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Review: Babylon Steel by Gaie Sebold

Babylon Steel by Gaie Sebold

won from The Qwillery

Synopsis from Goodreads
Babylon Steel, ex-sword-for-hire, ex-other things, runs the best brothel in Scalentine; city of many portals, two moons, and a wide variety of races, were-creatures, and religions, not to mention the occasional insane warlock. She's not having a good week. The Vessels of Purity are protesting against brothels, women in the trade are being attacked, it's tax time, and there's not enough money to pay the bill. So when the mysterious Darask Fain offers her a job finding a missing girl, Babylon decides to take it. But the missing girl is not what she seems, and neither is Darask Fain. In the meantime twomoon is approaching, and more than just a few night's takings are at risk when Babylon's hidden past reaches out to grab her by the throat.

Amazon  US/UK | Amazon kindle US/UK | The Book Depository US/UK


* * *
Babylon Steel is a debut work of a British author Gaie Sebold and as far as genres go, - difficult to slide in a certain slot. It's a fantasy, but there are portals which allow all sorts of creatures to travel from world to world, so maybe it's sci-fi as well, but what's important, - it's a fantastic book!

Babylon is one of those heroines we rarely see in fiction - she is a brothel owner, she participates in the trade, she is very comfortable in her own sexuality and she is a good fighter being an ex-mercenary and all that...

Scalentine, the planet she lives on has many portals and a lot of visitors from many worlds, it's a trade planet really. Babylon's crew reflects the various riff-raff you can meet on such planet - there are elves, green giants with superb culinary skills, there is a gruff and attractive were-creature sheriff and many many more.

Babylon herself not only works in the brothel and looks after her crew, she occasionally helps out people with her mercenary skills - she works as a  sort of a private detective, and when a client asks her to find a missing girl from a rich and powerful family, she agrees to do so because A) she would never leave an innocent girl in trouble on the rough streets of Scalentine, B) the brothel is behind on paying tax and she needs the money urgently.

The book itself is split between Babylon's colourful past and present. The reason for it becomes known when her past catches up with present, and Babylon has to deal with everything at once - old prophecies involving the missing girl and old enemies which need to be vanquished once and for all.

The prose is colourful and beautiful, the characters jump from the pages of the book and grab your attention straight away. The plot separation on to past and present was a stroke of genius. The book becomes a puzzle which slowly assembles itself and at last you can see the whole picture.

To give you a slight spoiler, Babylon is way more than she seems. She might even be an ex-avatar of a once powerful goddess...

I recommend it to both sci-fi and fantasy lovers, and to everyone who wants to try something new. I thoroughly enjoyed this book.

* * *
Дебют британского автора Гэй Себольд трудно назвать всего лишь очередным фэнтэзи или научной фантастикой. Это гармоничное сплетение двух миров. 

Бабилон Стил- владелица борделя и бывший воин, живущая на Скалентине, торговой планете, на которую открываются множество порталов из различных миров.

Бабилон  - редкая героиня,  она не только может постоять за себя, но и чувствует себя уютно в собственной сексуальности, ублажая своих клиентов. Помимо борделя, она предлагает услуги частного детектива и время от времени находит исчезнувших людей и раскрывает прочие мелкие преступления.

Когда её просят найти исчезнувшую дочь богатого семейства, посетившего Скалентин, она соглашается не только потому, что борделю нужны деньги чтобы заплатить полугодовой налог, но и потому что она никогда не бросит юную девушку на грязных улицах Скалентина.

Книга разделена на главы из прошлого и настоящего главной героини, и причина для этого становится ясной когда враги из прошлого Бабилон наконец-то находят её на Скалентине. Бабилон приходится разделаться с ними раз и навсегда и спасти девушку, которую она ищет в то же самое время, хотя оба события никак не связаны  друг с другом. Помимо этого в книге много второстепенных линий сюжета и замечательных живых персонажей. 

Я читала Бабилон Стил с огромным удовольствием и рекомендую эту книгу поклонникам обоих жанров также как и тем читателям, которым хочется попробовать что-то новенькое.


Mel said...

This sounds like a lot fun! I've seen the book around and always thought the cover looked like a film poster...and now your review makes it sound like one of my favourite action sci-fi films! Not a bad thing in my opnionion... :)

kara-karina@Nocturnal Book Reviews said...

I think you'll really enjoy it, Mel! I thought the plot and the characters were fabulous! :)

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