The Sin in the Steel is the first novel in The Fall of the Gods series by Ryan Van Loan. It's a series that mixes many elements together in order to create something fun and exciting. Pirates, magic, dead gods can all be found. Oh and a Sherlockian twist as well.
Buc is a prodigy, plain and simple. She grew up as a street rat, but once handed an ounce of knowledge she suddenly couldn't get enough of it. With the ex-soldier Eld taking care of her, keeping her safe while she developed her mind, it felt like she was unstoppable.
Now Buc and Eld have been tasked to solve a crime, under penalty of death if they fail. All they have to do is take on pirates, the infamous Widowmaker, and maybe a dead god or two. No big deal, right?
“But while the world may be driven by knowledge, it runs on gold. The hard kind. And if my plans were to succeed, that was the kind of leverage I needed. I saw my chance, placed my wager, and took my seat at the table.”
The Sin in the Steel is a brilliant and fast-paced read, one that you're not going to want to put down. At least, I know I didn't! I loved all of the themes that went into this book, but especially the combination of pirate vibes and Sherlockian logic. It made for something fun and different.
Buc is the highlight of the novel, without a doubt. She's a brilliant mind, one that sometimes has too much processing all at once. I felt like this aspect was portrayed very nicely. That she grew up on the streets isn't forgotten, though it does make her love of reading all the more impressive.
The world and magic within were absolutely fascinating. I would honestly read a dozen more books set in this world, and still feel like there was more to learn. For that reason, I am very much looking forward to any and all sequels.
The Sherlockian elements were fun, and on the whole, pretty well done. I wouldn't have minded seeing just a touch more of that, as clearly Buc has a brilliant mind. Albeit it frequently felt like that mind was doing a better job of getting her into more trouble than anything (sound familiar?). I actually adore that other elements were pulled from Sherlock, instead of just his wits and need to solve mysteries. It's refreshing. Even if it sometimes results with people wanting to strangle Buc.
I should probably mention one thing: the ages in the ARC I read are different from the ages in the finished book. Knowing that going into this read made a major difference (especially if looking at other reviews is any indication). The relationship between Buc and Eld is not nearly so creepy. Though it does take the edge off some of their age-related jokes, for good or for ill.
I'm curious to see where this story is going to lead in the long run. It feels like whatever Buc has started will eventually change her world, on a smaller and more personal scale as well as on a much grander one.