The Half-Made World : The Half-Made World

  • by Felix Gilman
  • Narrated by Tamara Marston
  • Series: The Half-Made World
  • 16 hrs and 47 mins
  • Unabridged Audiobook

Publisher's Summary

Here is a fantastical reimagining of the American West that draws its influence from steampunk, the American Western tradition, and magical realism.
The world is only half made. What exists has been carved out amidst a war between two rival factions: the Line, paving the world with industry and claiming its residents as slaves; and the Gun, a cult of terror and violence that cripples the population with fear. The only hope at stopping them has seemingly disappeared - the Red Republic that once battled the Gun and the Line, and almost won. Now they're just a myth, a bedtime story parents tell their children, of hope.
To the west lies a vast, uncharted world, inhabited only by the legends of the immortal and powerful Hill People, who live at one with the earth and its elements. Liv Alverhyusen, a doctor of the new science of psychology, travels to the edge of the made world to a spiritually protected mental institution in order to study the minds of those broken by the Gun and the Line. In its rooms lies an old general of the Red Republic, a man whose shattered mind just may hold the secret to stopping the Gun and the Line. And either side will do anything to understand how.

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What the Critics Say

"Vivid and accurate prose, a gripping, imaginative story, a terrifically inventive setting, a hard-bitten, indestructible hero, and an intelligent, fully adult heroine." (Ursula K. Le Guin)
"The Half-Made World is refreshingly unlike any other novel I've read. Felix Gilman writes like a modern-day Dickens drunk on rich invention and insane war." (Stephen R. Donaldson)

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

An atmospheric, fascinating page turner.

I bought this book on a whim really thinking it looked like an interesting steam-punk novel. In fact, even though it does share a lot of steam-punk ideas; they are mostly limited to it's setting (the American wild west, and it's Victorian era setting) it's actually much more unique than that. Technology in this book is actually almost all entirely magical/spiritual (and unexplained) in origin, with the humans of the story seemingly caught up in a war between two opposing species of spirits?, demons?, gods?.. who take the form of The Line & The Gun.

Explaining here what forms these two sides take would take away from some of the pleasure of the book so I won't, however both sides have a unique way of controlling the people they employ/enslave. While The Gun essentially turn the small group of men and woman who work for them into supermen, The Line takes another tack, enslaving many thousands of men, turning them into insignificant cogs in their machines.

Caught in between these two opposing forces is the character of Liv Alverhuysen who possesses (or so The Line & The Gun believe) knowledge that will turn the war into their favour. Each side sends their people after Liv, and it's this chase that forms the bulk of the novels narrative.

The book is both dense in terms of its world building and atmosphere but at the same time is a total page turner. By the end of the book I couldn't wait to continue the story with these characters in future stories.
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- JL

Definitely recommend!

Wonderful narration and such an engaging and unusual storyline! The characters were really well drawn, with well developed inner worlds, plus the world building was amazing - completely convincing despite its fantastical conceits. Really impressed with this one!
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- Erin

Book Details

  • Release Date: 12-10-2010
  • Publisher: Audible Studios