Wednesday, 20 June 2007
‘Unnatural History’ – Jonathan Green (Review and Give-away!)
The year is 1997 but all isn’t as you would expect. In two months time, the Great British Empire (on Earth, the Moon and Mars) will be celebrating 160 glorious years of Queen Victoria’s reign, a life support machine powered by quantum clockwork is a wonderful thing! All is not well in the Empire however. The death of a night watchman (in the Natural History Museum) may not seem like much in the scheme of things but when a train crash unleashes the dinosaurs of London Zoo it becomes clear that the events are connected and that foul play is at hand. Enter Ulysses Quicksilver; ladies man, patron of the arts and gentleman adventurer. Ulysses is employed by the government to investigate the case of the murdered watchman and is soon in a race against time to stop anarchists unleashing chaos on the streets of London. Or is he? It soon becomes apparent that the fate of the British Empire is at stake….
Take a little bit of Sherlock Holmes, sprinkle with a dash of James Bond (adding some Indiana Jones for spice) and you have Abaddon Book’s foray into the genre of alternate history, the good news is that there are two more sequels planned. This is an unashamed romp through a dark and brooding London populated with every pulp cliché you can think of. Dashing secret agents, evil anarchists, devious professors and beautiful women; they can all be found doing what they do best in an entertaining read that I think anyone will enjoy. References to historical figures (and cameo appearances) also lend the book an authentic, yet intentionally surreal, air.
The action and the intrigue never stop and the reader is swept along to a gripping conclusion that is slightly undone by the overindulgence of cliché. Things are signposted a little too clearly and the reader may work out what’s going on too early. For me though, the fun was definitely in the journey and not the destination, the future of the Empire is safe in the hands of Ulysses Quicksilver and I’m looking forward to seeing what evil schemes are thrown at him next…
Eight and a Half out of Ten
Who wants a copy of ‘Unnatural History’?
I reckon you do and I happen to have two copies to give away (thanks to Abaddon Books). Getting hold of one could not be easier. Email me at graemesfantasybookreview@(no-spam)yahoo.co.uk (remove the ‘no-spam’ bit) and tell me who you are, where you’re from and if you frequent any particular forums. I’ll let you know who won next Tuesday…