Monday, July 19, 2010

Edi's Spotlight: Blood Royal by Jonathan Green

A review on Monday? You maybe surprised. But as I had to postpone this review due to technical reasons I wanted to do it as soon as possible. And fortunately today is my first holiday which means I have more time than usual.

I'm a huge fan of the PAX BRITANNIA series. You don't know the PAX BRITANNIA series? Then I recommend to spend four and half minutes for the awesome introduction to the world of PAX BRITANNIA:

Now you are in the right mood for the review of latest installment in the PAX BRITANNIA series. Welcome tothe fifth adventure of Ulysses Quicksilver, the debonair dandy adventurer and freelance agent of the Throne: Blood Royal (2010) [ISBN-13: 978-1906735302] by Jonathan Green. By the way I bought the copy of Blood Royal which I read for my pleasure and for this review.
"Magna Britannia, bestrides the globe and the solar system beyond like a colossus. Yet its capital, Londinium Maximum, still flounders in the aftermath of the unprecedented catastrophe that has so recently befallen it.
St Paul's Cathedral entertains a new congregation, one driven by its own unholy creed, while a coldly clinical killer is carving a name for himself across the city, a name that has been whispered upon the streets of Whitechapel for over a hundred years. Further afield, in the wolf-haunted heartlands of Europe, the spectre of war rears its ugly head. And at the centre of all this death and destruction stands a seemingly innocent child.
Ulysses Quicksilver, heroic figurehead for a beleaguered nation, is about to find himself thrown into the thick of things, as the royal families of Europe prepare for a conflict the like of which the world has never seen, and the consequences of one insane holy man's actions become painfully apparent. With the way ahead unclear, one thing is certain: the world, and Ulysses Quicksilver, will never be the same again."
Even this is not my first review of a PAX BRITANNIA book I feel the need to present you again the aspirations of Jonathan Green and the scope of the PAX BRITANNIA series. In June 2008 !! Graeme interviewed Jonathan Green and this is the last question plus answer:
" 10) Finally, why should everyone be reading your ‘Pax Britannia’ books?
Because they’re great fun reads and an entertaining way to take yourself out of the world for a few hours. Also, there’s a big story in there that’s steadily beginning to take shape (and which I had planned from day one), so you want to be there for the ride and the dramatic denouement in about… twelve books time (or thereabouts)."
This should be the base on which this book and the rest of the series has to be reviewed. That means: Is it a great fun read and is it an entertaining way to take yourself out of the world for a few hours?
And again my simple and plain answer is: YES!

First of all let me tell you that the book contains an additional short story: White Rabbit
Any connotations? I found two. White Rabbit is a song performed by Jefferson Airplane and the famous White Rabbit from Alice in Wonderland and Through a Looking-Glass.
I won't give too much away.
It is a story about a new machine called Phantasmagorical Projector.
Due to Mr Dodgson it "... can immerse you in a fantastical world, that for all intents and purposes, appears to be real, and which is only bound by the limitations of your own imagination." [p. 337]
Nowadays we would say it is machine to create virtual reality.
I promise you an imaginative journey ...

Phew! So many words and I still did not tell you anything about Blood Royal. To be honest I can't tell you more details about the content without spoilers. But I can bait you with some more inklings. After a century a villain reappears - resurrection? And a vigilante. who appeared in Evolution Expects, returns. And in Russia .....

As in the previous books Jonathan Green offer a story with twists and turns embedded in a greater story arc which is still not fully visible. There is love and hate, there are riddles and there are conspiracies. Ulsysses and his sidekick Nimrod are in top form. We discover a new aspect in Ulysses' life. His relationship to women... Again we get awesome new gadgets and other inventions. Jonathan Green display fireworks of action and the world is Victoriana Steampunk at its best. Not to forget humor which sparkles here and there.
You will be surprised how fast time passes when you read . I'm running out of words.

Blood Royal is another sassy, cracking, rollicking and entertaining steampunk novel in the awesome PAX BRITANNIA series.

Viva La Steampunk!

Don't complain when you missed the series so far. You need an overview about the so far published books?
No problem at all. Just read my post The World of PAX BRITANNIA over at my former place of blog activity
or checkout the publisher site: Abaddon Books.

Now you have two possibilities to enter the series. Which one you prefer depends on when you want to start, how much money you want to spend and if you want the covers or not.
If you want to start reading tomorrow and you want the covers and money doesn't matter then go and buy the books.
If you can and want to wait until November, you have to take care on your money and cover doesn't matter then
wait for The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus [ISBN-13: 978-1907519567] by Jonathan Green which will contain the first three Ulysses Quicksilver novels: Unnatural History,Leviathan Rising and Human Nature.

Finally I can't let you go without a preview of the next three books in the series. To be honest I'm not sure about the final publishing dates because they have been changed several times.

The sixth adventure of Ulysses Quicksilver - Dark Side (planned publishing date: December 7th, 2010) [ISBN-13: 978-1906735852] by Jonathan Green
"START A NEW LIFE ON THE MOON!Yes, incredible opportunities await you on Earth's most popular emigration destination. Let us bring you to the moon in style. Our weekly flights depart from all the major London spaceports. From thearchitectural splendor of Luna Prime to Serenity City, there really is something for everyone. Or if it's adventure you're looking for, why not seek out old enemies and win new allies as you hunt for the killer of your nearest and dearest? So what are you waiting for? Murder and mayhem await you on the dark side of the moon. But remember, in space no one can hear you hullabaloo!"

As Jonathan promised in this post last year, I look forward to get a signed copy of the Dark Side ...

In January 2011 you can expect the second book by Al Ewing within the series: The Gods of Manhattan (planned publishing date: January 20th, 2011) [ISBN-13: 978-1906735395]
"NEW YORK, USSA - The steam-powered city of tomorrow where psychedelic beat-poets rumble with punk futurists in the rain-drenched alleys, and where mad science colludes with the monstrous plans of the Meccha-Fuhrer! NEW YORK, USS - City of dazzle and danger. Only here could we find The Blood Spider, Doc Thunder and the saint of ghosts known as El Sombra! NEW YORK, USS - The setting for a bloody battle of steel will and science gone wild in a contest to save the city of tomorrow - or end it!"
I look forward to the second adventure of El Sombra.....

And fresh from the Abaddon blog: In May 2011 we can expect the seventh Ulysses Quicksilver novel: Anno Frankenstein by Jonathan Green.
"This one is going to be a real rip-snorter; featuring time-travel, espionage, steampunk Nazis and an experiment in the ultimate evil! As ever, the lovely Mr Mark Harrison did the cover and doesn't it look the business?"
I love the cover. A steampunk Frankenstein !! A great job by Mark Harrison.

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