Author: Gaie Sebold
Publisher: Solaris Books
Page count: 431pp
Release date: 5th Jan 2012
Reviewer: Theresa Derwin
Babylon Steel has a secret past; one which she hides from her crew at the Red Lantern brothel in Scalentine. Her crew includes twins Cruel and Unusual, who enjoy giving and receiving pain to/from their clients and Flower, a giant ogre-like creature who works in the kitchens and is the best cook in Scalentine.
Whilst the local religious contingent ‘The Vessels’ are hanging around the Red Lantern chasing Babylon’s clients away, Babylon is called to a meeting by the devastatingly handsome Darask Fain. Fain is willing to pay Babylon a rather nice sum of money to find a missing girl. Unfortunately, Babylon has a soft spot for girls in danger, probably because of her hidden past that is slowly revealed throughout the novel.
Scalentine and the world Sebold creates is what make this novel so entertaining. A myriad of creatures and races populate Scalentine; furred creatures, scaled creatures, blue creatures and fey. Sebold has created a believable local dialect for her inhabitants, which adds a sense of realism to an otherwise fantastical novel. The characters are vibrant and realistic, the streets of Scalentine likewise and the overall atmosphere of this novel is one of adventure and fun. The novel ended far too soon and I definitely want to spend more time in the company of Babylon and her ‘crew’. Great stuff!