Sunday, February 27, 2011

Edi's Spotlight: Dark Side by Jonathan Green

The Moon, the only natural satellite of Earth. The Moon, inspiration for people from Jules Verne to Pink Floyd. Target of a race between two nations.
The Moon with his dark side which does not exist. Of course we can only see one side of the Moon. When you want to talk about the backside of the moon then you should use the far side of the Moon.
Come on, the dark side of the Moon is much more mysterious than the far side of the Moon. And it is more than understandable why Jonathan Green chose Dark Side (pb, 2010) [ISBN-13: 978-1906735852] as the title for the sixth adventure of Ulysses Quicksilver because it deals on a second level with the dark side of Ulysses Quicksilver.

Ulysses Quicksilver
"[...], that well-known and notorious raconteur and teller of tall tales - all of them true - the man known as the Hero of the Empire, survivor of the Wormwood Catastrophe and savior of the Russian royal family." [p. 43]
leave Earth for the first time within the scope of an adventure. He has been to the Moon before in his youth. Ostensibly he is on holiday after surviving the latest adventures together with his manservant Nimrod. But the main reason is a family affair. In order to escape serious problems his brother Barty - the black sheep of the family - left Earth. Ulysses want to see him again. Is it a coincidence that he meets his former fiancé Emilia during the flight to the moon? And who is the man with the eye patch? ...

I follow Ulysses since his first appearance in Unnatural History (pb, 2007) [ISBN-13: 978-1905437108]. Every book in the series offers splendid entertainment in the world of an alternate British Empire in a still going on Victorian Era. Magna Britannia is ruled by Queen Victoria for more than 160 years. Yes, she is still alive due to steam technology inventions. Every book revealed new inventions, fast paced adventures, conspiracies and more. After five books I feel familiar with the well described London - the zoo, the overground, ... .
With Dark Side author Jonathan Green turns the story and the life of Ulysses Quicksilver in a new direction. Dark Side feels familiar and new at the same time. Of course it is always a risk to leave the well known playground which may not fit the expectations of the reader.

So what makes Dark Side different compared to the previous books?
Ulysses leave Earth for the first time within the scope of a book.
A real surprise is the end of the story. For the first time there is a cliff-hanger. And I promise you it is a promising and mouth-watering one. I can't wait to read the next book. The cliff-hanger shows that there is much more behind the story as you may think. It is the beginning of a story arc where I can't imagine where it will end.

With giant robots, time traveling Nazis, a murder mystery, an unbelievable conspiracy, industrial espionage, a love affair and new insight of Ulysses quicksilver's dark side Jonathan Green rocks the house. He offers a breathtaking ride with incredible events which you can't escape from the first page. And a lot earlier than expected you reach the end where you will ache for more.
Fortunately the book contains a bittersweet tragedy titled Prometheus Unbound. But this is only a temporary medic which can't "heal" your feverish longing for

to be published in May 2011

This is Mark Harris stunning cover of Anno Frankenstein [ISBN-13: 978-1907519451]by Jonathan Green which is the seventh Ulysses Quicksilver adventure.

No, this is not the end of the review.

Beside all I told you so far it is important to mention that Jonathan Green pays again attention to details:
- some of them obvious like the depiction of the scenery;
- some of them like the onomatopoeic naming of characters like Wilberforce Brainbridge which some reader will take for granted;

And some of them are obvious and hidden at the same time. I talk about the chapter titles. Believe it or not all titles refer to an X File episode, an album, a play, a movie which deal with time travel, robotic, and outer space. To be honest I did not find all references ....

Who should read Dark Side?

It is a must read for every Ulysses Quicksilver fan.
For all of you who are in the search of an entertaining steampunk series I highly recommend PAX BRITANNIA. Even Dark Side is a great read, you should start with the first book: Unnatural History (pb, 2007) [ISBN-13: 978-1905437108].
Meanwhile you can get Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus (pb, 2010) [ISBN-13: 978-1907519567] which contains the first three Ulysses Quicksilver adventures: Unnatural History, Leviathan Rising and Human Nature.

You still have no clue what I'm talking about? Then watch following video:



You have problems with your short-term memory? You hate to read reviews?
Then this is your lucky day today. Just watch the following video:



Still not convinced?
Jonathan, I need your help!!




Something is missing ... Mmmh ... Now I know. I bought the copy of Dark Side which I read for this review.

11 comments:

Seak (Bryce L.) said...

Looks like another series I'll have to put on the list. Thanks. :)

ediFanoB said...

It is a great series.
Don't miss the books by Al Ewing - EL SOMBRA and GODS OF MANHATTAN - set in the same universe.

Review of GODS OF MANHATTAN is in progress.

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Not read any of those books either. Funky clips, too.

muetzenvariete said...

Well you seem to have convinced me, cause lately I'm getting more and more into all the steampunk. :)

ediFanoB said...

@Alex,

as we both know it is impossible to read all the books. In the past two years I developed a taste for steampunk and read more and more steampunk books. PAX Britannia with the two heroes Ulysses Quicksilver and El Sombra is a most entertaining series.

I promise you that you will see a few more reviews of steampunk books on my blog.

ediFanoB said...

@muetzenvariete,

I would be glad if you found something you like. And no I'm not sponsored by Jonathan Green.

I have had a look at your blog which is in German. It seems you belong to the growing group of people who like to read books in English.

The number of steampunk books is growing.

On Sunday 6th March, I will review another steampunk book.

muetzenvariete said...

Thanks for visiting my blog, been reading english books for about 2 years now and looking forward to do more. :)

ediFanoB said...

@muetzenvariente,

I read books in English since 2007. That means I have a huge backlog. I'm surrounded by unread books :-)

Enjoy reading ....

Alex J. Cavanaugh said...

Hey Edi! Stop by today - you are a Friend for the Journey.

welcome to my world of poetry said...

Hi, I have come over from Alex, I too was awarded the same award and thought I would see your blog,
I don't read much these days but have in the past, I saw the book based on Frankenstien and was instantly interested, you see It's creator Mary Shelley who married Percy Shelley had a son also named Percy, well 200 years or so ago he bought much land where I live here in the UK, Along the road he bought a manor where he entertained the likes of keats, Byron and Robert Louis Stevenson.
His mother was going to live there but passed away before she could,
She, and her family are buried in our local church.

I enjoyed reading your post.
Have a great week-end.
Yvonne.

ediFanoB said...

@Yvonne,
thank you very much for your visit and for leaving a comment. I will visit your blog soon.

Thank you for info about Mary and Percy Shelley.

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