Three fairly quick reads…
I just finished Emma Jane Holloway’s A Study in Silks, the first part of her steampunk trilogy featuring Sherlock Holmes’s niece. Notes:
- having a female heroine was interesting, especially since Holloway tries to stay true to the great Victorian novels. I got a bit tired of the narrator’s fairly constant mocking of Victorian sentimentality in some of the trashier novels (hell, I *like* some of that trash), and I wanted a bit more steampunkery, but I realize that this ain’t China Mieville.
- the idea of London being run by an oligarchy of those who provide industrial power was fascinating. Holloway spends far less time with the actual technical side though, concentrating on the intersections between those losing power (the aristocracy) and those gaining it (the steam barons).
- finally, adding magic is an interesting twist, and the location of magic in specific bloodlines that are non-aristocratic (and lower class) allows for an examination of the border between magic and technology that fascinates me…
Next up is It was the War of the Trenches by Jacques Tardi. Wow…
- powerful black and white graphics…with relentlessly grotesque imagery.
- Tardi fictionalizes several stories from the war, all of which end in death. A couple of them started with stories he heard as a child from his grandfather. None of them involved anything more glorious than simple survival.
Finally, Templar, written by Jordan Mechner and illustrated by LeUyen Pham and Alex Puvilland.
- The story focuses on Mechner’s guess as to what might have happened to gold and treasure that disappeared at the time of the dissolution of the Templars by Phillip IV of France.
- It posits the Templars as noble and mistreated because of the threat they represented, and isn’t that how we’d all like to think of them?
- Among all of the interesting facets of this book I was struck by the coloring. As these pages show, the inkers set the tone with background colors that group panels.
More fun with texts later!