Luminous Chaos (The Mysteries of New Venice, #2)
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Luminous Chaos (The Mysteries of New Venice #2)

3.86 of 5 stars 3.86  ·  rating details  ·  43 ratings  ·  16 reviews
Book two in The Mysteries of New Venice, the steampunk adventure series The Guardian called a "magnificent achievement"

It's 1907 in the icily beautiful New Venice, and the hero of the city's liberation, Brentford Orsini, has been deposed by his arch-rival -- who immediately assigns Brentford and his friends on a dangerous diplomatic mission to Paris.

So, Brentford recruits...more
Hardcover, 528 pages
Published October 15th 2013 by Melville House (first published January 1st 2013)
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(showing 1-30 of 581)
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LeeAnn Heringer
I am just a sucker for this series of book -- in fact, I pre-ordered this one last year. They are beautiful, well-thought out stories. They're true to their own sense of internal history and rules. And the characters within this sphere of a magical city built in the Arctic are so believable. They are so delicately steampunk. I could gush all day.

Can I order the 3rd one in series yet?
Started Luminous Chaos, Jean-Christophe Valtat's sequel to the awesome Aurorarama. Picking up a year after the end of the earlier book, this one lacks a little the freshness and originality of that one but so far had enough goodies to keep me entertained and the style is the same irreverent one of the first volume. Of course as per blurb, the action soon will move from the Polar regions to Paris where the heroes will travel by "Psychomotives":

"Once the pilot is charged with Od, it is but a matte...more
Jake Owens
Is there a more frustrating/disappointing series out there than New Venice? After the increasingly convoluted mess that was Aurorarama, I got Luminous Chaos hoping that it would better fulfill the series' unique promise. I was initially thrilled at the more interesting premise (Time travel!) and historical fiction setting (Paris!) and some new characters and dared to hope.

Unfortunately, the more interesting characters get almost no spotlight, and we're left to again watch Brentford and Gabriel w...more
Angelya (Tea in the Treetops)
A year has passed in the polar city of New Venice, and recent elections mean that Brentford Orsini is no longer the Regent Doge. His successor decides to remove him and several of his supporters from the picture by sending him to set up a diplomatic mission in Paris. Psychomotive travel is dangerous, though, and the group find themselves thrown back in time to 1895 – some years before the construction of New Venice. Eventually arriving in a unusually snowy Paris, the travellers find themselves n...more
I thought this book was okay, but very, very strange and sometimes just confusing and boring. Like some others who have posted reviews, I haven't read the first book in the series. I probably missed a lot. But I liked the writing style, and some of the sentences were just beautiful.


1. Not okay with Gabriel's thing with the twins. Maybe that's explained/justified more in the first book, but I don't see how it could be. Ew.
2. How did Lilian and Thomas fall in love enough in ~10...more
Mahendra Singh
Valtat's latest installment in his New Venice trilogy … very trippy, very psychedelic. Beautifully designed book … and hey, kids, can you spot the semiotic lingoids in the illustrations? And the giant eyeball in the snow? And the tapeworm in the ice-wracked ship? If you can, HAPPY TRAILS!
Oh, my God. This book. The next book in the series after Aurororama, it is a little bit less bewildering than the first, but maybe only because now it starts to feel familiar?

Basically, Brentford & Gabriel have been out-maneuvered in their attempt to reform New Venice. They, and a team of "supporting experts" have been sent on a diplomatic mission to Paris in an extremely disreputable transport known as a psychomotive that seems likely to have been intended to kill them. But instead sends th...more
World Literature Today
"Luminous Chaos is an enchanting twist on the steampunk novel and serves as a powerful sequel (and, in many ways, prequel) to Jean-Christophe Valtat’s earlier success, Aurorama.... It is over five hundred pages long, but it is a rapid-paced page-turner that ends far too soon." - Haley Mowdy, University of Oklahoma

This book was reviewed in the March 2014 issue of World Literature Today. Read the full review by visiting our website:
A fun historical SF/fantasy novel set in a richly-imagined "Belle Epoque-punk" Paris. A little disorienting if you haven't read the first book in the series (as I haven't) due to the frequent references back to characters, places, events, and concepts therein. But a very imaginative historical SF take on an era that blends scientific discovery with political intrigue, spiritualism, and adventure.
Imagine a city at the far north of the world, close to the Arctic Circle. This city was built with magic and money and industry and strange science. The city is peopled with Inuit and adventurers and wizards. The city is frozen in time, adrift from the rest of the world. Jean-Christophe Valtat introduced readers to New Venice in Aurororama and continues the unlikely adventures of its inhabitants in Luminous Chaos.

Read the rest of my review on Summer Reading Project.
Feb 26, 2014 Chris added it
I can't really give this a rating because this is the second book of the series and I haven't read the first.

That being said, some things were just... what? Okay.
Edward Hoover
Excellent book - engrossing story, engaging and multi-genre (mystery, adventure, some romance and intrigue, a dash of steampunk thrown in). Valtat has some great turns of phrase and a nice way of making you infer things by context. He also weaves in a few historical incidents (e.g., the Gare de Montparnasse train derailment of 1895) seamlessly - he doesn't beat you over the head with them, instead leading you to an "ahhhhhh, that's it" kind of moment. I liked and was more engaged in this one tha...more
Helena R-D
It was cute and a good steampunk read, but didn't blow my mind. It's a great concept and I enjoyed reading about winter and the possibility of a city in the far Canadian north. But it wasn't a book that grabbed me and wouldn't let me go.
This was a book was an eagerly anticipated release which did not disappoint. A fun and simple time travel premise with entertaining characters. While it didn't quite fully match the enjoyment of the first book and maybe got a little too silly towards the end for my liking, it left me excited to see what comes next.
Loved , better than 1st book, Arorarama !!!!!!!
Aug 12, 2013 oriana marked it as to-read
Shelves: to-read-soon
My proof luck has been pretty bad lately. Hey book gods, don't you want to rectify things by giving me this one somehow??
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JEAN CHRISTOPHE VALTAT was born in 1968. Educated in the Ecole Normale Superieure and the Sorbonne, he lives in Paris and teaches Comparative Literature. He has written a book of short stories, Album, and two novels, Exes, and 03 (published in English by FSG), as well as award-winning radio-plays and a movie "Augustine" (2003), which he also co-directed.
More about Jean-Christophe Valtat...
Aurorarama  (The Mysteries of New Venice, #1) 03 Cultures et Figures de la Relativite ; le Temps Retrouve, Finnegans Wake Album Exes

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