Vermilion by Molly Tanzer
My rating: 2 of 5 stars
If I have any real issues with some modern fantasy these days, it's that there's a certain level of try-hard-edness that's permeated some of the less mainstream stuff. In a rush to make a book that is Different and Edgy and perhaps meets up with some of the current societal trends, you end up with books that have great concepts and disappointing execution. This brings us to Vermilion.
Vermilion is sort of a fantasy-western-steampunk hybrid in a sense, but doesn't really delve too much into either area while our heroine, Lou, heads on a rescue mission of sorts. There's not a lot of trust for the work she does at home, but a lot of strange encounters on her way as well.
This ultimately just didn't connect for me. Sometimes a book will focus on the main character and it will work, but other times it will feel a little more forced than it needs to, and that's where I sat with Vermilion. By trying to get me to care so much about Lou, it almost felt like the rest of the story went by the wayside, and it just ended up not being the type of worldbuilding I was looking for.
Some might like this, especially if the modern shift in fantasy/science fiction excites you. For me, though, this didn't do it.
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