The third chapter in the Age of Steam series is just as captivating as the first two. Monk’s imagination is simply amazing, as the variations of magic, steam inventions and fabulous characters drive the story forward. Our core group of intrepid adventurers is still front and center, but it is the pure magic of the world, the combination of Old West, steampunk and fantasy that will truly engage the reader. The books must be read in order, so if you are a beginner, race out and pick up Dead Iron.
Barely escaping a blizzard with their lives, Cedar Hunt, Mae, the Madders and Cedar’s brother, Wil, end up in Des Moines, a town the Madder brothers do not want to get anywhere near. Sure enough, it isn’t long before trouble finds them. Trapped by a net of promises old and new, the group battles for their lives and tries to stop a villainous mayor who is not all human. Failure means the release of unspeakable malevolence into the world. (ROC, Jul., 384 pp., $15.00)