Babylon Steel – Gaie Sebold (Solaris Books)
Babylon Steel, ex-sword-for-hire, ex-other things, runs the best brothel in Scalentine; city of many portals, two moons, and a wide variety of races, were-creatures, and religions, not to mention the occasional insane warlock. She’s not having a good week. The Vessels of Purity are protesting against brothels, women in the trade are being attacked, it’s tax time, and there s not enough money to pay the bill. So when the mysterious Darask Fain offers her a job finding a missing girl, Babylon decides to take it. But the missing girl is not what she seems, and neither is Darask Fain. In the meantime twomoon is approaching, and more than just a few night’s takings are at risk when Babylon’s hidden past reaches out to grab her by the throat. Babylon Steel: a heroine who gets really up close and personal.
The first thing that strikes you about ‘Babylon Steel’ is that the author has written it for fun and pleasure and, as much as there’s a ton of mystery, Sci-Fi, magic and twists throughout the tale, all of which you’d normally expect to be overly serious and take over the story completely, Babylon Steel is pretty much the opposite. The leading lady, is a brilliant focal point and central character and carries the role of heroine right through, and never loses the sense of fun that the book is built around. The digs at organised religion are amusing and there is comical smut a plenty. I was surprised how quickly I got through ‘Babylon Steel’ and how much I enjoyed it. Hats off to Gaie Sebold for this novel, here’s hoping that there is plenty more to follow. Gav.