Camera Obscura

Camera Obscura

Book - 2016
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CAN'T FIND A RATIONAL EXPLANATION TO A MYSTERY? CALL IN THE QUIET COUNCIL. The mysterious and glamorous Lady De Winter is one of their most valuable agents. A despicable murder inside a locked and bolted room on the Rue Morgue in Paris is just the start. This whirlwind adventure will take Milady to the highest and lowest parts of that great city - and cause her to question the very nature of reality itself.

Extra! Extra! Read all about it - for the first time, also includes "Titanic", a short story from the Lost Files of the Bookman Histories.

File Under- Steampunk Alternate History | Reptilian Royalty | Murder Most Foul | The World's Fair
Publisher: Nottingham [England] : Angry Robot, 2016.
Copyright Date: ©2010
ISBN: 9780857666000
0857666002
Branch Call Number: TID
Characteristics: 381 pages.

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WhidbeyIslander
Aug 05, 2017

Couldn't get into this book and gave up at about page 75. Too weird for me, and probably harder to understand if you haven't read the first book in the series.

m
mikorangester
Mar 26, 2017

Excellent and dark

FindingJane Aug 07, 2014

This novel is a tightly woven net of noir, suspense, intrigue, politics, social commentary, science, et al., featuring the adept use of horror, science fiction and, of course, steampunk. The author has deftly added in references to a lot of other classical authors, including but not limited to J. R. R. Tolkien, R. L. Stevenson, Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley, Bram Stoker, H. Rider Haggard, Edgar Allan Poe and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. The touches aren’t necessarily subtle but they are amusing to read and don’t get in the way of the main theme. This novel keeps the reader guessing, as to the identity of the main players, the game itself and the ultimate purpose of an inscrutable alien machine. Therein lies the problem. There is a cold impersonal quality that lies at the very heart of this novel. The Lady de Winter is a fascinating literary construct—lethal, complex, ruthless and single minded. But her habit of reacting to almost every tense situation by pulling a gun or radiating menace makes her annoying to other characters and to this reader. It doesn’t help when she becomes linked to a machine, is made practically part of it. An emphasis on impersonal mechanical constructs that don’t care about living things except as items to be studied and cataloged aren’t enough to move readers. That’s why stories that revolve around lifeless, unemotional things invariably fail. It’s like playing with toy robots; sooner or later you get bored with them. Ms. De Winter’s motivations are hard to fathom. She rescues a bunch of girls from being mutilated and butchered but you don’t get the sense that she actually cares for them as people. She is too happy acting like a weapon, so much so that she’s almost pleased when she becomes a gun. When she thinks about an Exposition that she once attended, all her fond memories of it circle around a show of the latest weapons, explosives, police techniques and a lecture on poisons. When she gets annoyed or infuriated, all she can think about is how much she longs to shoot someone. The attitude of a gunslinger coupled with the constant stream of mechanical chatter inside her head are jarring and ultimately wearying to read. You understand why Lady de Winter must be as hard and tough as she is to survive in the life she leads. You’re just happy to escape from it and glad, like she is, when the game is finished.

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