My rating: 4 of 5 stars
Let’s talk about awesomeness.
Being very nearly awesome, I can give you some very helpful insight into the world of awesomeness, but I think I should let Celeste Ritsuko and Janus Mikani of the Criminal Investigation Department(CID) help you.
Ritsuko and Mikani live in an old, gold world of magic that’s gone peek-a-boo, with only a hint here and sometimes more there.
It’s a world that was drafted, written about ten years ago. Mighty old, thus acquiring awesome might over the years. There is attention and a bravery that comes with age in the lines and words and niches and everything in between. There are splendid buildings and shiny writing, remarkable characters and steampunk hints, expensive oregano and Infernum apparatus, a species of constructed geometrical equipmen used to gruesomely kill young, noble ladies in rituals.
Aaand bonus: a humbling cane.
Milord, I bow in the face of your shining glory. Minstrels sing ballads of your grandeur behind waterfalls, on days when the sunlight and moonlight clash upon the surface of sacred marshes.
Ritsuko and Mikani will now further establish the awesomeness of this book. Ritsuko, oh you sly muffin. She’s a woman in the men’s world, working twice as hard for a three-quarters of the same wage. She’s a no-nonsense hard-working, sophisticated, clinical and slyly funny woman. On the other hand, Mikani is devoted and humorous, with a bit of quixotic nature. He wears a hat and carries the cane, which shall be taken into account, since awesomeness is totally not above this kind of shallow judgement.
Co-workers becoming partners becoming friends and hopefully becoming more, they work together and flow into a seamless pattern whilst operating in the midst of dead bodies. There is a subtle romance, very light and fine, like a strand of web, and just as tenacious minus the very disgusting fact of it housing a spiders. Mikani and Ritsuko seem to be engaged in an indefinite shadow dance.
There is another character, Aurelia Wright. She has a courtier too, named Theron Nuall. Their dance is much more elegant and just as beguiling as R & M’s, for wholly different reasons. I don’t predict much of them in the next book, and that saddens me. Hopefully, I’m wrong.
Once more, I’d like to expound on the fantastic world-building and writing.
Are you, like me, easily distracted by shiny things?
If so, I warn you to sit down, practise and get yourself to concentrate on the monotone of cricket narration while there are chimes of glass and silver tinkling behind you.
Otherwise, this will make for a very disorienting 336 pages.
It’s a very shiny world and very shiny writing.
See the Agruirres drop stuff like this-
…his coat was incongruously well tailored, and his waistcoat shone with gold thread. Yet he has a face like a broken clock.
And then, without any consideration for the reader, this-
“Inspectors Mikani and Ritsuko, CID. Consider this . . . a civic duty. We have a few questions. Mr. Stokes gives us good answers, and we all go away happy and with the satisfaction of a day well spent.”
I was left befuddled and dazzled, still lost in the glaze of bright things but confused by the sudden onslaught of such grimness.
My only complaint is that I figured out the identity of the culprit(to some extent) halfway through the book. :c Reader intuition, you sucksss.
But it was so sparkly and action-y and magical, it makes me love it so. Such kind of, special kind of creative and refreshing.
So was this your kind of awesome? Am I not just the prefect awesome-guru? Do come back for more awesomeness. 😀