I'll Take My Victorian Dark, Please! Created by professor on 2/18/2013 10:30:29 PM
Professor Vernard gives his thoughts on Dark Victorian: Risen!
"Dark Victorian: Risen!"
is the first in a series of novels set in an 1880s alternative history London that has very pronounced supernatural qualities. The main characters are undead secret agencies for His Royal Highness Prince Albert. (Think Lara Croft crossed with James Bond.) At the beginning of the story, you are introduced to James Dastard, a monocle wearing skull with a penchant for witty ripostes in dialogue. Soon thereafter, Jim meets his new partner, Artifice, who is interesting in many dimensions. First, she is of amazonian stature, with her 5'10" frame easily towering over most men and women. She is also an "artificial ghost" capable of feats of great strength and speed as well as the obligatory talent of walking through solid objects. She was brought back from the dead as a newly christened agent with almost no memory of her previous life. She knows that she is a Quaker and is true to that faith, calling all she speaks to "Friend." As the story progresses, she learns even more about herself, including what appears to be a preference for the fairer sex. I think its worth noting that the author handles this subject deftly and weaves it into the story seameless which is a skill that many other authors unfortunately lack.
All that being said, what is perhaps the most fascinating aspect of Artifice is that she doesn't consume food as a normal person would. Instead, she can absorb living flesh into her body directly. In a similar manner, Dastard consumes fire to keep his supernatural spirit energized. Both Dastard and Artifice are investigating a series of bizarre killings where it appears that the dead are being resurrected to kill their suspected murderers. As the eldritch duo investigate the mystery, Dastard helps Artifice discover more about her new life and form, and dig a bit into her old existence. Along the way, other interesting characters are introduced as well, such as the alluring Helia Skycourt, journalist and velocipedestrienne. All the characters are important to the story and bring further depth to the tale.
Elizabeth Watasin does an amazing job writing. From the very first paragraph, she plunges you deeply into the wonderful world that she has crafted. Gaslit London both charms and frightens you and you can't help but turn page after page to see more of it. With every new bit of information that she dribbles to you about Artifice, I became more and more enchanted with the storyline and eventually devoured the book in one setting. I don't wish to reveal too much more of the story as I think it would be doing future readers a disservice for discovering it themselves. Watasin creates a very different, very striking and throughly fascinating female main character with a ribald and likewise fascinating sidekick. The second volume, "Dark Victorian: Bones" is already available and I can't wait to read it.
The Dark Victorian: Risen
is available as a paperback or eBook via Amazon
Prof. Vernard Martin is the living embodiment of a Chaos Field. In his general vicinity, the unexpected and inexplicable manifests on a regular basis. He has held numerous teaching positions at various universities in the Metro Atlanta area and currently serves as a consultant to the government on Scientific Computing. He is also Chief Engineer for the Steampunk Chronicle. His interests include spiritual enlightenment supervision, celebratory event coordination, custom beverage design and of course chaos field management.