. Their struggle is not primarily a clash of cultures but of two individuals pushing against their fate.

 

It seemed to me that a lot of this story was about the power of belief. Sjennonirk believes in the power of her ancestral spirits. She feels the little wolf inside her and knows its hunger. Her world view is one of respecting the spirits who, through her and spirit walker like her, protect her people. She is hungry for nothing more than to live at home in peace. She is passive, stoic and pragmatic, except when her wolf wakes.

Captain Fawle is not a believer. He does not believe in the Seven Deities of his people, nor in the destiny of his country, nor in the possibility of being loved by his father. He fills the hole where his belief should be by winning the respect of his men when on the frontier and with alcohol when at home in the city.

 

When 'The Gaslight Dogs' was published in 2010, it was billed as the beginning of the 'Middle Light' series. It works well as a standalone book but I still holding out hope that Karin Lowachee will find the time to come back to this world.

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text 2020-05-18 17:46
Reading progress update: I've read 8%. - a strong. confident start
The Gaslight Dogs - Karin Lowachee

The story is going to be told from the point of view of different individuals. So far, I've met two of them and each has its own distinct voice.

 

The writing is lean and powerful, with the imagery changing with the point of view. I think this is going to be a good read.

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text 2020-05-16 09:56
Reading progress update: I've read 2%.
The Gaslight Dogs - Karin Lowachee

That was a dark start. Only a few pages in. We're in the frozen north. Soldiers with guns have arrived. The tribal people are under threat. We've already had the first killing, up close and bloody.

 


This is going to be tense.

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text 2020-05-02 13:02
May Reading list...
The End of the Day - Claire North
The Things We Learn When We're Dead - Charlie Laidlaw
Blackout - Connie Willis
Dogs of War - Adrian Tchaikovsky
Speak - Louisa Hall
Robogenesis - Daniel H. Wilson
Shelter - Dave Hutchinson

Hopefully my Mojo is properly back and I can work through my stack of library books that are still here.  Seven books with the first to be started today.  I can't find or seem to add the 7th book which is Shelter by Dave Hutchinson but I'm ot sure it matters as I am the worlds slowest reader and even on a good month I'd struggle with more than 4 or 5 books anyway.  Looking forward to these!

* Edit, thank you BrokenTune for adding Shelter by Dave Hutchinson!*

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review 2020-03-03 22:06
Hacking the Biker's Code (Dogs of Fire: Savannah Chapter Book 6) - Piper Davenport

This was a cute story as the story had a great cast of characters that were funny and engaging and a whole lot of fun.

The story was a bit emotional and it had several things going on all at once and it also had one whopping surprise we did not see coming.The main characters had some major chemistry and their sexual encounters were hot

We loved Rabbit he was a whole lot of fun he was bossy and dominated and a bit over protective but, one thing for sure is that he loved Parker with everything he had and she was the love of his life and something to be protected at all times.

"He was my favorite !"

Parker was a character I had to warm up to as she wasn't the kind that you love instantly at least for me and I am not sure why that is but, I think that for such as savvy business owner she acted childish most times and it just pissed me off because her future was right in front of her and she kept trying to sabotage it and there was no doubt she and Rabbit belonged together.

Overall is was a good story but, I just felt something was missing.The story left us with a lot of unanswered questions like who and why and why is the club being targeted but, the story was also fun and those old ladies definitely made it so.I have to say that we really loved the ending after so much emotional turmoil for this couple it was the perfect ending for them.

We are so loving this series with these characters and we loved that they grace the pages with each and every new story.It hard not to love these bunch of bikers as their women are the reason for living and their all about protecting them and loving them fiercely and we just love that.

This was a nice addition to this ongoing series.

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