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1881—Special Agent Gillian Hamilton, magic caster for the Federal Bureau of Magic and Steam, has recovered from injuries obtained while in Shallow Grave, Arizona. Now back in New York City, Gillian makes an arrest on New Year’s Eve that leads to information on a gangster, known only as Tick Tock, who’s perfected utilizing elemental magic ammunition. This report complicates 1881—Special Agent Gillian Hamilton, magic caster for the Federal Bureau of Magic and Steam, has recovered from injuries obtained while in Shallow Grave, Arizona. Now back in New York City, Gillian makes an arrest on New Year’s Eve that leads to information on a gangster, known only as Tick Tock, who’s perfected utilizing elemental magic ammunition. This report complicates Gillian’s holiday plans, specifically those with infamous outlaw, Gunner the Deadly, who promised they’d ring in 1882 together. The two men stand on the cusp of a romance that needs to be explored intimately and privately. But when Gillian’s residence is broken into by a magical mechanical man who tries to murder him on behalf of Tick Tock, he and Gunner must immediately investigate the city’s ruthless street gangs before the illegal magic becomes a threat that cannot be contained. This might be their most wild adventure yet, but criminal undergrounds can’t compare to the dangers of the heart. Gillian must balance his career in law enforcement with his love for a vigilante, or lose both entirely. The novel-length follow-up to The Engineer, in the exciting new steampunk series, Magic & Steam.


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1881—Special Agent Gillian Hamilton, magic caster for the Federal Bureau of Magic and Steam, has recovered from injuries obtained while in Shallow Grave, Arizona. Now back in New York City, Gillian makes an arrest on New Year’s Eve that leads to information on a gangster, known only as Tick Tock, who’s perfected utilizing elemental magic ammunition. This report complicates 1881—Special Agent Gillian Hamilton, magic caster for the Federal Bureau of Magic and Steam, has recovered from injuries obtained while in Shallow Grave, Arizona. Now back in New York City, Gillian makes an arrest on New Year’s Eve that leads to information on a gangster, known only as Tick Tock, who’s perfected utilizing elemental magic ammunition. This report complicates Gillian’s holiday plans, specifically those with infamous outlaw, Gunner the Deadly, who promised they’d ring in 1882 together. The two men stand on the cusp of a romance that needs to be explored intimately and privately. But when Gillian’s residence is broken into by a magical mechanical man who tries to murder him on behalf of Tick Tock, he and Gunner must immediately investigate the city’s ruthless street gangs before the illegal magic becomes a threat that cannot be contained. This might be their most wild adventure yet, but criminal undergrounds can’t compare to the dangers of the heart. Gillian must balance his career in law enforcement with his love for a vigilante, or lose both entirely. The novel-length follow-up to The Engineer, in the exciting new steampunk series, Magic & Steam.

30 review for The Gangster

  1. 5 out of 5

    Joyfully Jay

    A Joyfully Jay review. 4.5 stars The Gangster is the second book in C.S. Poe’s excellent Magic and Steam series. I went crazy for the first book in this series, The Engineer, so I was so excited to jump back into this steampunk world for the second book. Poe does such a wonderful job creating an immersive world here and, as much as I enjoyed the first book’s setting in the old west, I really enjoyed seeing New York City reimagined. There is a great sense of life in the city in the 1880s, with th A Joyfully Jay review. 4.5 stars The Gangster is the second book in C.S. Poe’s excellent Magic and Steam series. I went crazy for the first book in this series, The Engineer, so I was so excited to jump back into this steampunk world for the second book. Poe does such a wonderful job creating an immersive world here and, as much as I enjoyed the first book’s setting in the old west, I really enjoyed seeing New York City reimagined. There is a great sense of life in the city in the 1880s, with the addition of steampunk elements to give it a bit of a twist. Poe incorporates great details and little moments that really bring it all to life. There are some books where I fall in love with the characters so completely that it takes the story to a different level, and that is the case here for me with Gillian and Gunner. I just adore these guys, both individually and together. Read Jay’s review in its entirety here.

  2. 4 out of 5

    Eugenia

    WOW!!! What a narration!!!! Nonstop action! Gangsters Illegal magics Murders Love Franken-folk I figured out who the baddie was here, but I still loved getting to the end! You should read the prequel to get a good idea of this steampunk world Poe created. Gunner the deadly=heartthrob Gillian=talk about a wonderfully flawed man My rec? Yesss!

  3. 4 out of 5

    C.S. Poe

    Buy Links: Ebooks, Paperback, and Audio Buy Links: Ebooks, Paperback, and Audio

  4. 4 out of 5

    Gerbera_Reads

    5/7/2022 reread I was so excited to get my hands on this book!!! OMG, Ms Poe did not disappoint! Fast paced, emotionally intense story of magic, betrayal and New Year's Eve expectations gone awry. Gillian Hamilton and Constantine Gunner meet in New York as promised but what starts as happy reunion quickly turns into a nightmare for both men - Gillian is in danger, Gillian's past threatens to unravel the careful life he has built and the agency is slightly in shambles. But never fear: Gunner the D 5/7/2022 reread I was so excited to get my hands on this book!!! OMG, Ms Poe did not disappoint! Fast paced, emotionally intense story of magic, betrayal and New Year's Eve expectations gone awry. Gillian Hamilton and Constantine Gunner meet in New York as promised but what starts as happy reunion quickly turns into a nightmare for both men - Gillian is in danger, Gillian's past threatens to unravel the careful life he has built and the agency is slightly in shambles. But never fear: Gunner the Deadly is there to hold Gillian up, patch him up and give him affection he has been denied for so long. I liked a closer look at Gillian's personal life and his work relations. And there was so much to unpack. Magical rivalry and gangs going against each other with Gillian standing at the epicenter of it all. The author cleverly incorporated steampunk elements with the use of magic to create a unique world. Gillian's emotions spilled all over the pages and made me want to hug him so bad. I liked Gunner's solid presence and so needed reassurance. His confidence was absolutely irresistible. Even though the entire book centered around the 3-4 days, the author packed enough emotional punch to make one think about human nature and self acceptance, what drove people to commit heinous acts and what secrets everyone hid that always came out to light. I liked the identity of the villain that became obvious somewhere in the middle. The build up to the finale was rather good. But the last paragraph... Lets just say that the next book can't come soon enough. I thoroughly enjoyed Agent Hamilton and Gunner the Deadly's adventures! Copy received for my honest and unbiased review

  5. 5 out of 5

    Caz

    I've given this an A- at AAR, so that's 4.5 stars rounded up. In The Gangster, the second book in C.S. Poe’s entertaining and exciting  Magic & Steam  series, we join Special Agent Gillian Hamilton for another exhilarating adventure, this time on his home turf of New York City.  As in the first book – The Engineer – the story is fast-paced and clever, featuring well-drawn, interesting characters and a number of vivid, expertly realised action scenes, and the author’s world-building continues to I've given this an A- at AAR, so that's 4.5 stars rounded up. In The Gangster, the second book in C.S. Poe’s entertaining and exciting  Magic & Steam  series, we join Special Agent Gillian Hamilton for another exhilarating adventure, this time on his home turf of New York City.  As in the first book – The Engineer – the story is fast-paced and clever, featuring well-drawn, interesting characters and a number of vivid, expertly realised action scenes, and the author’s world-building continues to impress. Readers are immersed in a recognisable vision of Gilded Age New York, but with significant differences –  such as the magic-powered airships (the quintessential steampunk mode of transport!) that have replaced the transcontinental railroad – due to the harnessing of magic as a commodity during the so-called Great Rebellion – surely this world’s version of the American Civil War. At the end of The Engineer, Gillian left Shallow Grave in Arizona to return to New York – but carries with him a promise from Gunner the Deadly – the outlaw with whom he’d become romantically involved – that they will see each other again on New Year’s Eve.  Gillian is alternately hopeful and anxious, desperately wanting to see Gunner again while trying to talk himself into not being too disappointed when Gunner doesn’t show.  Because what could a gorgeous, uber-confident, gun-slinging cowboy possibly see in an unprepossessing, repressed individual like Gillian? It’s 31st December 1881, but before Gillian has to face either joy or disappointment, there’s a day’s work to be done, and on this particular day, he’s chasing down a lowlife called Fishback, a criminal known to have a penchant for killing cops and for working for some of the city’s biggest organised crime syndicates.  Gillian suspects Fishback is acting as the middle-man in the trade of weapons that use illegal elemental magic – and when he’s eventually able to question him, those suspicions are confirmed.  Fishback delivers the shipments – which originate somewhere “out West” – to Tick-Tock, a newly-arrived and widely feared crime boss/gangster who, so far, nobody has ever seen.  Not even Fishback, who tells Gillian he meets with a magical mechanical man who picks up the deliveries on Tick Tock’s behalf. Shortly after the interview, Gillian heads to Grand Central to pick up Gunner. He’s late, and worries that he’s missed Gunner or worse, Gunner hasn’t come at all. But he has. Their reunion is restrained because they’re in a public place, but Gillian is overjoyed and relieved to see the man who has occupied almost his every waking thought for the past two months. And miraculously, it seems Gunner is pleased to see Gillian, too. Gillian and Gunner barely have a moment to themselves (although they do put the few moments they have to very good use!) before they’re plunged headlong into a breathless game of cat-and-mouse with the most dangerous individual in the city. And while they’re battling nightmarish mechanical men – gruesome half man/half machines with weapons surgically grafted to their bodies – fending off attacks from illegal magic and fighting for their lives in some really vivid, well-conceived action scenes, there are some lovely moments of introspection and emotional closeness, too, which cement and strengthen the connection between them. Gillian and Gunner are both likeable, compelling characters it’s easy to invest in and root for. In The Engineer, it was obvious there was more to Gillian than met the eye, and here the author sheds more light on what he’s hiding. It’s also clear that he’s keeping some big, dark secret that he’s ashamed of and afraid of, something he seems to be desperately trying to atone for that has convinced him he’s unworthy of love or affection and that he doesn’t deserve good things in life. He’s desperately lonely, rigidly controlled and hides himself in plain sight, but keeping himself hidden (in more ways than one) for over a decade is starting to take its toll, and at times we get a glimpse of a man close to the edge, someone dangerous and volatile. But he’s also endearingly shy and charming with a dry sense of humour and a clearly defined sense of right and wrong… although the line between them has blurred a bit since he met Gunner. Self-possessed, sexy Gunner is the perfect foil for Gillian, injecting some calm into his hectic life. He encourages Gillian to embrace who he is and what he wants, providing solid support and reassurance on personal issues and has his back without question when they have to face off with the bad guys. He’s not a great talker, but when he does have something to say he’s usually to the point and incredibly insightful; he sees Gillian in a way nobody else has, and has discerned things about him that no-one else seems to have noticed – that Gillian is a great deal more powerful than he lets on, and that there’s something devastating and immensely painful in his past. But he knows better than to push for details; he’s prepared to bide his time and wait for Gillian to tell him the truth. The Gangster is a terrific blend of tender romance and rollicking adventure yarn that will have you ‘heart-eyes’ and on the edge of your seat by turns. The mystery is nicely done, with plenty of twists and turns to keep readers guessing, and I liked the glimpses we got of Gillian’s work life and of his relationship with his boss – who, he’s only just worked out, may possibly be harbouring a tendre for him. The author’s descriptions of the New York locations are really evocative, and her depictions of the mechanical men and Gillian’s amazing feats of magic are inventive and full of imagery so vivid and colourful as to create a lasting impression in the mind’s eye. And best of all, the love story is never pushed aside in favour of the plot; there are some wonderfully loving moments between Gillian and Gunner, and even though the story takes place over just a few days, by the end, they’ve admitted that they want more from each other and there’s a new, deeper level of intimacy between them. Which is when Ms. Poe drops one helluva bombshell that had me (mentally) screaming “nooooooooooooo!” and searching frantically to see if I could find a release date for book three! So, yes, there’s a cliffhanger, but don’t let that put you off. The Gangster is a thrilling and utterly captivating instalment in the Magic & Steam series, and I’m on tenterhooks waiting for the release of book three, The Doctor. I hope it’s not too long a wait!

  6. 5 out of 5

    suz ~Always Reading~

    Audiobook Review 4/22/22 Story: 5 stars Audio: 5 stars This was an excellent audiobook for a stellar series. The audio added even more to the story. Every time Gunner says “my dear” to Gillian I swooned! All I can say is WOW! I loved this book! This world that C.S. Poe has created is truly amazing. The first book in this series was good but it was really only a glimpse into what life is really like in NYC for Gillian Hamilton. I have never read steampunk before this series and I think because of t Audiobook Review 4/22/22 Story: 5 stars Audio: 5 stars This was an excellent audiobook for a stellar series. The audio added even more to the story. Every time Gunner says “my dear” to Gillian I swooned! All I can say is WOW! I loved this book! This world that C.S. Poe has created is truly amazing. The first book in this series was good but it was really only a glimpse into what life is really like in NYC for Gillian Hamilton. I have never read steampunk before this series and I think because of this book I am totally ruined for any other steampunk books out there. Gillian is such a strong character with a deep, dark secret that is hinted at throughout the book. He feels he isn’t worthy of love and is almost ashamed at his attraction to men and so when he met Gunner in Arizona his world opened up. In the last book Gunner left a note for Gillian saying he’d see him in New York on New Years Eve and trusted Gillian with his first name. It is now New Years Eve and while anxiously wondering if Gunner will show up Gillian, unbeknownst to him, is on the brink of a case that involves magic unlike he’s ever dealt with before. He also thinks his boss is hinting at an attraction to him and Gillian has no idea how to respond to that. Gunner is brooding and sexy and everything Gillian wants in a partner. He may not say much but what he says packs a punch and often leaves Gillian in awe. He doesn’t think he is worthy of Gunner’s affections and he knows he can’t possibly have the relationship he truly wants with Gunner but he will take all he can get while Gunner is in NYC. I love how Gunner is unapologetic about who he is. He is the opposite of Gillian in so many ways but they just fit together perfectly. The case Gillian and Gunner get involved in is unlike any I’ve ever read before. The use of magic and steam creates such an amazing world. The villains are more machine than man. The character running the operation is named Tick Tock but no one seems to have ever met him. Gillian has to dip into his strongest magic to fight the villains. The fight scenes were incredibly exciting. Gunner is there with his trusty Waterbury helping alongside Gillian and like I said, they work perfectly together. We get some touching scenes between the two men in the midst of everything. The relationship that is building between Gillian and Gunner is something Gillian knows he doesn’t deserve but Gunner is set on letting Gillian know he can trust him and he isn’t going anywhere. The book ends on a cliffhanger where we get some answers but are left hanging! I cannot wait to read more about this world and these characters. Poe has outdone herself with this book.

  7. 5 out of 5

    Caz

    I've given this a B+ for narration and an A- for content at AudioGals, which bumps it up into the 5 star bracket. I read The Gangster, book two in C.S. Poe's Magic & Steam series earlier this year and really enjoyed it, so I decided to experience it again in audio format. I’d already listened to the first book –&nbsp The Engineer – and enjoyed the narration by Declan Winters, so I was pretty sure of a good listen. Because The Gangster is a direct sequel, I’d strongly recommend starting the series I've given this a B+ for narration and an A- for content at AudioGals, which bumps it up into the 5 star bracket. I read The Gangster, book two in C.S. Poe's Magic & Steam series earlier this year and really enjoyed it, so I decided to experience it again in audio format. I’d already listened to the first book –&nbsp The Engineer – and enjoyed the narration by Declan Winters, so I was pretty sure of a good listen. Because The Gangster is a direct sequel, I’d strongly recommend starting the series with The Engineer; it’s novella-length (just over two-and-a-half hours) and provides an excellent introduction to the alternate vision of 1880s New York the author has created, and the central characters of the series, Special Agent Gillian Hamilton of the Federal Bureau of Magic and Steam, and Gunner the Deadly, the legendary outlaw Gillian meets while on assignment in Arizona. The story is fast-paced and exciting with plenty of sizzling chemistry between Gillian and Gunner – who agree to a temporary truce and join forces in order to defeat a bonkers mad-scientist type. The Engineer ends on a strong HFN, with the promise of more to come, and C.S. Poe certainly delivers on that promise in The Gangster, with a full- length story that continues to develop the romance between these two very unlikely men while also telling an action-packed, well-paced story and keeping listeners guessing about… nope, not telling. But be prepared – the book ends on one helluva cliffhanger. I believe book three is due later this year, but at time of writing, there’s no date set. You can read the rest of this review at AudioGals .

  8. 4 out of 5

    CrabbyPatty

    Wow. I loved this book. Steampunk / alternate universe? Yup. Another case involving magic and destruction and death, plus elemental ammunition and aether bullets? Of course. The plot is top-notch, with a mysterious super villain and the introduction of mechanical men equipped with Gatling guns for hands, and bodies reinforced with pressure tubes, iron and bronze. The action is densely constructed and unbearably suspenseful. But ... the pulse of the story is the continuance of this undefinable at Wow. I loved this book. Steampunk / alternate universe? Yup. Another case involving magic and destruction and death, plus elemental ammunition and aether bullets? Of course. The plot is top-notch, with a mysterious super villain and the introduction of mechanical men equipped with Gatling guns for hands, and bodies reinforced with pressure tubes, iron and bronze. The action is densely constructed and unbearably suspenseful. But ... the pulse of the story is the continuance of this undefinable attraction between Special Agent Gillian Hamilton and Gunner the Deadly. After their adventures in Shallow Grave, Arizona, Gunner has promised to ring in the New Year of 1882 with Gillian in New York. And despite everything going on around them, Gillian and Gunner connect on a deeper level:"I enjoying making eye contact with a man across a tavern. Getting that swell in your gut, like the ground has fallen out from under you." I tried to swallow, but my throat was parched - dry like animal bones bleaching in the desert sun. "Like you've been pinned to the wall." Gunner took one step closer to me. "And you realize you share a tendency." "Now you've got to put it into words." Another step. "When it's right, you don't need words."Gunner sees something in Gillian no one else has - that his power is much greater than he lets on, and that his past is more painful and devastating. Whatever you've lived through - survived - Gillian Hamilton, I am sorry. [...] But you said you remembered everything I told you in Arizona? Remember this : we aren't so different. Gillian struggles to accept Gunner's love and acceptance while battling shadows of horrific memories and the ending of the book is definitely a "Wait. What???" cliffhanger that will make you count the days until the next book in the Magic & Steam series is available. 5 stars! I received an ARC from the author, in exchange for an honest review. Visit my blog, Sinfully Good Gay Book Reviews

  9. 5 out of 5

    Jess

    If you love the first book in the series then you will definitely devour this! This is the second book in the series and it has so much more action, romance and suspense. I really love how Gunner and Gilliam worked together to solve crimes as a team. I cant wait for the third book to be out!

  10. 5 out of 5

    Eugenia

    WOW!!! What a narration!!!! Nonstop action! Gangsters Illegal magiks Murders Love Franken-folk I figured out who the baddie was here, but I still loved getting to the end! You should read the prequel to get a good idea of this steampunk world Poe created. Gunner the deadly=heartthrob Gillian=talk about a wonderfully flawed man My rec? Yesss!

  11. 4 out of 5

    Lisa

    Due to this series, I am beginning to like the Steampunk genre whereas before I used to avoid it and only read it for a challenge. I love Gillian and Gunnar together. A bit of a cliffy setting up the story for book 3. Hope its not long coming out.

  12. 5 out of 5

    Skirmish

    Book Reaction: https://neverhollowed.com/2021/05/14/... Rating: 5 Stars – absolutely perfect Book Reaction: https://neverhollowed.com/2021/05/14/... Rating: 5 Stars – absolutely perfect

  13. 4 out of 5

    PaperMoon

    This author produces exciting, action-packed books populated with complex MCs ... and this book stays true to her form; I can't believe how much drama can be packed into a two day time frame here. We have the reverse scenario from The Engineer whereby we find Gillian in his regular New York milieu (even if he feels like an odd duck in it), and hosting Gunner visiting from the wild west state of Arizona. The magic, steampunk late 19th century world is well detailed. Amidst a magic-endowed gangster This author produces exciting, action-packed books populated with complex MCs ... and this book stays true to her form; I can't believe how much drama can be packed into a two day time frame here. We have the reverse scenario from The Engineer whereby we find Gillian in his regular New York milieu (even if he feels like an odd duck in it), and hosting Gunner visiting from the wild west state of Arizona. The magic, steampunk late 19th century world is well detailed. Amidst a magic-endowed gangster-themed procedural, the author fleshes out a deeper relationship between Gillian and Gunner, and I relished their tentative steps toward intimacy and vulnerability (especially for the imminently more tormented Gillian as the hints of a darker and more awful past becomes increasingly obvious as the book progresses). Readers do discover a few more delightful aspects to gun-toting, killer-outlaw Gunner (view spoiler)[by adding a strong preference for licorice, ginger and sarsaparilla to an already known penchant for orderly neat-freak tidiness and a strong adherence to behaving with mannerly decorum from the first book (hide spoiler)] despite him having the more steadfast/forthcoming role of the two. I'm a little bemused by the introduction of a twentieth century concept/idea (i.e. six degrees of separation) into an earlier timeline (albeit an alt-historical steampunk one); this catapulted me out of my reading flow and made me get my head around it for a minute or so. The cliffhanger ending throws quite a few cards into the air and left me gasping with "tell me more, tell me more!" 4.5 stars.

  14. 5 out of 5

    Kristel (hungryandhappy)

    I HAVE QUESTIONS. THE FIRST IS HOW DARE YOU?

  15. 4 out of 5

    Ulysses Dietz

    REVIEWED BY ULYSSES DIETZ MEMBER OF THE PARANORMAL ROMANCE GUILD REVIEW TEAM “Magic pig in the alley!” Whew. C.S. Poe has picked us up where she left off at the end of The Engineer and let us loose at full steam. I don’t know whether or not the light overlay of Victorian melodrama throughout these books (with names like Shallow Grave, Gunner the Deadly) is ironic, or simply a reminder that the author has chosen an extant historical genre on which to impose her magic-infused steam punk universe. REVIEWED BY ULYSSES DIETZ MEMBER OF THE PARANORMAL ROMANCE GUILD REVIEW TEAM “Magic pig in the alley!” Whew. C.S. Poe has picked us up where she left off at the end of The Engineer and let us loose at full steam. I don’t know whether or not the light overlay of Victorian melodrama throughout these books (with names like Shallow Grave, Gunner the Deadly) is ironic, or simply a reminder that the author has chosen an extant historical genre on which to impose her magic-infused steam punk universe. Whatever, it works, both from the action/adventure/fantasy perspective, and from the melodrama romance perspective, twisted to involve two complicated men with dark secrets. Gillian Hamilton, special agent for the Federal Bureau of Steam and Magic, is back in New York, and on New Year’s Eve 1881, he’s hoping to rendezvous with Gunner the Deadly, notorious outlaw, known only to him as Constantine. Someone known only as Tick Tock is importing illegal magical weapons into New York City, and also seems to be behind the horrifying modification of human hoodlums into semi-mechanical men. What is intended to be a romantic reawakening turns into a helter-skelter search through the most dangerous parts of Manhattan for the gangster behind the mayhem. We are in New York during the high Gilded Age (my professional specialty during my career as a curator, as it happens); but things are different. It was not the transcontinental railroads that ultimately made Commodore Vanderbilt (d. 1877) vastly rich; but aether/magic-powered airships—the quintessential steampunk vessel. It was aether-powered magic that came to light (so to speak) during the Great Rebellion—clearly this world’s version of the Civil War. It was the realization that magic was useful, and thus could make lots of people lots of money, that became the defining moment in this world’s history—just as the discovery of oil transformed antebellum America. General and former president Ulysses S. Grant is in town, I noted, and attending social events. (As he was in fact.) This kind of little detail settles the fantasy into an historical reality that grounds the entire narrative—sort of the way the 1960s television series Wild Wild West did, with its sexy secret agent riding on private railroad cars with “modern” technology under orders from President Grant. Both Hamilton and Gunner are fascinating characters, each harboring secrets, but for different reasons. Gunner needs to hide his humanity behind the mask of a Bad Guy, while Hamilton seems to be desperately acting out his role as Good Guy in order to keep the truth about him buried deep. Part of the appeal of these two as a couple is Gunner’s sensitivity and intelligence; he sees Gillian, but bides his time, knowing that the truth will out when it must. Having brought the breathless plot to a satisfying semi-conclusion, and having advanced Gunner and Hamilton’s relationship to a new level of intimacy, Poe ends the book on a shattering cliffhanger, all but guaranteeing her readers will buy the third book in the series, The Doctor.

  16. 4 out of 5

    Claudia

    this was what I hoped for after reading "The engineer" ... but the cliffhanger ending was brutal. really hope the next book comes out soon this was what I hoped for after reading "The engineer" ... but the cliffhanger ending was brutal. really hope the next book comes out soon

  17. 4 out of 5

    Lily

    I have enjoyed this fast paced story with intriguing characters. The relationship development is a bit rushed, but the universe drew me in and I am looking forward to the next book.

  18. 4 out of 5

    Ann

    The Gangster is an awesome addition to the Magic & Steam series. The author gave us so much information on each character organically, it made me incredibly invested for the next book. Also just reread the first book and bought the audible version of this one. I'm not ready to let this go yet, obviously :). The Gangster is an awesome addition to the Magic & Steam series. The author gave us so much information on each character organically, it made me incredibly invested for the next book. Also just reread the first book and bought the audible version of this one. I'm not ready to let this go yet, obviously :).

  19. 5 out of 5

    Carrie

    4.5 A-/B+ 4/10/22- rereading in prep for The Doctor ,book 3, to be released in May. The Gangster starts off just a couple of months after the end of the series opening novella The Engineer. I highly recommend you read that book first. It sets up the world, and alternate-history-steampunk -Victorianesque time period, and it lays the foundation for the relationship between Gunner and Gillian. The character insights in the novella are important to the ongoing story, plus some story elements tie into 4.5 A-/B+ 4/10/22- rereading in prep for The Doctor ,book 3, to be released in May. The Gangster starts off just a couple of months after the end of the series opening novella The Engineer. I highly recommend you read that book first. It sets up the world, and alternate-history-steampunk -Victorianesque time period, and it lays the foundation for the relationship between Gunner and Gillian. The character insights in the novella are important to the ongoing story, plus some story elements tie into this book. It's also a lot of fun! Within hours of Gillian picking up Gunner for his New Year's Eve visit to New York, the action picks up and rarely slows down. A new gangster is taking over the Bowery and illegal magic is involved. Instead of a quiet celebration, Gillian is attacked and then must deal with the threat. Gunner follows along, helping and protecting at the same time. Fighting both time and internal bureau politics, Gillian tries to find the source of the illegal magic before more harm can be done to people, and the world itself. Plus he needs to make sure Gunner the Deadly, one of the Bureau of Magic and Steam's most wanted men, isn't arrested. The story is complex and fast-paced, and kept me reading into the night. There is development of the relationship between the two men, which is surprisingly sweet. We also know Gillian is hiding something that eats at him, and Gunner is willing to wait him out. I loved the action and the romance. I didn't love that, while the main story arc wrapped up, Gillian makes a revelation at the end of the book that is not. So, darn it! I'm now waiting for the third installment which at this time has no publication date announced. I am not a patient person.

  20. 5 out of 5

    Iz

    Every re-read is a joy ♥️ __________________________________ I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. I absolutely adored this novel. "The Gangster" is wonderful, compelling, heartstopping and soul-wrenching. It's the perfect kind of sequel and I already know it will be one of my favourite reads of the year. I loved "The Engineer", even with its short length, and I couldn't wait to read about Gunner and Gillian again. "The Gangster" does not disappoint. The stakes are up Every re-read is a joy ♥️ __________________________________ I received an ARC from the author in exchange for an honest review. I absolutely adored this novel. "The Gangster" is wonderful, compelling, heartstopping and soul-wrenching. It's the perfect kind of sequel and I already know it will be one of my favourite reads of the year. I loved "The Engineer", even with its short length, and I couldn't wait to read about Gunner and Gillian again. "The Gangster" does not disappoint. The stakes are up for our favourite lawman-vigilante duo and in a book packed with action and adventure, magic and danger, romance and heartbreak, everything is on the line. Both of the main characters really outshone themselves here. Gunner with his sweeter and more protective side, his peculiar kindness and steadfastness and Gillian... well, he surprised me so much. I loved him in "The Engineer" but I hadn't grasped just how damaged and powerful he actually was. In "The Gangster" he's explosive and ruthless and a bit volatile; he's funny and charming and shy; he's broken and insecure and scared. My heart just kept breaking and repairing itself page after page. I cannot stress how much of a powder keg this book is: it's literally explosive, full of tension and emotions and power. It left me with a racing (and slightly destroyed) heart and I'm really not sure how I'll be able to wait for the third book. I absolutely recommed starting this series if you're looking for well-rounded and flawed characters, a magical steampunk setting and action that will leave you reeling for days.

  21. 5 out of 5

    Jenn (not Lily)

    Gunner is so damn good for our sweet Gillian Hamilton. And he is sweet, despite how he sees his own past of lying to save himself. Those two -- mmmm!

  22. 4 out of 5

    Dianne Hartsock

    Let me start by saying I utterly adore Gillian, his depth of emotion and vulnerability and bravery, yet powerful and unstoppable. And Gunner the Deadly is his perfect match, dangerous and brutally honest and has Gillian's back one-hundred percent. The story starts in a burst of magic and machinery, action and tension mounting inside absolutely believable world-building. The magic used in The Gangster is like nothing I've ever seen before. My heart pounded as I read, me breathless as the story ra Let me start by saying I utterly adore Gillian, his depth of emotion and vulnerability and bravery, yet powerful and unstoppable. And Gunner the Deadly is his perfect match, dangerous and brutally honest and has Gillian's back one-hundred percent. The story starts in a burst of magic and machinery, action and tension mounting inside absolutely believable world-building. The magic used in The Gangster is like nothing I've ever seen before. My heart pounded as I read, me breathless as the story races to a dramatic climax and revelation that leave me desperate for book three. Definitely a Must Read.

  23. 4 out of 5

    Claudia the Night Owl

    I don’t usually read steampunk so this was an entirely different kind of book for me and I completely loved it! This one follows after book one with Gunner rolling into town with his big gun and smoky voice just in time to help out Gillian as a new gangster rises in the underbelly of New York. I’m really enjoying this series the love between these unlikely guys is beautiful, there’s action and adventure and creepy awesome metal monstrosities threatening the peace. I can not wait for the next boo I don’t usually read steampunk so this was an entirely different kind of book for me and I completely loved it! This one follows after book one with Gunner rolling into town with his big gun and smoky voice just in time to help out Gillian as a new gangster rises in the underbelly of New York. I’m really enjoying this series the love between these unlikely guys is beautiful, there’s action and adventure and creepy awesome metal monstrosities threatening the peace. I can not wait for the next book ‘cause let me tell ya Poe loves being evil and ending things on a wild note.

  24. 4 out of 5

    Lola

    I really enjoyed the first book and when I was looking for a book I knew I would enjoy I picked up this one. Which is why it hit me even harder that i just couldn't get into this book at ll. I struggled through this one, but was determined to finish it, even going as far as switching between this one and another book in my effort to finish this one. And at the end I can't say I am happy I did, I wish I had DNF'd it as this book obviously wasn't working for me or my current mood. It just left me I really enjoyed the first book and when I was looking for a book I knew I would enjoy I picked up this one. Which is why it hit me even harder that i just couldn't get into this book at ll. I struggled through this one, but was determined to finish it, even going as far as switching between this one and another book in my effort to finish this one. And at the end I can't say I am happy I did, I wish I had DNF'd it as this book obviously wasn't working for me or my current mood. It just left me feeling frustrated and annoyed and sad that I didn't enjoy this one as the first book. My main issue with this book is that to me the vibe and feel of the book felt completely different. This happens on multiple aspects. The first book is set in the wild west, this one in new York city. The first book has the two characters who should be enemies working together to catch a bad guy, this one has the love interest helping along the main character with his case. The first book is set far away from the actual headquarters and has Gillian working alone, this one is set on and around the steam bureau headquarters with Gillian checking in with them. The first book has a somewhat interesting bad guy, this book has creepy mechanical men. The first book is short and to the point with plenty of action, this book is longer and felt dragged out and less action packed in comparison. So yeah I struggled with this one. I liked the start, but the further I got the less I enjoyed it and by the end I was just done with this book. The plot has a sort of mystery plot line set up with magical bullets and a new gangster whose behind it all, but no one knows who is. Sadly I felt the plot progressed slowly. I also didn't find it as interesting. The mechanical men were creepy and I just couldn't wrap my head around how they found people who wanted to get turned into mechanical men. That made the action scenes a lot less interesting with creepy mechanical men as enemies. I did like seeing more of Gillian's magic. I the romance dynamic felt so different in this book. I kinda felt like Gunner didn't have as much stake or goal in this book. He's just there to catch up with Gillian, but this is Gillian mission and Gunner goes along because of Gillian, not because he has a stake in the mystery. And I felt like that made him a lot less interesting in this book. He's no longer as mysterious with that dangerous outlaw vibe as in book one. I usually enjoy seeing couples besides the start of their romance, but here I just lost interest in their romance. I also felt like Gillian was a different character than in book 1. There's lots of hints about a dark secret in his past and troubles he has at work and such. It's a lot more about him and his personal struggles, which is fine, but I felt like none of this was part of the first book. I also just didn't care as much about him as in book 1. Probably because of the different tone and vibe. There are some interesting developments and I liked seeing Gillian and Gunner grow closer. To summarize: Unfortunately this book didn't work for me. After really enjoying book one this one felt so different in vibe, style and feel that I couldn't enjoy it as much. The first book's short and action packed vibe with the wild west setting and dangerous mysterious outlaw is gone. Instead we have a sort of mystery about a new gangster set in new York, less action and slower plot and the outlaw love interest is less mysterious and dangerous as he simply follows Gillian along and helps him. There also is a lot more focus on Gillian and his past here and less on the romance dynamic and the differences and similarities of the couple. And the book is filled with these creepy mechanical men. It just didn't work for me, I kept hoping to recapture my enjoyment of book one, but ended up disliking the book the further I got. Maybe I just read it in the wrong mood or went in with the wrong expectations, but sadly this book wasn't for me.

  25. 5 out of 5

    Benjamin Wong

    Oh wow. This sure was a ride and a half. Right out of the gate, I was dragged in to the action within an inch of my life, and not even given the proper chance or the time to kick and scream. This glorious full length follow up to the first book The Engineer managed to add and build up even more to the steampunk-alt-history of the US and this time we were plonked right into the heart of New York in the 1880s, where steam has taken over the lives of the common people. The world building was expansi Oh wow. This sure was a ride and a half. Right out of the gate, I was dragged in to the action within an inch of my life, and not even given the proper chance or the time to kick and scream. This glorious full length follow up to the first book The Engineer managed to add and build up even more to the steampunk-alt-history of the US and this time we were plonked right into the heart of New York in the 1880s, where steam has taken over the lives of the common people. The world building was expansive in details, and exquisite in that every single detail was definitely pored over before being placed into the book. It was so detailed, vibrant and wonderful that I can actually feel myself walkng the streets of that world. As for the romance aspect, the mechanics of weaving their burgeoning romance into the thrilling action and mystery was definitely a choice that I had to slowly get on board with, because at times it just seemed a tad silly how Gillian can be anguishing about the state of his romantic affairs whilst considering a piece of evidence or clue, but I have since allowed myself to just roll with it. And I have to agree that somehow or rather, it does kinda work. Overall the progress of their romance was well paced with all the action, and leaves room for more in future. As for the MCs, we are given several glimpses into Gillian's traumatic past, and what made him who he was. And thought the glimpses were minute and leaves one with more questions than answers, it worked well to give him a certain depth of character that has the ability to burrow into one's conciousness and stay there, with the certainty that you will definitely want to empathise with, and check back on him. And given the stunning revelation at the close of the book, you definitely will want to. As for Gunner, though he isn't given a perspective, his voice still manages to come through quite loud and clear, and aligned on equal footing with Gillian, whose perspective this series is from. The writing was once again amazing, from the prose, the diction and right down to historical speech patterns all lends itself into embellishing the universe of this series. The action was non-stop and tightly paced, but adequate breathing room was given here and there that did help balance the entire book. As for the mystery aspect, it was quite cleverly woven. And though by the middle of it, I was able to pinpoint who Tick Tock is, it was still a thrill and a surprise when we do finally come to that revelation, and it's all thanks to the author's wonderful writing. This was definitely a great read, and given that I had not delved into Steampunk before book one, I am very, very glad I picked the first book up, and grateful that there was this second book in the series.

  26. 5 out of 5

    Lori¸¸¸.•*❀Ɍɛɑɗs̱LɪƙɛIʈs̱H̱ɛɍJɔɓ 유❤유

    I quite liked this one except for when Gunnar called Gillian "Dear" since I was listening to the audiobook. It was awkward. Otherwise, I enjoyed the storyline and the twists & turns were good even if I knew who the baddie was rather early on. I do hope we get a lot more backstory in the next book because there's a lot to unpack. I was saying that I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to get used to steampunk on audio but I really enjoyed it this time so I must have gotten used to it or maybe be I quite liked this one except for when Gunnar called Gillian "Dear" since I was listening to the audiobook. It was awkward. Otherwise, I enjoyed the storyline and the twists & turns were good even if I knew who the baddie was rather early on. I do hope we get a lot more backstory in the next book because there's a lot to unpack. I was saying that I wasn't sure if I was going to be able to get used to steampunk on audio but I really enjoyed it this time so I must have gotten used to it or maybe because that it was longer & there was more world building. Either way, I was impressed. The last fight scene was pretty gruesome though & I am a visual person, so eww! I would really like to feel a little more chemistry between the two characters BUT that's a little unfair because this part was literally about how hard it was for Gillian to be ok with being gay & having revulsion for himself for being that way, so it's a little hard to get past that quickly. It will obviously take time. He's also very insecure about his looks & that doesn't help when he feels Gunnar is so out of his league. Gunnar is not the most articulate man, but he tries to let Gillian know how he feels. It's just bad timing and a bad time historically for these things anyway. So, I am excited for the next book & hope it doesn't take too long for the audio to come out.

  27. 4 out of 5

    Katherine

    Building trouble A great second book in this series! Bringing back together Gillian and Constantine, their hopeful tryst is ruined by a direct attempt on Gillian's life. It drags both men into an active case, one that seems determined to ruin Gillian and the job he loves. But as the question of the job versus a man who truly shows him love and hope come up Gillian finds himself making many decisions. Even more unexpected is that Constantine isn't the one with secrets in the relationship and Gilli Building trouble A great second book in this series! Bringing back together Gillian and Constantine, their hopeful tryst is ruined by a direct attempt on Gillian's life. It drags both men into an active case, one that seems determined to ruin Gillian and the job he loves. But as the question of the job versus a man who truly shows him love and hope come up Gillian finds himself making many decisions. Even more unexpected is that Constantine isn't the one with secrets in the relationship and Gillian's could ruin everything yet. The case was fast paced and fascinating, showing how both men work together well as well as the individual skills they have. The reveals of their emotions, slow to come out as Gillian fears showing them in such a restrictive society, are touching. But the past coming back to haunt them both in different ways shows that there is much more to come for these two men and the society that still doesn't accept them. Ending on a major reveal and a hint of much bigger story it promises an excellent continuing series!

  28. 5 out of 5

    Dana

    2.5-3 out of 5 My lack of enthusiasm for the 2nd book (first full-length book) in the Magic & Steam series is due to the genre (Steampunk) and not C.S. Poe's prose. The book is well written with some great dialog and a distinct lack of typos (something I rarely encounter these days) - I've included some of my favorite passages in my highlights from the book. While the plot of is resolved by the end of the book, "The Gangster" ends on a definite cliff-hanger. Despite only feeling "meh" towards this 2.5-3 out of 5 My lack of enthusiasm for the 2nd book (first full-length book) in the Magic & Steam series is due to the genre (Steampunk) and not C.S. Poe's prose. The book is well written with some great dialog and a distinct lack of typos (something I rarely encounter these days) - I've included some of my favorite passages in my highlights from the book. While the plot of is resolved by the end of the book, "The Gangster" ends on a definite cliff-hanger. Despite only feeling "meh" towards this, I will read the third when it comes out next week because I am quite curious about how this all resolves. (If the third book is also a cliff-hanger, then I will be done with the series regardless of whether the series is actually complete.)

  29. 5 out of 5

    Alakazam

    Magical lawman Hamilton is once again teamed with outlaw Gunner, on temporary reprieve, as he aids The Federal Bureau of Magic and Steam to catch the Gangster, who is smuggling illegal aether infused weapons. They are faced with an increasingly complex level of criminal as hybrids of man and machine are created to deal havoc on the Gangster's enemies. The love triangle of Hamilton, Gunner and The Bureau chief Moore is a ticking aether bomb, with an explosive reveal at the end of the story. Looki Magical lawman Hamilton is once again teamed with outlaw Gunner, on temporary reprieve, as he aids The Federal Bureau of Magic and Steam to catch the Gangster, who is smuggling illegal aether infused weapons. They are faced with an increasingly complex level of criminal as hybrids of man and machine are created to deal havoc on the Gangster's enemies. The love triangle of Hamilton, Gunner and The Bureau chief Moore is a ticking aether bomb, with an explosive reveal at the end of the story. Looking forward to The Doctor, next in line in the world of Magic&Steam.

  30. 4 out of 5

    K.C. Riley-Gyer

    What a read And I want book 3 now! *sigh* I know I have to wait. What a fantastic read and a hook to ensure the wait for the next book. Despite that hook, this book is a complete story. Oh, how I love the story and the main characters. I was sucked in and didn’t want to leave or the story to end.

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