Guest Book Review: The Dark Victorian: Risen
July 23, 2012 by suzannelazear
I owe you some winners!
Winners of an e-book copy of Prehistoric Clock
The bracelet from Steamheat Designs
Book 2 edits are keeping be busy, so today I asked Ray Dean to do a guest book review.
Book Review by Ray Dean
“Way will open.”
She is Artifice.
A resurrected criminal and agent of HRH Prince Albert’s Secret Commission.
An artificial ghost.
He is Jim Dastard.
The oldest surviving agent of the Secret Commission.
An animated skull.
A mentor to newly resurrected agents.
It is 1880 in a mechanical and supernatural London. Agents of Prince Albert’s Secret Commission, their criminal pasts wiped from their memories, are resurrected to fight the eldritch evils that threaten England. Amidst this turmoil, Jim Dastard and his new partner Artifice must stop a re-animationist raising murderous dead children. As Art and Jim pursue their quarry, Art discovers clues about her past self, and through meeting various intriguing women—a journalist, a medium, a prostitute, and a mysterious woman in black—where her heart lies. Yet the question remains: What sort of criminal was she? A new beginning, a new identity, and new dangers await Art as she fights for the Secret Commission and for her second life.
There is a finely-honed edge to The Dark Victorian: Risen. Ms. Watasin’s wit and imagination shine through the world of dark shadows and eldritch power and one quickly finds a home within the pages of this story. It would be appropriate to note at this point that you should have some time on your hands when you begin reading this book or you may be forced to give your loved ones a glare of annoyance when they interrupt your reading.
The pace and promise of this book are delightful! Weaving the world of this London effortlessly in with the plot shows the reader the level of talent and artistry of the author. We are quickly drawn into the world of Prince Albert’s (Not-so-)Secret Commission and marvel at the way that a disembodied skull is able to create a larger presence than a man with all his various and sundry limbs.
The bleak streets of London are a maze of well-crafted characters and dastardly doings that drive the plot and reader forward through the twists and turns of the plot. One of the points that struck my fancy was the way the action sequences were crafted. I’m used to hit and miss action in novels and I was pleased to find that the deft pugilistic skill of Agent Artiface was easy to follow and entirely enjoyable. When one considers the ‘proper’ manner that was expected of a Victorian woman these ‘outlandish’ displays of physical prowess and sharp skill will tickle the fancy of many a reader.
I should admit that the first thing that drew me to Ms. Watasin’s work was the elegance of her illustrations. Should anyone worry that her art might outshine the text, rest assured that both are even more delightful together and enrich the experience of reading Risen.
I hope that Volume Two will soon be available for our reading pleasure, although I believe my family may not be so eager! This book was such a distraction for me, taking my attention away from them for a few stolen hours of entertainment. I hope they’ll forgive and forget before the second volume is released.