Book Review: Devon Monk’s Tin Swift

Posted August 7, 2012 by Kathy Davie in Book Reviews, Young Adult readers

I received this book for free from the library in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Book Review: Devon Monk’s Tin Swift

Tin Swift


Devon Monk

steampunk that was published by New American Library (NAL) on July 3, 2012 and has 384 pages.

Explore it on Goodreads or Amazon.

Other books by this author which I have reviewed include Dead Iron, Hell Bent, Magic to the Bone, Magic in the Blood, Magic in the Shadows, Magic on the Storm, Magic at the Gate, Magic on the Hunt, Magic on the Line, Magic Without Mercy, Stone Cold, Magic for a Price, Cold Copper, House Immortal, Infinity Bell

Second in the Age of Steam steampunk western series for young adults and taking place after the Civil War in America.

My Take

Another riveting tale from Devon Monk as I read with heart in mouth while this party of refugees from Oregon brave the Strange and keep trying to escape aboard the marshal’s tin airship.

i don’t feel at all sorry for Rose and her condition. Stupid twit just had to waste time in that tiny town. Admittedly, for a good cause, but, in my opinion, the danger outweighed the morality. Then again, discovering what moves in town is too important not to destroy…

Airship pursuits, sky battles, betrayals, and Frankenstein-like operations abound. And Alun speculates that Rose has some of the old blood, a gift from the El, when she doesn’t die right away.

The Story

We take up with our band of refugees from Dead Iron while they’re on the trail heading back to Kansas before Mae goes completely insane. Hunt intends to see Mae safe, but the Madders have their own agenda.

Their encounters with the townsfolk of Vicinity in the Idaho Territory throws everything apart. The Strange is at work and a piece has embedded itself in Rose. The rising could spell the end for our travelers, but Hink and his Swift just happen to be in the right place for a rescue.

Meanwhile, Saint’s allies are hunting the Swift. Captain Hink may be looking to shut down illegal glim mines, but Saint is looking to shut down Hink.

The Characters

Cedar Hunt is under a Pawnee curse to turn into a wolf on every full moon. Only it seems that the change may be pushing its way to other times of the month. He’s promised the Madders he’ll help them hunt down the seven pieces of the Holder, a powerful weapon that could destroy the world, in return for the help they gave with his brother. Wil Hunt is his brother cursed in reverse to turn into a man when the moon is at its smallest.

Other members of the party of travelers include Rose Small, a tinkerer with glim and anything mechanical. She’s of a mind to see the world. Hunt is in love with Mae Lindson, the widowed witch whose worsening condition forces their pace. The three Madder brothers have their own agenda. Alun is the oldest, Bryn the middle, and Cadoc is the youngest. All of them even more talented with devices, gadgets, and matics than Rose.

Captain Hink, a.k.a., U.S. Marshal Paisley Cage, commands the Swift in his undercover role as a glim miner while he hunts down those engaged in illegal activities. Mr. Seldon is his second-in-command and quite efficient; Molly Gregor is the boilerman; Guffin swears in a number of languages, and Lum Ansell sings opera when the going gets tough.

Captain Beaumont of the Coin du Paradis and his passengers Sophie Dupuis, Otto Theobald (Sophie’s lover), and Joonie Wright are a group with a mission and a desire for Hunt to join them.

Mae’s old coven fears her even as the binding they forced on her is driving her mad. Miss Adaline is the head bitch, er, witch of the coven. And what a bunch of hypocrites!

General Alabaster Saint was a bloodthirsty monster in the Union Army whom Cage testified against. Saint is not a forgiving man and he wants revenge. Along the way, he intends to claim the West as his own. Lieutenant Foster is Saint’s crippled sidekick. Les Mullins was the captain of the Iron Draught.

Old Jack is a crook who runs a trading post that can repair airships. Just don’t ever turn your back on him.

Mr. Shunt is a Strange. Sewn together and kept going with glim. A dangerous, unkillable monster. I do rather like the deal he makes with Saint…heh-heh-heh…

The Strange are from another world and need bodies to operate in ours.

The Cover and Title

It’s an action-packed cover with wolf shifter Cedar Hunt watching for an attack, his “steam” rifle ready to be juked to his shoulder, his long leather coat swirling with the wind while the Swift herself hovers overhead.

The title is all about Marshal Cage’s unique ship, his Tin Swift.