Thursday, January 19, 2017

ARC Review: The Cold Eye by Laura Anne Gilman

The Cold Eye
Author: Laura Anne Gilman
Series: The Devil's West (Book 2)
Publication: Saga Press (January 10, 2017)

Description: In the anticipated sequel to Silver on the Road, Isobel is riding circuit through the Territory as the Devil's Left Hand. But when she responds to a natural disaster, she learns the limits of her power and the growing danger of something mysterious that is threatening not just her life, but the whole Territory.

Isobel is the left hand of the old man of the Territory, the Boss—better known as the Devil. Along with her mentor, Gabriel, she is traveling circuit through Flood to represent the power of the Devil and uphold the agreement he made with the people to protect them. Here in the Territory, magic exists—sometimes wild and perilous.

But there is a growing danger in the bones of the land that is killing livestock, threatening souls, and weakening the power of magic. In the next installment of the Devil’s West series, Isobel and Gabriel are in over their heads as they find what’s happening and try to stop the people behind it before it unravels the Territory.

My Thoughts: Isobel and her mentor Gideon are traveling the far reaches of the Territory when they come upon a problem that seems too big to solve. Beginning with a buffalo slaughter, then earthquakes, and then an area devoid of animal life, Isobel and Gideon move further and further into the unknown.

Isobel is the Devil's Left Hand. She is responsible for making decisions for the good of the Territory in the areas far from the Devil's home base. It is an awesome responsibility for a girl who is just sixteen and new to the job. What is she to do with an entity raised by magicians and then trapped?

Isobel gets advice, often conflicting advice, from a variety of spirit animals but she is the one who needs to make the final decision. This book is about her struggle to decide what she can do and what she should do. Isobel grows throughout this book as she learns more about herself, her job, and her place in the Territory.

Gideon also learns about himself as he tries to balance his education out in the United States east of the Mississippi and his life as a child of the Territory. Jefferson is president and he has turned his very curious eyes toward the Territory without understanding it at all. Jefferson's efforts, in the person of a Marshall and a scout, are a lot like hitting a hive of angry wasps with a stick.

This is a book about choices, decisions, and trying to do the right thing when you aren't really sure what the right thing is. I loved the setting - the American West - and loved the way Gilman adding the paranormal seamlessly into the rich traditions of the Natives and the settlers.

I can't wait to read more about the Devil's West.

Favorite Quote (from the ARC and subject to change):
"If I am the cold eye and the final word...what is there to stop me?"

"Nothing, save your own sense of where to stop."
I got this eARC for review from NetGalley. You can buy your copy here.

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