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Gilman’s steampunk-influenced third novel blurs the lines between genres. It’s set in a universe that is distinctly not our own, one dominated by the people of the Gun, who carry demon-possessed guns that give them supernatural abilities, and the people of the Line, whose world includes sentient engines. The fight between the Line and the Gun comes to a head when both sides hear that the famous general of the lost Red Republic may still be alive and could hold the key to a secret weapon capable of stopping the never-ending war. Much of the book is dedicated to the creation and explanation of Gilman’s complex world, with detailed descriptions of the strange landscapes, which melds with the plot as Dr. Liv identify? travels first to a mental hospital at the edge of the wilderness and then deep into the unknown West. Suggest this complex tale to readers of Emma Bull or adult fans of Wrede’s Thirteenth Child. --Jessica Moyer
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ISBN-10:  0765325527
ISBN-13:  978-0765325525
Author:  Felix Gilman
Publisher:  Tor Books
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review by . December 16, 2010
The Red Valley Republic is fighting a losing battle against the Line. The fate of the world depends upon the General. He has learned an important secret from the First Folk. A secret. A weapon. The ultimate weapon. Should the General succeed, the war will be over but if he fails the Republic (and all hope) will die with him.     Unfortunately, just as the General is about to realize his finest hour, the Line makes a surprise attack. Although the General is not killed, the secret …
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