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The Half-Made World

Average Rating 4
( 31 )
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Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 31 Customer Reviews
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  • Posted November 1, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    Like westerns? How about steampunk? Fantasy? this one has it all.

    The Half-Made World kept me interested throughout the whole novel. I didn't have one ho-hum moment while reading, not one moment when I was bored.

    Set in a world that resembles the wild west of America, but isn't quite there, there are aboriginal peoples, who contain a certain type of magic. There are at two main "god" factions who are at war. One of the factions is the Guns, and seems to consist of demon like entities that possess people through a gun. It rides them, telling them what to do, and causing havoc and mayhem, and rebellion. On the other hand, there is something called the Line - which is the other faction. This one has its own type of evil. It's all about machines, and progress and taking over towns like a bulldozer. There is absolutely NO mercy for those who stand in the way and they develop the most horrific weapons that can devastate people and places.

    This story is told from three points of view - Creedmoore is an agent of The Gun, Lowry is an agent of The Line and the third point of view is Liv - a doctor who is from a nuetrual territory. All three stories converge and throughout, it's clear that all three have some issues. However, I found myself really rooting for Creedmoor, even though he clearly is no saint. I enjoyed his talk, his attitude even though he clearly was working for demons. The two factions are both after the same thing and Liv kind of gets stuck in the middle.

    I don't want to say anymore - spoilers. But This is a damn good book - with some humor, some thrills, lots of mayhem and some damn good gadgets! As soon as I was finished reading it, I wanted more. Thankfully, Felix Gilman will be writing a sequel

    3 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted January 23, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Demons and Guns, Demons and Engines, A world not ready to be settled.

    Dr. Liv Alverhuysen, a young widowed psychology doctor is going to the edge of the made world, or close to it. Out West. To help with victims of the four century war between The Guns, The Engines, and Hill Folk. All of the victims including the ones who had their minds shattered.

    Creedmoor, we meet while he is traveling on a gambling boat. To the edged of the world he is sent by his masters, The Guns, in search of a mad man. Creedmoor's character will have you curious of his history right away.

    Lowry, a Sub-Invigilator for the Line and servant to the Engines, is sent to extract the General, from the West. Lowry will not stop for anything and will not fail his mission and the only thing at the end of failure is death.

    This is a hard one for me to review as I have mixed feelings on this book. I enjoyed the blend of demons and guns, the engines and demons (which may be what many consider steampunk), and the un-made world not yet ready for time and so many new creatures - the Wild West we could say. This idea and world was unique to me, and made me curious about the connection of the two. I even liked the idea of the general having a knowledge that could end all, but felt that I never got any more information to move the story plot further forward. I felt it kind of stalled in the plot movement for me. The story telling style reminds me of a similarity to Joe Abercrombie, yet different as it's not as abrupt with battles nor character drawing for me.

    I enjoyed two of the characters out of the whole cast: John Creedmoor and the General. Yet, as much as I enjoyed reading of the scenes with John Creedmoor or seeing if the General will get better, they seemed to be the only characters I could get into. John Creedmoor and his attachment to the Guns was one of darkness and yet almost feel as he's fighting for something that just might be good.

    In the end I new more of the world and characters created here, but nothing more of the happenings of the story plot. I might pick up the next book to see if I can find more out.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted November 22, 2012

    B

    Thanks to harruet klausner and the other plot spoilers here, this is yet another book they have ruined by revealing every detail if the book. Get a grip. Most ppl DO NOT want to jnow everything that happens. We would like to read it for ourselves. Just state if you liked it or not. Do not give a book report or dissertation on it.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted December 26, 2010

    Psychological Exploration of Militaristic World View Makes for Contentious Fantasy

    Psychological insights into the functioning of those living in the mythical old and new world are key to understanding the progression of The Half-Made World. When Dr. Liv Alverhausen, with a doctorate in abnormal psychology, who is based in the Faculty of Psychological Sciences at Koenigswald Academy in the old world, receives a letter that is addressed to her recently deceased husband, she opens it to find an invitation to bring the latest learning about mental science to the House Dolorous nestled in the Flint Hills of the new world. In brief, she finds the invitation so compelling that she leaves her post at the Academy to venture into fields new and mindsets as yet incompletely explored. House Dolorous tends to those who have been physically or mentally wounded in the Great War, and especially "by the mind-shattering noise-bombs of the Line." As the opening scenes of The Half-Made World reveal the aftermath of a battle between the Hill People and the Linesmen, in which we see the devastation wrought by such inventions, we are immediately pulled into the action and start to feel great empathy for the heroine of this tale. Having a female protagonist in the midst of grisly and disturbing battle scenes is a major draw card of this well-written and insightful foray into the genre of steampunk.

    Steampunk is a genre in which the creations of an 'other' world are rationally bound together in a way that has both intellectual and imaginative dimensions. The inventions, such as the war machinery that is wielded by The Gun of The Half-Made World, have a meaning and tangibility, as well as possible repercussions, that spread far past the story that is told in any one particular text. Instead, they are grounded in a world of possibility that is likely to have frightening repercussions for our own futures. The tale is the medium in which elements of our increasingly mechanized and automated existence are brought to bear on intelligently wrought and imaginatively conceived characters, so that we are inspired to think about where our own world is likely to end, no matter whether that ending is a bang or a whimper.

    With war seeming to be an inevitable component of our human existence, and the impact of the ongoing conflict in such places as Iraq and Afghanistan being felt on our nation as a whole, the central themes of The Half-Made World should be close to each one of us. Felix Gilman, a nominee for the John W. Campbell award and the Locus Award for best new writer, has done himself proud in this outstanding work of science fiction. As such, it is a must for any supporter of the genre.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted October 2, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    a terrific alternate historical nocel

    At one time seemingly in ancient history or earlier the now mythical Red Republic allegedly kept some order between the industrial polluting Line and the violent prone Gun. However, that was then; now the Red Republic is a legend in which people who abhor violence and terrorism against others and the planet dream of a return as hope for the future is nonexistent.

    Line Colonizers tramp west, trampling anything in their way. They enslave the native magic practitioners Hillfolk while creating their industrial revolution built on the trifold engines of religion, war and slavery. The Gun is losing the longer term war to the Line due to technological advances in weapons of mass destruction and the enemy's willingness to ignore collateral damage to others like the Hillfolk. Psychologist Dr. Liv Alverhuysen researches the impact of the Line's noise bombs on victims who go insane. She finds one case study particularly fascinating as the scrambled mind General claims he was an officer of the Red Republic. However, the desperate Gun abducts the shrink and the lunatic just in case his story is not insane.

    The Half-Made World is a terrific alternate historical that uses the settling of the American West as a strong satire that rips the ethnic cleansing colonization and the industrial revolution polluting war machine. Not for grizzly mamas who would claim Felix Gilman is a liberal apologist, readers who relish a deep well written satire will enjoy this swift modest proposal of how the west was lost.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 4, 2012

    Great read

    I loved the old west and new world blend

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 1, 2012

    Fantastic!

    I couldn't put it down.

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