Westside by W.M. Akers


A young detective who specializes in “tiny mysteries” finds herself at the center of a massive conspiracy in this beguiling historical fantasy set on Manhattan’s Westside—a peculiar and dangerous neighborhood home to strange magic and stranger residents—that blends the vivid atmosphere of Caleb Carr with the imaginative power of Neil Gaiman.New York is dying, and the one woman who can save it has smaller things on her mind.It’s 1921, ...

Details Westside

Release DateMay 7th, 2019
PublisherHarper Voyager
GenreFantasy, Mystery, Historical, Historical Fiction, Fiction, Urban Fantasy

Reviews Westside

  • Will Byrnes
    Only in the Westside could a woman with blood in her hair stroll down the sidewalk on a weekday afternoon, wearing nothing but a slip and hearing only the chattering of a few far-off birds. Gilda Carr is a young woman who looks into what she calls “tiny mysteries.” Leave those murders for someone else. Big mysteries mean big problems and Gilda has had enough of those. Her mom died when she was a kid, and her father, one Virgil Carr, aka “C...
  • Hannah Greendale
    I hurled my filthy slip down the hallway, to enjoy the cavelike air in stark naked splendor. A flimsy mystery with all the pittfalls of a male author crafting an inauthentic female protagonist. Akers rarely provides a firm sense of place or atmosphere. Some interesting ideas simmering below the surface that never fully materialize. Westside is imaginative at its best; half-baked and hollow at its worst.
  • Linda
    Westside has more thick, juicy layers than a weighty feast at a New York deli.Let's lift the crusty bread on this one.....Gilda Carr dabbles in tiny mysteries and likes it that way. The smaller, the quicker, the better. It's September of 1921 in Washington Square and she's headed to Manhattan. Edith Copeland, wife of Galen Copeland who owns a shipping firm along the river, has hired her to find a missing ladies leather glove. The gloves were an u...
  • Lisa Wolf
    After an initially interesting premise, the story bogs down in the middle. I ended up skimming through the last third or so of the book -- it just did not hold my attention.
  • Lauren Stoolfire
    I received an ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.Even though the Westside of Manhattan is a dangerous wasteland that is inhospitable to modern (1920s) technology, home to strange magic and many disreputable residents, Gilda is proud to call it her home. Gilda is in a way a detective who specializes in "tiny mysteries" - those impossible puzzles and that keep you awake at night and chip away at you; questions that can ruin marriag...
  • Megan Lyons
    I've been done this for about a week, but I've been struggling with writing a review. I know this was a fairly strong book. The writing was good. There were some fabulous, smart lines, both in dialogue and in the general text. The world building was interesting and consistent. The main character was odd; to me she read a bit like an anti hero with some of her actions, but she was quirky and still sympathetic. There were also some larger than life...
  • Valentina
    A lot certainly happens in this novel. Lots of people fight, die, disappear, reappear, argue; there are lots of locations, with clever worldbuilding that is, I think, the strongest part of the novel. The problem is that the plot is not particularly engrossing. I found myself bored, my mind wandering off even while my eyes continued to read. That is never a good sign for me. Neither the protagonist nor her conflicts were very interesting, unfortun...
  • Tammy
    I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The nitty-gritty: A weird and wonderful, multi-layered story with a tough-as-nails heroine, this delightful fantasy offers up plenty of mysteries, both big and small. "I answer little questions. Those impossible puzzles that burrow into our brains like splinters and keep us awake at night. I so...
  • ❆Francesca (Mother of Cats) Selina❆
    *I received an ARC from he publisher through Edelweiss in exchange for a review.*“I answer little questions. Those impossible puzzles that burrow into our brains like splinters and keep us awake at night. I solve the mysteries that spoil marriages, ruin friendships, and curdle joy. A murder is a dull thing. It simply ends a life. Tiny mysteries destroy us."A quirky mystery set in a grim Manhattan full of colorful and intriguing characters.CHARA...
  • Faith
    I didn’t like the book, but I absolutely hated the narration of the audio book.
  • Halley Sutton
    A rich, complex, terrifying and beautiful world, a fantastic, smart, capable, vulnerable heroine, and all the mysteries—tiny and enormous—a reader could want. Would love to revisit this world in future series offerings!
  • Lynn Williams
    4.5 of 5 starshttps://lynns-books.com/2019/05/23/we...As soon as I saw Westside I had to have it – put simply, it called out to me – mystery, history, fantasy, all rolled into one. Hell yes. And, within the first few pages it had captured my imagination. I was hooked, and in a nutshell I just adored it. The writing was superb and I fell in love with the main character. A debut, a standalone novel and an author that I will definitely keep an e...
  • Lashaan Balasingam (Bookidote)
    You can find my review on my blog by clicking here.Have you ever been drawn by a book by the marketing behind it that casually compares it to authors or books that you have loved in the past with all your heart? While I remain skeptical most of the time, I sometimes land upon some that make the most tantalizing comparisons that I would have never imagined possible. From W.M. Akers, readers get to enjoy an unimaginable concoction of historical fic...
  • Ryan Hixson
    Westside by W. M. Akers is one hell of a debut. I went into this book really loving the premise of a detective who solves small mysteries like a missing broach or jewelry is lead into this huge mystery involving murder and supernatural elements. The voice is similar to Neil Gaiman's and reminded me of Neverwhere meets Johnathan Strange & Mr. Norrell wih a little Blake Crouch's Dark Matter. It's a good Historical Fiction Mystery that adds a dash o...
  • unknown
    Wavering between three and four stars; the hardboiled prose is delightful, but the narrative often misses a step when transitioning between scenes. There are lots of moments where the plot will twist on coincidence or leaps of intuition that are a bit too tough to accept, even in a book in which evil shadows eat people.
  • La La
    The last 40% of this book was a disaster. I always give that a bit more hate because when the front half of a story is well written and it tanks in the second half, I feel robbed of my time. It felt like another writer took over after 60%. An inept writer. These sorts of situations always pique my curiosity about the reasons for it. Did they work on the first half of the book for years and then decide to finish it up quickly? Did they grow tired ...
  • Dollie
    I spent a lot of time reading this novel wondering what the hell was going on. Gilda Carr is a young woman who lives on the west side of NYC. She solves tiny mysteries so she didn’t hesitate to a job which involved finding a missing glove. Trying to locate the glove led to finding out secrets about many of the people that ran the Westside. It was a terrible place, but it was her home and she wanted to protect it. She was also determined to find...
  • peg
    I don’t usually read fantasy but this tongue-in-cheek detective story about a different New York City in the 1930’s was rather fun. It especially excelled in WORLD BUILDING which is my favorite ingredient of this genre.
  • Jamie
    WESTSIDE is a novel of alternate history and parallel lives, but it is actually more mystery than Sci-fi/Fantasy. The voice of Gilda, the protagonist is witty and irreverent. I loved her right away. She's a plucky problem solver and her "tiny mysteries" she sets to solving all lead her to discovering the truth about why the Westside of Manhattan turned dark and DIFFERENT than the Eastside in 1914. This is a top notch mystery that will appeal to h...
  • Annie
    Westside is a dark, and spunky new Fantasy novel set in an alternate reality of Prohibition-Era New York. This was the first novel I had the joy to read by W.M. Akers, and it will not be my last!Gilda Carr is a feisty new protagonist, born and raised on the mysterious and segregated westside of New York City, where gangs and bootleggers run free, the cops are crooked, and unexplained shadows will snatch your loved ones from existence without warn...
  • Pat Doucett
    I am sorry to say that I couldn't finish reading this book and consider a one star rating being generous on my part. This is one of the most bizarre books I have ever read. It takes place in the early 1900's during prohibition and apparently New York was divided into the West Side and the East Side but to have "shadows" devouring people and objects disappear into the shadows became a bit much after a while. I gave it a chance because I only threw...
  • Jordan
    *3.75 This had a lot of really neat aspects and I love the concept of the Westside/Eastside situation, but there was also almost too much crammed into a three-hundred page book. Definitely not a bad read, but also not quite as good as I'd hoped. Find this review at Forever Lost in Literature!Westside is a multi-layered historical fiction/fantasy that arrives on the scene with strength and the sign of clear talent as a debut from W.M. Akers. It's ...
  • Marlene
    Originally published at Reading RealityWestside is a fantasy that is so dark that it sidles up to the line between fantasy and horror, then powers straight across it just like the ships of the gunrunners and rumrunners navigating the murky straits between Westside and our historical New York City.Gilda Carr investigates what she calls “tiny mysteries” as the big mysteries in her life are too huge to even contemplate.Because wrapped inside the...
  • Katie/Doing Dewey
    Summary: The setting for this story was fun, but the plot was lacking and the main character felt cliched.Let's start with the best part of this book - the setting! Detective Gilda Carr lives in New York City. It's 1921 and to the West of Broadway, the city has been slowly succumbing to the shadows for years. A guarded border protects the Eastside from the mysterious rash of disappearances and supernatural happenings of the Westside. The Westside...
  • Mallory
    I loved the concept of Westside: Gilda Carr is a young woman living in an alternative universe of New York City. In her New York, a mysterious phenomenon has split the city in two halves: the Eastside and the Westside. The Eastside is more "normal" whereas in the Westside people and entire buildings vanish suddenly and there is unexplained decay everywhere. Yet Gilda calls it home and builds a business of solving small mysteries. The story begins...
  • Annie
    I propose a new addition to the list of narrative rules, à la Chekhov’s Gun. My suggestion is that, whenever a character vehemently states that they will not do something, the plot will revolve around the character doing that very thing. Part of my case will be evidence from W.M. Aker’s thrilling Westside, set in alternative 1920s New York that somehow makes the great city even more terrifying than it actually was. Gilda Carr declares that s...
  • Alix
    Fantasy books aren’t really my cup of tea, but this historical fantasy novel caught my eye! Westside is totally quirky, full of imagination and is mysterious. Think Star Wars meets The Great Gatsby for the settings and characters. It was, for lack of a better word, weird. I have read multiple reviews where people said that the story was too ‘out there’ for them and they couldn’t relate.Well I’m weird so I could relate! Well-not relate, ...
  • Jason
    Gilda Carr is a fantastic detective protagonist and the strange and terrifying world Akers builds is endlessly fascinating. His twisted version of 1921 New York feels natural and organic while simultaneously being precisely *correct*: nothing ever feels out of place, or makes you stop to question the internal logic. I might have done with approximately 1.75 fewer characters to keep track of, considering that "Westside" isn't a tome by any stretch...