Thunderer - Felix Gilman
I have to admit, when I first picked this one up, I was expecting some run of the mill steampunk story given the blurb on the back cover, only to find that it was something much more complex than that...

The basic premise of 'Thunderer' (which is, alas, I think also it's weak point) is that it's a bunch of different stories that all converge in the end - the city in which it's set (called Ararat) is a malleable place, where streets can shift and entire districts emerge or disappear, a place inhabited by a plethora of gods which impact on the city and its people to varying extents. One of the stories told in 'Thunderer' is about Arjun, who comes to Ararat in search of a divine presence that has left the place where he grew up; given its inhabitants, Ararat seems a sensible place to search for that presence.

I'm a bit torn over 'Thunderer', to be honest, as I'm not totally sure that I give a damn about some of the characters, which is always a source of difficulty. In particular, the female characters in the book are clearly secondary and in a supporting role, there to be acted upon rather than acting (with the exception of the malevolent Countess, who gets her come-uppance in the end for acting out of type). There's a sequel, Gears of the City, but given my misgivings about this book, I can't say it's something I'll be searching out with great enthusiasm...