It was a happy coincidence that I started this blog at about the same time Angry Robot was making its bid for world domination; via Twitter, I kept hearing about this new imprint that was publishing all these brilliant works of speculative fiction and after checking them out, I was determined to become a minion of the Robot Overlords!
One of the first books from Angry Robot that caught my eye was The Bookman by Lavie Tidhar. I thought the cover was awesome and it was a "steampunk" book, a genre that I had just become interested in exploring...
One of the things that I find so fascinating about the Steampunk genre is how it twists the reality that we know and turns it into something new and exciting, yet still familiar; with The Bookman, Tidhar has created something wonderful. In Tidhar's world, a race of alien lizards known as "Les Lezards" have taken over Britain, both historical personages and ficticious characters from the Victorian era inhabit London, and a mysterious terrorist has cast his shadow over everything. In the midst of all this is Orphan, a young poet in love with the beautiful Lucy. But before the young lovers can marry, the Bookman strikes and Orphan's world is rocked to its core. He then sets out to find the Bookman and avenge his beloved.
This book is a gift and it will appeal to any reader, long time Steampunk aficionado or not. The writing is beautiful and flows so well you'll be farther along the journey than you realize when you finally come up for air. Tidhar had me engaged throughout the book; from the set up during the first part, where he introduces us to his alternate Britain and its inhabitants, to the rollicking excitement of Orphan as he seeks out the Bookman and finally, to the climax where answers to mysteries are revealed and the whole grand design is wrapped up in a big, bodacious bow.
The Bookman is an action packed, yet literary, Steampunk adventure. I loved it not only as a great read, which it was, but also as one more amazing stepping stone for me into the Steampunk genre.