I really enjoyed this book! I'm a fan of Elizabeth Bear's, even thought sometimes I think her writing is too smart for me to actually get. *LOL* I had been looking forward to reading Karen Memory since it was published and finally, it went on sale and I could afford the ebook. All I knew about it was that Elizabeth wrote it, it was steampunk, the heroine was lesbian, and all the buzz was really good.
But when I started it.... OMG, my stomach sank because there were two things that are generally a 'no way José' type of thing for me. The character speaking in dialect, hell, the whole narrative in dialect when it comes to that because it's a 1st person POV and the heroine being young, like YA/NA young. This did not bode well.
But you know what? I soon forgot that the heroine was of tender years, so to speak. Yeah, she was young, but she wasn't that annoying young that so many of the YA/NA characters I have read are. And the dialect? Well, I can see how it might be problematic for some - the should haves and could haves and would haves were all should of, could of and would of, which would normally drive me absolutely apeshit, but oddly enough, it didn't bother me. Shocking, I know. (Had she thrown in a verse in place of versus, I may have felt differently. *LOL*) But the character of Karen had come alive very quickly and this is how she talked and it was okay. :)
What we have here, is the tale of Karen Memery (that's the actual spelling of her name), and what happens when a badly injured girl comes begging sanctuary at the door to the bordello where Karen works, setting in motion adventures and mysteries. The action is exciting and seldom lets up. The characters are all terrific - the girls and staff of the bordello, the lawmen, the villains. Even the animals! *LOL*
Karen Memory is one of those books where I wish I could write decent reviews to do it justice. Suffice it to say that it's a rollicking adventure with a diverse and fascinating cast and a real sense of humour and fun