The Damnation Affair

The Damnation Affair

3.9 15
by Lilith Saintcrow

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The West is a wild place, where the poison wind blows and the dead walk. But there is gold, and whiskey, and enough room for a man to forget what he once was—until he no longer can.

Jack Gabriel's been the sheriff in Damnation almost since the town grew out of the dust and the mud. He keeps the peace—sort of—and rides the circuit every dawn


The West is a wild place, where the poison wind blows and the dead walk. But there is gold, and whiskey, and enough room for a man to forget what he once was—until he no longer can.

Jack Gabriel's been the sheriff in Damnation almost since the town grew out of the dust and the mud. He keeps the peace—sort of—and rides the circuit every dawn and dusk with the chartermage, making sure the wilderness doesn't seep into their fragile attempt at civilization. Away from the cities clinging to the New World's eastern rim, he doesn't remember what he was. At least, not much.

But Damnation is growing, and along comes a schoolmarm. Catherine Barrowe is a right proper Boston miss, and it's a mystery why she would choose this town where everything scandalous and dangerous is probably too much for a quality lady like her. Sometimes the sheriff wonders why she came out West—because everyone who does is running from something. He doesn't realize Cat may be prickly, delicate, and proper, but she is also determined. She's in Damnation to find her wayward older brother Robbie, whose letters were full of dark hints about gold, trouble...and something about a claim.

In a West where charm and charter live alongside clockwork and cold steel, where hot lead kills your enemy but it takes a blessing to make his corpse stay down, Cat will keep digging until she finds her brother. If Jack knew what she was after, he could solve the mystery—because he was the one who killed Robbie.

The thing is, Cat's brother just won't stay dead, and the undead are rising with him...

Word Count ~ 95,000

Bannon and Clare
The Iron Wyrm Affair
The Red Plague Affair
The Ripper Affair
The Damnation Affair (e-only)

For more from Lilith Saintcrow, check out:

Gallow and Ragged
Trailer Park Fae

Dante Valentine Novels
Working for the Devil
Dead Man Rising
Devil's Right Hand
Saint City Sinners
To Hell and Back

Dante Valentine (omnibus)

Jill Kismet Novels
Night Shift
Hunter's Prayer
Redemption Alley
Flesh Circus
Heaven's Spite
Angel Town

Jill Kismet (omnibus)

A Romance of Arquitaine Novels
The Hedgewitch Queen
The Bandit King

Blood Call (coming August 2015)

Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
Saintcrow follows The Iron Wyrm Affair with another dark fantasy full of magic and mayhem in the Wild West. Boston socialite Catherine Barrowe-Brown arrives in the desolate, dangerous town of Damnation, ostensibly to act as the new schoolteacher, and secretly planning to search for her missing brother. In between conducting classes and clashing with Sheriff Jack Gabriel, she encounters zombies, dark magic, hostile townspeople, and unpleasant truths about her brother’s fate. Saintcrow weaves romance and mystery into this horror-laced depiction of a weird West, full of spells and things that go bump in the night. In keeping with the attitudes of the era, whites display some uncomfortable biases towards minorities, including Chinese, here called by the French term “Chinoise.” The plot and setting both raise a number of unanswered questions, and the romance between Catherine and Jack often feels one-sided, but it’s still a fast-paced, enjoyable adventure. Agent: Miriam Kriss, Irene Goldman Literary Agency. (Dec.)
From the Publisher
Praise for Lilith Saintcrow:"

Saintcrow scores a hit with this terrific Steampunk series that rockets through a Britain-that-wasn't with magic and industrial mayhem with a firm nod to Holmes. Genius and a rocking good time." - Patricia Briggs"

Saintcrow...never fails to deliver excitement." —- Romantic Times

"Lyrical language and movie-worthy fight scenes are staples in Saintcrow's novels, and this one is no exception." —-"

Lilith Saintcrow's foray into steampunk plunges the reader into a
Victorian England rife with magic and menace, where clockwork horses pace the cobbled streets, dragons rule the ironworks, and it will take a sorceress' discipline and a logician's powers of deduction to unravel a bloody conspiracy." — Jacqueline Carey"

Saintcrow melds a complex magic system with a subtle but effective steampunk society, adds fully-fleshed and complicated characters, and delivers a clever and highly engaging mystery that kept me turning pages, fascinated to the very end." — Laura Anne Gilman"

Innovative world building, powerful steam punk, master storyteller at her best. Don't miss this one....She's fabulous. "
—- Christine Feehan "

Lilith Saintcrow spins a world of deadly magic, grand adventure, and fast-paced intrigue through the clattering streets of a maze-like mechanized Londonium. The Iron Wyrm Affair is a fantastic mix of action, steam, and mystery dredged in dark magic with a hint of romance. Loved it! Do not miss this wonderful addition to the steampunk genre."
—- Devon Monk

Product Details

Hachette Book Group
Publication date:
Sales rank:
Product dimensions:
5.25(w) x 8.00(h) x 0.68(d)

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Meet the Author

Lilith Saintcrow was born in New Mexico, bounced around the world as an Air Force brat, and fell in love with writing when she was ten years old. She currently lives in Vancouver, WA.

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The Damnation Affair 3.9 out of 5 based on 1 ratings. 15 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
A very different view into the world of Bannon & Clare - from the American side! Very much worth going to work on one hour of sleep for.
Kiratala More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I thought that this was a good addition to the new series. The characters were more real than some of the other characters by other authors. That seems to be the hallmark of this author though. The story isn't bad, although there is a bit more damsel in distress, and woe is me than I would prefer. There are also some holes in the story but I think that is because the author was trying to hide what the story was about. I will say that the ending wasn't my favorite thing. What it turned out the book was really about has been pretty overdone lately. That being said the author did a pretty good job of making the subject matter a little different. Given what the author has done in other series though this was perhaps not her best work.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this one very much--more than original Bannon and Clare. I thought Jack was very sexy and rugged, while Cat was feisty without losing her femininity. I love historical western romance so the storyline was an appealing one. To sum it up I'd say it had action-adventure, romance and horror/fantasy. I'm hoping there will be more, because if I had a complaint it would be the weak ending. Enjoy!
ElizabethT More than 1 year ago
I generally like her books. This was a good little romance and an enjoyable read. I did feel it left some questions unanswered at the end.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
NaomiA More than 1 year ago
What more could you want? Zombies and gunslinging... Quite a fun read!
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago
1st Saintcrow book that I've read, enjoyed the turn of phrases. Playful use of supposed late 1880's morality questions that a well-bred miss would be exposed to in the wild paranormal West.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
DrCFC More than 1 year ago
There was a lot of potential in her characters and her alternative West. And, Saintcrow has proven to be a good writer. I just wasn't as satisfied with this effort. It felt unfinished, unpolished, an interesting experiment that was sent out the door too soon. Perhaps later works in this series will reach fuller potential. I'm not counting it out completely. "The Damnation Affair" is just not as good as I expect from Saintcrow.
Dia_Pelaez More than 1 year ago
A unique combination of steampunk, zombies and magic! Lilith Saintcrow is one of my most favorite authors. I especially loved her Dante Valentine series, so I was pretty ecstatic when I chanced upon the ARC of The Damnation Affair in exchange for an honest review. The beginning was of the story was slow. Actually, the whole first half of the story was slow except a few scenes which almost always included the banter between sheriff Jack Gabriel and Catherine Barrowe. I like how they always seem to clash but the chemistry was brewing beneath the surface. I also find Cat’s references to ‘her mother’s greet the peasants smile’ and other lessons of manner quirky and definitely unique. The story was well-written and the minor details were clearly fleshed out. I love how the author filled in the details so well that I could just imagine everything happening. And each of the characters were distinct from each other.  Personally, I’d love to know more about Li Ang and baby Jonathan. The idea of having a Chinese girl in the middle of the Wild West is certainly different than usual.  Lastly, while the combination of steampunk and zombies is fairly new to me since this is the first book that I’ve ever read featuring such combination, the story taken as a whole, wasn’t as engaging as I hoped it would be. But hey, if one is looking for something different to read, then this definitely is one of those.