A gay steampunk zombie tale set in an alternative Victorian-style London? Dudes, of course I was going to read this!
It also helps that I'd previously read The Invisibles by Francis Gideon, way back among my earlier reviews, and loved it - it's so sweet!
Hans may very well have an answer to the zombie crisis that has gripped the country, but his peers in academia won't step out of the realms of theory.
The time has come for Hans, his wife (of convenience) Therese, and her girlfriend Joan, to step up.
They just need a fresh corpse...
Zombies. Steampunk. Victorian sh**.
My friends, the sheer randomness of this is exultantly awesome.
The romance aspect is totally bizarre - which may not work for some, but I actually kind of liked it!
I liked the inclusion of Hans and Therese's marriage - a way for them to appear 'respectable' to the London society in which they live.
As a gay man, and a lesbian woman, they see the way for both to be happy as being one in which they marry each other, and never *ahem* consummate things.
Since this was a very real state of permanent closet-hood for many people during the real Victorian period (you know, the one without the steampunk and the zombies,) I think it's inclusion here was very important.
I loved Joan - Therese's girlfriend.
It's always nice to see a positive depiction of a butch lesbian, although I did have some qualms (see next section).
It was also nice that both Therese and Joan were capable, intelligent, women. (Who, might I add, Hans would be a useless lump without.)
This book is also very readable, and quite short (under 100 pages) - so a nice one to stick in the middle of heavier reads.
The author, Francis Gideon, is a non-binary writer of m/m romance. (This is the part where I remind you to support diverse creators!)
- corpses and medical experimentation
- homophobic society/time period
I think that's about it.
There is swearing. And one relatively graphic m/m sex-scene which you can skip without affecting the story if you want to.
For a lot of people, this whole thing is just going to be too weird.
A lot of people will also not appreciate the randomness - it's not everyone's cup of tea, and to some people it'll just seem too silly and implausible.
There are plot-holes.
I'm not going to go into them, because that would be all spoiler-y.
But there are plot-holes, which I happily skipped over, but which you might not be so happy with.
There's just one thing I don't understand:
WHY, given that Joan and Therese grew up in the SAME kids' home, does Therese talk without an accent/dialect, and Joan talk like Dick Van Dyke in Mary Poppins?!
It suggests that Therese, the femme lesbian, is more refined, and of a higher class, than Joan, the butch lesbian.
That bugged me.
Look, if you like batsh** randomness and/or steampunk, zombies, or Victorian-fantasy, you're gonna love it!
If not... maybe look for something else.