Written in the style of a Victorian lady adventurer and naturalist, this might appeal to fans of both steampunk and dragons.
It bogged down a bit in t...moreWritten in the style of a Victorian lady adventurer and naturalist, this might appeal to fans of both steampunk and dragons.
It bogged down a bit in the middle for me, but picked up again towards the end. I'm not sure if this was a fault in the book or just my timing in reading it, so I'm giving 4 stars. It was well-written, with great characters, a touch of romance (refreshingly based on camaraderie rather than sparring), VERY strong world-building, and dragons. Lots and lots of dragons. (less)
Wildly inventive, this Edgar Rice Burroughs-style adventure with hints of Jekyl and Hyde should appeal to fans of John Carter, steampunk, and classic...moreWildly inventive, this Edgar Rice Burroughs-style adventure with hints of Jekyl and Hyde should appeal to fans of John Carter, steampunk, and classic sci-fi of the weird-alien-world variety.
When two Victorian missionaries are mysteriously transported to (you guessed it) a weird alien world, they discover a race of telepathic mimics - who uproariously attempt to recreate on their own planet a Victorian London they don't understand (complete with bally amusing attempts at the English language).
But are the mimics the only sentient race on the planet? Plots are afoot and mysteries unfold as a red sun rises, transforming the landscape from Dr. Seuss to Hieronymous Bosch, and the mysterious "blood gods" spring to life... must be read to be believed.
I may have read stranger things... but not lately. Altogether cricket. What! what!(less)
It's difficult to describe this series by Felix Palma, but if you can imagine a literary romp, part action adventure, part timeless love story that pa...moreIt's difficult to describe this series by Felix Palma, but if you can imagine a literary romp, part action adventure, part timeless love story that pays homage to H.G. Wells, Edgar Allan Poe, Jules Verne, H.P. Lovecraft, and John W. Campbell (author of the original story that spawned three remakes of The Thing), you might come close to glimpsing the convolutions of this wildly inventive nod to Wells' original tale of alien invasion. Then again, in spite of lovingly coaxing forth every familiar trope of his beloved sources, Palma diverges so arcanely, I find myself wondering what drugs Palma is taking and where I can get some. (Or more wisely, how I can avoid such drugs at all costs.) Even the narrative refuses to walk the common path of narrative and boldly strikes off on its own as if to say, "I'm the writer, and I'll do as I fucking choose. Deal with it, or read something else." It helps to have read Palma's literary inspirations, because truly his knowledge of these works and deft manipulations of them are fascinating... but I would probably enjoy this book even if I hadn't, just for the sheer weird imaginative convoluted time-traveling plot shenanigans. I tip my hat to you, Palma, even if you are a wordy bastard who takes over 500 pages to get to the punchline. (less)
Adventure! Romance! Mad Science! Add one smart-aleck talking cat, a circus traveling through a wasteland with an aura of mystery, a dash of humor, and...moreAdventure! Romance! Mad Science! Add one smart-aleck talking cat, a circus traveling through a wasteland with an aura of mystery, a dash of humor, and of course a smart, sassy, relatable heroine--and how could you go wrong? There is also the usual spectacular steampunk artwork, a nail-biting cliffhanger or two, and just enough advancement of the Heterodyne mystery so expertly set up in the first three volumes to keep you turning the pages and longing for more Girl Genius. (less)
I have several issues with this book that prevent me from giving it a higher rating. One, the numerous “erotic” scenes are not so much erotic as cloyi...moreI have several issues with this book that prevent me from giving it a higher rating. One, the numerous “erotic” scenes are not so much erotic as cloyingly cute. Sex, in my view, should not require a lot of coy and flirtatious banter, most especially if I am to believe it's sex (or canoodling, as this book would have it) with a primal werewolf type. Two, I’m just not a fan of the romance-novel trope wherein the basis of sexual attraction and ultimately love arises out of endless schoolyard bickering. I know it’s kept writers from Shakespeare to Dorothy Sayers in new shoes, but when I think of the ways I’d like to end or start my day, I don’t think of cuddling up to my husband for a good round of petty verbal sparring.
Finally, for my tastes, it just seemed like this book tried too darn hard. In fact, in its effort to “have it all,” no vampire, werewolf, steampunk, or gothic romance convention goes untapped. The heroine is pert and feisty in exactly the way that romance heroines tend to be pert and feisty, and naturally she’s not conventionally pretty in exactly the way that romance heroines tend to be not conventionally pretty but turn out to be exotically beautiful instead. The characters and dialog, from brusque Scottish love interest to flamingly gay bff, are predictably clichéd. Even the sentences in this book try too hard, and most are burdened with far too many “clever” adjectives. Still, if you like the comforting familiarity of genre standards, it’s an entertaining little read with steampunk bits that were actually kind of fun and a plot that, while predictable, works well enough. (less)