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New Amsterdam [EPUB] ✾ New Amsterdam ❃ Elizabeth Bear – Thomashillier.co.uk Abigail Irene Garrett drinks too much She makes scandalous liaisons with inappropriate men and if in her youth she was a famous beauty now she is both formidable and notorious She is a forensic sorcer Abigail Irene Garrett drinks too much She makes scandalous liaisons with inappropriate men and if in her youth she was a famous beauty now she is both formidable and notorious She is a forensic sorceress and a dedicated officer of a Crown that does not deserve her loyalty Sebastien de Ulloa is the oldest creature she has ever known He has forgotten his birth name his birth place and even the year in which he was born if he ever knew it But he still remembers the woman who made him immortal In a world where the sun never sets on the British Empire where Holland finally ceded New Amsterdam to the English only during the Napoleonic wars and where the expansion of the American colonies was halted by the war magic of the Irouois they are exiles in the new world and its only hope for justice.

  • Kindle Edition
  • 272 pages
  • New Amsterdam
  • Elizabeth Bear
  • English
  • 16 August 2016

About the Author: Elizabeth Bear

What Goodreads really needs is a currently WRITING option for its default bookshelves.



10 thoughts on “New Amsterdam

  1. Richard Derus Richard Derus says:

    This review has been revised and can now be found at Expendable Mudge Muses Aloud Note that the edition reviewed is out of print The eBook for all platforms is 299

  2. thefourthvine thefourthvine says:

    I really wanted to like this I still want to like it In fact I suspect it's actually a two star book for me and I gave it an extra one because it's just depressing to give such an awesome concept two stars But the fact is I found reading this book either mildly entertaining or straight up disengaging Damn itPart of the problem is that I didn't know what I was getting into The summaries I'd read made it sound like a sort of steampunk and magic and vampires detection duo And that is not the case First this is for the most part a book of short stories with the same protagonists mostly but no connection between them Except just as I'd adjusted my expectations to that the stories did start being connected Inconsistency kills this book in so very many places; that's one of them I didn't get the sense they were written with any planning so there's some minor retconning and recharacterizing as the stories progress and also some tonal shifting It's nothing so major it'd be noticeable unless you read one story right after the other Which is what this book has you do So yeah I noticed It made the reading experience bumpy and uneven and each story became slightly less tempting to read than the last had beenAlso I went in expecting a speculative fiction mystery hybrid It isn't The mysteries such as they are are simply framework They don't work as mysteries they don't follow the classic Detection Club rules at all and they aren't difficult to solve; they're pretty much at the level of Encyclopedia Brown Except the first one which is a step above that just interesting enough to mislead you about what's coming And look maybe it's just me but when you give me a character billed as the Great Detective and another character who is a magical investigator I expect actual detection to take place It doesn't Bear doesn't appear to be capable of delivering on the mystery half of the hybrid at all and that's a serious flaw given that it is the entire plot of the storiesAlso I hated the last story in this book which features both view spoilermajor character death and animal harm in BUCKETS hide spoiler

  3. Lightreads Lightreads says:

    Sebastien de Ulloa is a vampire with a millennium and change to his name a habit of caring about his food and the desire to build a new life across the Atlantic in the colonies Detective Crown Inspector Lady Abigail Irene Garrett is a forensic sorceress who has exiled herself from London for reasons that do not need exploring at this juncture Together they solve crimeOh now this? This I likeClever tense satisfying mosaic novel It feels like the best of Bear’s writing prose like perfectly toned musculature and lacking the sometimes annoying self consciousness of Blood and Iron The alternate history turn of the twentieth century where the imperial powers still grip the colonies and magic is science is evocative and rich It got me from the start with “Lucifugous” I mean it’s basically Murder on the Orient Express in a zeppelin with a vampire How can you not love that? And the stories layer up one by one adding revolutionary politics ill considered love affairs and always murderI could uibble that the mysteries are too obvious but the mysteries really aren’t the point It’s about the world the interplay of people the gentle tug of theme My real complaint is the frankly shocking copyediting I spotted several dozen typos and that was without looking Not to mention other glaring errors like a line of dialogue assigned to a character who wasn’t even there WoopsStil fantastic though

  4. Shannon (Giraffe Days) Shannon (Giraffe Days) says:

    Set between 1899 and 1903 in a world where the sun never set on the British Empire where America is still deeply British on those small territories secured from the natives and with the French breathing down their neck across a tenuous border New Amsterdam presents the great amateur detective Don Sebastien de Ulloa Travelling from Europe to the colonies across the Pacific by dirigible with his trusted young friend Jack Sebastien is one of the oldest wampyrs living While wampyrs are welcome in Europe they are most definitely not in the colonies so he and Jack work hard to keep it a secret on board the air ship It’s not long however before Sebastien’s detective skills are reuired when a passenger disappears and a sorcerer reveals his true natureWhen he arrives in New Amsterdam – only recently handed over to the British by the Dutch – Sabestien teams up with Detective Crown Investigator Abigail Irene Garrett a sorcerer who drinks a lot is loyal to the Crown – or at least the oath she took to serve it – and is having an affair with Duke Richard the British Empire’s representative in New Amsterdam The two find themselves neck deep in grisly paranormal murders and international politics along with Jack and a curious widow who writes fiction Phoebe SmithThis is my first Bear outing and I have to admit from the outset that it didn’t greatly impress me I always start a book with a feeling of excitement of possibilities with my mind open to a fresh new story It took a while for Bear’s actual story to get boring but I think her writing style here made it rather plodding from the start Normally I like a high level of detail but because I found her sentence structure often hard to follow or clunky the details just became burdens Part of my problem is I freely admit that I don’t care for mysterydetectivecrime type stories much I have enjoyed some extremely so This wasn’t one of them sadly I couldn’t follow their leaps of reasoning – hell sometimes I couldn’t even follow a simple statement It only makes me frustrated You know those conversations those slices of dialogue where a character says something that sounds random but others in room go “Ahh” or jump from there to some new realisation – this book was full of those I can’t really give you examples you’d have to read the whole thing Structurally the book is comprised of chapters or parts that are something like connected short stories or novellas – each deals with a new and separate mystery to solve but as a whole they are meant to tell a greater story than the sum of their parts I say “meant to” because one of the biggest disappointments for me was how lacking the overall story was Here we have two very interesting characters – an old lonely wampyr who’s forgotten much of his past and an intelligent strong independent sorceress who defeats beasts and the like in an America where the indigenous tribes still hold much of their land and where war with the French looms The biggest let downs were that there’s no great character development or change going on and the setting – the very alternate history that so fascinates me – was only loosely sketched out never really explored and didn’t always make senseOn the positive side I did like the two main characters and Jack and I did like the sensuality that we get glimmers of – it was very nicely done especially around Sebastien’s potent bite I was thrown by the very last line – Garrett tells her black maid who wants to stay in Paris “On your head be it” which am I wrong? I always understood to be something of a threat or warning It means “Fine do what you like but I take no responsibility for the conseuences so don’t come to me for help if it goes wrong” Which doesn’t match the scene she was giving her maid her blessing I wonder if it has to do with the overall editing – and copy editing – because the book was rife with mistakes not to mention my dissatisfaction with the clunky sentence structure And when a book’s lacklustre ualities stand out this much for me I lose interest in its other points – its themes its attempts at being profoundFor such a short book it took me far too long to get through and hasn’t made me all that eager to read of Elizabeth Bear – though I don’t want to dismiss her after just one book

  5. Melissa Melissa says:

    See my other reviews at Never Enough BooksAbigail Irene Garrett is a formidable and notorious woman She drinks far too much and sleeps with married men She has nothing but obligations She is also a forensic sorceress working for a Crown that has done little to win her loyaltySebastien de Ulloa is a vampire Incredibly old he has forgotten his birth place and even the year he was born What he does remember is the woman who made him what he isIn a world where the sun never set on the British empire and where the expansion of the American colonies was stopped by the war magic of the Irouois; they are exiles in the new world and possibly its only hope for justiceMy dear readers in the almost three years I have been writing this blog this is the first time I could not finish a book Not because I ran out of time but because I found the book just that badTold in a series of short stories aside from the main characters there is little tying the novel together as a whole Reading them one almost has the feeling that the stories were written separately and only later were compiled together as a book The tone is very inconsistent and uickly becomes irritatingWhat irked me the most though was how flat I found the characters With almost no characterization given there is nothing to draw us to either Garrett or Ulloa I found them to unfortunately be very one dimensional and bland While the summary made them sound very interesting upon reading the book I found the opposite to be trueLooking at some of the other reviews on Goodreads it would seem I am not alone with my dissatisfaction New Amsterdam has a mixed bag of reviewsWhile the concept showed great promise the execution unfortunately falls flat Steer clear of this one dear readers

  6. Rebecca Rebecca says:

    He's a millennium old vampire traveling to the New World to avoid vampire politics She's a detective mage with a sense of duty that could crack ironTogether they fight crime Seriously New Amsterdam is set in sort of a steampunkmagicalt history where the HadenosauneeIriuois and other native tribes kept the British and French from doing much in the US interior the Dutch didn't cede their New York territory to Britain until the Napoleonic era and the US never won independence Lady Abby Irene Garrett is one of the Crown's three go to people for magical crimes in the colonies after a self imposed exile from England I enjoy a good supernatural mystery and this fulfills this in spades The book is made up of a series of interconnected short stories there is an overarching plot about the relationship between Abby Irene and the Crown but each story also features a crime to be solved The worldbuilding is also nice and I'd love to see than New Amsterdam Boston and Paris in the stories The romance on the other hand is pretty generic I liked Sebastian the vampire but he doesn't really bring anything new to the idea of a vampire At least we are saved from gratuitous additions such as sparkles Sebastian just suffers horrible burns from sunlight Bear does attempt to show what it is like to live a millennium but all we get is an apolitical character who remarks a lot about vampires he's known who have suicided after the weight of years got to him I guess I'm of a fan of the charismatic monster for vampires so perhaps it is not Sebastian's fault that I liked him as a character but not as a vampire

  7. Alethea Alethea says:

    This is one of those rather peculiar books that I feel I ought to adore and actually only mildly like distressingly much of Elizabeth Bear is like that for me where it just never uite makes the jump into deep passion Abigail Irene is a fabulous character and Sebastian and Jack are at least unconventional and the world building is comprehensive and well done and I just never uite manage to break through into love for the book I like it well enough to have read it and re read it in preparation for the seuel and I justdon't uite love it

  8. Jason Lang Jason Lang says:

    A series of short stories about a steampunk magic world Vampire who happens to be a private detective Okay so that sounds like an awful premise But the book itself is uite entertaining both for the random historical characters who sneak in the well thought out alternate history the pains the vampire takes to hide his 'condition' the hints at background events a war with France Civil rights movements and so on It's surprisingly cerebrial but in a candy coated shell so you don't notice it until it's too late

  9. Bell Curran Bell Curran says:

    What a pity that this is out of print It's a very erudite version of steampunk On one level it is a series of chapters that span the time period from 1899 to 1903 Each of the chapters stand alone and perhaps in a previous life they were short stories Each chapter is its own self contained mystery which is solved by 1100 year old vampire and detective Sebastien de Ulloa and 50 ish former bombshell Lady Abigail Irene Garrett who is not only notorious for her liaisons with powerful married men but also a formidable forensic sorceress and Detective Crown Investigator Sebastien is leaving Spain and his court for the New World at that time the English colony of New Amsterdam and travels only with his companion Jack a 16 year old boy who was raised as Sebastien's ward after he was bought at a young age from some sort of slaveryindenture situation and then freed by Sebastien Now Jack is a jealous lover who feeds Sebastien not only for the pleasure he gets from it but out of love for his vampire The first mystery is solved by Sebastian and Jack that of a murder on the dirigible taking them to New Amsterdam In New Amsterdam Sebastien encounters DCI Garrett aka Lady Abby Irene when they are working on a case together and they collaborate on future cases after thatWhen these individual mysteries are strung together they tell a broader story about the political intrigues between the murderous home rule espousing local Lord Mayor of New Amsterdam; Duke Richard who represents the English crown and won't leave his wife to whom he owes his political power even as he flaunts his affair with Lady Abby Irene in front of her; Prince Henry heir to the throne of England; and the French Prime Minister who is about to dive into a proxy war against England by supporting the home rule faction in the coloniesThe broader scope of the book also tells a story about the evolving relationships between a vampire and the members of his court who all love him and increasingly each other and the difficulties that Sebastien has dealing with the fleeting lives of the humans he loves and the fleeting love of another vampire he has given life toMortal lifetimes were a mercy to love Sebastien thought It could endure that longAs gorgeously written and erudite as it is it's also compelling often a page turner yet at other times you can enjoy reading slowly and savour the prose BeautifulRecommended for people who like their mysteries well writtenNot recommended for anyone who enjoyed Red Headed StepchildThe chapters have poetic titles that stretched my English vocabulary skills and I wish I'd looked up what the first and fourth meant before reading 1 Lucifugous light avoiding according to my dictionary as in owls bats and you guessed it vampires that part isn't in my dictionary2 Wax 3 Wane I didn't need to look up 2 or 3 thank god4 Limerent limerence is according to Wikipedia which we know is never wrong a neologism coined in 1977 to denote the involuntary state of mind which seems to result from a romantic attraction for another person combined with an overwhelming obsessive need to have one's feelings reciprocated It is thus perhaps connected to the urban dictionary definition for limerant which is how I originally mis typed it defined as A floaty manic excited feeling that often arises after meeting or spending time with someone who you are recently attracted to5 Chatoyent an optical reflectance effect seen in certain gemstones eg cat's eyes and star sapphires 6 Lumiere French for light here referring to Paris the city of lights where the court spends this chapter as well as the new technology that character Dr Tesla uses to light the city with electricity

  10. Dena Landon Dena Landon says:

    New Amsterdam is a collection of short stories about Detective Crown Inspector Abigail Irene Garrett a forensic sorceress and Sebastien de Ulloa a renowned amateur sleuth who also happens to be a vampire The stories take place in an alternate history colonies where tensions exist between the Empire the French and the Irouois The first story in the collection owes much to the tradition of English country house mysteries only the suspects are all trapped in a dirigble instead The writing style felt a bit like Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's Sherlock Holmes stories only sexier and I enjoyed Bear's homage In the second story Sebastien meets Abby Irene and most of the stories are told from her point of view The stories shine when they focus on murders and intrigue and the sorcerous and mundane ways in which Abby Irene and Sebastien solve their cases A common thread running through the collection is whether or not New Amsterdam will side with the French or the British and I found the last two stories which dealt almost entirely with this choice to be the weakest in the book This is largely a personal bias however as I love murder mysteries and prefer them to political intrigue Abigail Irene is a fun and interesting main character a woman with a weakness for drink and men she shouldn't love The developing relationship between her and Sebastien and the insights they gain into each others' psyche as the stories unfold was masterfully handled Bear's sparse prose contained some real gems of description and dialogue and fans of the Steampunk genre and murder mysteries would be well served to pick up this book

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