Bronze Gods by A A Aguirre
|Bronze Gods by A A Aguirre|
|Reviewer: Gina Garnett|
|Summary: A complimentary mix of crime and steam punk, Bronze Gods is both imaginative and intriguing.|
|Buy? Maybe||Borrow? Yes|
|Pages: 382||Date: October 2013|
|Publisher: Titan Books|
|External links: Author's website|
One of the many reasons I love fantasy is discovering the new worlds that the authors have created. Where is the world? What kind creatures inhabit it? What are the customs, et cetera, et cetera. Steampunk novels are especially fascinating and steampunk mixed with fantasy is the double hit. Throw in some murder most frighteningly horrid and we have the makings of a really good time.
Inspectors Mikani and Ritsuko are, on paper, the worst possible pairing. Mikani is a devil-may-care, drug addled, slightly psychic and very violent man who treats the rules as mere guidelines and Ritsuko is organised, sensible and thorough. She is also the first ever female inspector. In practice, however, they are a dream team. When a society girl goes missing, the case lands in their lap but before long the hunt is on for a murderer, not a kidnapper and it’s only a matter of time before he strikes again. With pressure from their superiors, the girl’s powerful family and the second victim’s clan enforcing an embargo on trade vehicles coming into the city, can they put aside budding feelings for one another and solve the case?
This is one of those classic whodunnits where the murderer is someone we’ve known about all along and even if you guess who it is straight up there’s a lot of fun to be had in watching the characters find out. The murders and the mystery are a good vehicle for showcasing the world, the caste system and the technologies all of which show just how much thought and work has gone into the book as a whole.
The only thing that nagged at me was the construction of the female characters. While at first glance, they seem to be strong and giving off good feminist vibes, the more you read of them the more you find the subversive messages that they can’t really cope without the men after all. This could just be me reading too much into it, but it did make my teeth itch. Ritsuko, for example. The first woman to make the rank of inspector, self-funded, lives by herself and regrets more that her Grandfather was disappointed in her that she does never marrying. All well and good. However, she exists in a constant state of needing Mikani’s approval to the extent that at one point when he sulks and berates her for processing important evidence instead of telling him about it she apologises. Seriously. Ultimately, she also needs to be rescued by him and is okay with him running around behind her back and beating up people who make sexist remarks about her, because the bronze gods know that a woman couldn’t sort that kind of thing out by her pretty little self.
As I say, it could be that I’m over analysing and it’s the only thing that bothered me about the book. It could even be deliberate as part of the socially archaic world. Aside from this, the characters are all well rounded and progress and develop as the story goes along. Bronze Gods feels like the first in a series, which is promising. It has a lot of potential to go further and I’m really hoping it will.
You can read more book reviews or buy Bronze Gods by A A Aguirre at Amazon.co.uk
You can read more book reviews or buy Bronze Gods by A A Aguirre at Amazon.com.
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