Grant Gardiner's Reviews > The Last Adventure of Dr. Yngve Hogalum

The Last Adventure of Dr. Yngve Hogalum by D.L. Mackenzie
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's review
Dec 09, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: free, blogged

*E-pulp warning* All of my reading and reviewing is focused on e-pulp. So all reviews are skewed in that direction. Reader beware :) *E-pulp warning*

Overall: 4 stars (Recommended)

A fantastic start to what should be a great pulp series. The narrator's voice is brilliant and the steampunk sci-fi whacky and fun, making up for what may be (for some) a lack of action. But the short length of the story ends up being its undoing, suggesting that either this should have been grouped together with two other stories in the series or the reader should buy and read three of them at a time.

Pacing and Action: 3 stars.

This isn't the fastest or pulpiest story you will ever read. In fact, there's not a lot that happens. But the slow pace of the story actually reflects the more genteel nature of the main characters, helping to build the world from the perspective of the narrator. Written in the style of an H. Rider Haggard adventure story or a Sherlock Holmes mystery the plot is relatively slow in the face of other pulp offerings but like thriller or horror or hard-boiled suspense stories the slower pace is appropriate to what is happening with excellent use of cliffhangers to keep the reader turning the page at pace, even if the stakes are more social than physical.

If you've ever read a story written before World War 1 you will also marvel at how the author has been able to capture the cadence and pacing of those old stories. That, along with the sheer wackiness of all the steampunk sci-fi, more than make up for any perceived lack of fisticuffs or chase scenes. All activities such cerebrally-minded gentlemen such as those illustrated here would look down upon as unseemly, unnecessary and more than a little vulgar...

The real problem with the pacing is to do with the length of the story. It's only 15,000 words and before you can get your teeth into the story world it has come to an abrupt halt. At the end. That in itself would not be a problem if you could just go onto the next story but The Last Adventure is sold on its own as an individual book. This isn't just because it's the first free title in the series, either. I've checked and all ensuing titles are the same length. It makes me wonder why the author didn't package three stories together at a time as it would be a more fulfilling reading experience.

Pulp Concept: 5 stars.

Fantastic. The narrator's voice clearly captures not only the whacky steampunk happenings but also the class and characters of the era in a way that makes you want to know more and more about what is going on in this crazy new world. It's fun, it's quirky and all done with a charm that immediately lends the series its own character. Very memorable and great pulp.

Character development: 4 stars.

The narrator is clearly a man of his class and clearly unreliable in a way that illustrates who he is and what motivates him. It's very well done. All the other characters in the story are also well drawn with their own personality quirks and foibles and all fitting in magnificently with the world that has been created. Again, the only problem is that we haven't spent enough time with them to get beyond simple caricatures. They're unique but we will have to wait until later stories to see if they are well rounded.

Production: 4 stars.

Great cover and no editing problems of note. Very professional. And as the first story in the series it is also free which always helps you get good marks.

But you can't go past the fact that these stories could be packaged together in groups of three in order to have a more fulfilling reading experience. You can always buy them individually but it would be so much simpler if they were collected together.

Series Potential: 4 stars.

Strong. Very strong. In fact there's already four books in the series although each is 15,000 words each. The reader has been introduced to a world of vast, quirky potential in which anything could happen. And enough has been set up to suggest a strong series going forward. As a reader I definitely want to see what happens next.

Wrap Up.

A great start to what should be a fantastic pulp series, I highly enjoyed The Last Adventure but recommend that if you don't mind paying the extra $4 you should get the equivalent of a full novel's worth of story to experience the full potential.
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Comments (showing 1-2 of 2) (2 new)

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D.L. Mackenzie Thank you for your thoughtful (read: full of thought) review of "The Last Adventure of Dr. Yngve Hogalum." I'm glad you enjoyed it. You're not the first person to mention that these "novelettes" are a bit short, so I feel compelled to remark on that topic.

I have fifteen stories in the series in varying stages of completion. The fifth volume, entitled "Luftigel and Doppelgänger," is in final editing with a tentative publication date of April 15. I intend to publish it as a separate volume, and also as part of a larger volume entitled "The Magnetron Chronicles: Part One," which will include the first five volumes plus some bonus material. The plan is to publish fifteen individual novelettes which will also be available as three longer, meatier works containing five volumes each.

I'll alert you when Volume 5 (and Part 1) are published. Thanks again for your interest!


Grant Gardiner Awesome. Look forward to it.

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