New Amsterdam - Book 1
I always have to work at getting into Elizabeth Bear's way of writing. Her prose is rich and she definitely has her own voice, and once I get acclimated to it, I just totally adore it.
I love this alternate history she has created, with dirigibles as the prime mode of trans-oceanic travel, sorcerers working for the crown as special investigators, vampires being acknowledged and 'accepted' in European society. I also appreciate how EB brings in myths and legends that we know and twists them just a little bit to fit into her world.
The characters are beautifully drawn, labours of love, really. I loved every last one of them, even El Capitan! We follow our characters, beginning with Sebastian the wampyr (vampire) as they solve mysteries and crimes that cross their paths, all the while a bigger plot hatching in the background. Fascinating!
And yes, at the end, I indeed hated EB a little. That hate you feel for an author who has made you weep in all the good ways. So yeah... really, really good book and now I have to go find the next set of stories about these folk!