Rating:

Reviewed by Claudia R.

” How numerous were the Guns? Creedmoor wasn’t sure. Some of them had several names, and some of them had no names at all, but went by the names of the particular Agents who carried them. They were immortal spirits, but their manifestation in this world was in the form of weapons of wood and metal and ivory and powder.”

There is a war waging between the settled East and the uncreation West and between the Guns, a scarce, but fiercely strong people who carry magical weapons that designate, drive and determine the actions of their carriers, and the Line, a settled civilization run by magical engines hell bent on a destructive form of creation. In the middle, enslaved and hunted to near extinction are the ‘locals’, reputed immortals with their own magic.

Liv Alverhuysen, a Psychiatrist from the East, is summoned to a mental asylum, where a General from the Red resistance, rumored to be in co-hoots with the natives and previously presumed killed in battle, now resides. The hope is that Liv’s psychiatric skills will unlock the Generals’s war ravaged mind and find the key to ending the War once and for all. With only a former patient, a large gorilla of man with the mind of a child, as protector and friend, Liv finds herself enmeshed in a battle that will test her limits, loyalties and physical endurance as the Asylum becomes the very focus and brunt of attack from both the Line and the Guns.

Set in a time that is not now or the past, but that defies boundaries, The Half-Made World is a bit unsettling and often a tad confusing. I stumbled through the first few chapters, a bit like a drunk, wondering if the key to understanding the story was one less or one more drink. The Half-Made World read like a punk-rock, Western land version, of Waterworld. It was almost familiar at times, almost predictable, and then you turn the page and find yourself falling like Alice through the Rabbit Hole, destination unknown. Dazed and confused.

What saved it for me was the author’s writing capabilities.

[amazonify]0765325527[/amazonify]Gilam writes with his own form of magic, forging vast, unimaginable landscapes from his brilliant mind, creating creatures, machines, weapons that if ever possessed by man in reality, would surely be the demise of our world. Gilam expertly fleshes out the personas of his characters, ranging from Liv, the epitome of civilization, to Creedmoor, gun wielding Lone Ranger outlaw, and everyone in between; Peyote overdose meets Acid trip.

Full of unexpected dalliances, brutal betrayals, loyalty led battles, The Half-Made World has a little (or in this case, A LOT of) something for everyone who craves a less conventional read. Wild, even a little insane, Gilman’s story provides the reader with past, present & future, seamlessly woven in to one unidentifiable period lifetime. Cowboy hats and holsters, gleaming metal, smoke puking machinery, and vast, uninhabited wilderness; it’s a Wild West meets Hitler Germany on the moon kind of tale.

For those who love War and it’s intricate plots, twists and notions, for those who love long, detailed exploits, for those who love a line of good and evil blurred raw by time, The Half-Made World is for you. Not a light read, not an easy read, but an in-depth, unique and highly creative story of death, birth and the resistance and resilience of mankind.

Claudia lives on Cape Cod with her husband and two children. She entertains her passion for reading in between being a full-time Mom, aspiring writer, avid photographer & volunteer for Missie’s Closet, an emergency food & necessities pantry for the low-income in her area.

This book was provided free of any obligation by Tor Books. No monetary or any other form of compensation was received.