Karen Memory by Elizabeth Bear

Karen Memory is a book that gets going right away and never stops. Surreally captivating, Bear’s latest melds the genres of steampunk, fantasy, adventure and dime-store western together perfectly, thanks mostly to the charming voice of the protagonist. Karen’s rough edges and obviously wicked intelligence are highlighted by nuanced details that establish her already likable voice as even more relatable; her charming (self-taught) misuse of phrases and terminology, and reflexive bravery and morality are just a few examples in this fantastic read.

Summary: Karen Memory is a seamstress — she’s been trained on the Singer machines sitting in the parlor of the Hôtel Mon Cherie — and she’s one of the best seamstresses in town. She works hard to service her clients, and pays her dues. But a girl knows when something’s wrong, and girls falling down at her doorstep practically torn to bits, followed by evil men with mind-control machines trying to capture them is just wrong. And Karen’s not about to let that happen, not while she’s around. — RT Book Reviews, Top Pick! 4 1/2 stars