Published in America by Away And Away Publishing in October 2014.
Where to buy this book:
Buy from independent booksellers via Abebooks
Buy the ebook from Amazon.com / Amazon.co.uk
Buy the paperback from The Book Depository
How I got this book:
Received for supporting a Kickstarter campaign
My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Yevylin is a foreigner attempting to enter an unforgiving city. Quickly she finds herself thrust into a struggle for survival. After killing a man in self defense and hiding from the law, she must earn her way into the ranks of a notorious gang of women known as Scarlets. THE GIN THIEF is a steampunk, gangland serial following Yevylin as she rises up the ranks of the criminal underworld, a world rife with murder, revenge, grave robbers, serial killers, and gin thieves.
I had not tried reading a serialised book as it is published before so part of my reason to invest in the Kickstarter campaign for S C Barrus' then new creation, The Gin Thief series, was my interest to learn whether I would be able to remember all the storylines over an extended period of time. Generally I read intensively with scarcely a pause until my current novel is finished, immersing myself in it completely. Taking a minor set of characters, The Scarlets, from his steampunk novel Discovering Aberration which I previously enjoyed reading, Barrus tells their story and particularly that of their newest recruit, Miss Yevylin Over.
Barrus' writing style is dense with intricate descriptions of place, costume and character. I appreciate that he takes time to set up scenes without simply rushing to the action and, although this does mean his stories advance at a slower pace than those of other modern authors, I think the approach suits the imaginative steampunk genre and it also mirrors that of Victorian authors so adds to the 'genuine' atmosphere. Becoming Scarlet, as the title suggests, recounts how Yevylin meets and tries to join The Scarlets. A plot device of her storytelling for the leader, The Missus, works well in allowin us to get to know her while still keeping up the pace. My only real disappointment was that the series didn't continue.
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Books by S C Barrus / Steampunk / Books from America