Thistle (thistle_chaser) wrote,

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Book 43 of 2015: Silver on the Road

Silver on the Road by Laura Anne Gilman
Rating: Liked (Hated-Disliked-Okay-Liked-Loved)

This is going to sound more snarky than I intend, but: This would have been a really good book if there had been a plot.

The worldbuilding in Silver on the Road was just amazing. I loved everything about it. Every single little detail and trait. It was set in an alternate version of the old west, one where the supernatural exists. The devil (lower case) controls everything west of the Mississippi. But for most folks, that the devil owns everything means little -- they still live out their lives, have families, nothing much different than anyone else. However, if one chooses, they can visit the devil and make a deal -- ask for something and offer something.

The main character worked the tavern that the devil worked out of (where his office was, but he was also a gambler, so its where he always played his cardgames). When she came of age, she decided to go to the devil and make a deal for a job she wanted. He agreed to her terms, thus the story began.

The whole book was about her being on the road with an older rider. What did they do? Rode the territory and looked at things. That's the whole story, him just teaching her how to live on the road in the territory. It was interesting only because the world they lived in was interesting, but for the first 90% of the book, there was zero plot other than them riding together and him teaching her about the land.

90% in, what seemed like plot was picking up: Something Evil was loose in the land, and main character decided it was her job to take care of it.

You talk to it.

Seriously. So after the last 10% of the book builds up to this BIG PROBLEM, BIG EVIL THING, how did the main character deal with it? She talked to it. Explained the devil's rules to it and how it could live in the territory. While that made sense, it was seriously unsatisfying as an ending.
[End spoieler.]

All that being said, I didn't hate the book. The writing was good. I liked all the characters a lot (a whole lot!). I loved the world. It's just that, with so little plot, I had no drive to read it.

Apparently this is the first book in a series, but I suspect I won't bother picking up the second. It's really too bad, this could have been a great book if more happened in it.
Tags: 2015 books, book review, book: silver on the road
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