Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Review: The Witch Watch

The Witch Watch
The Witch Watch by Shamus Young

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I want to say 3 and half stars, but I'll spot you half a star for being a new author, and for actually writing and publishing a book.

I enjoyed this. Reminded me a bit of Pratchet in its self-mocking humor. The plot was interesting, and managed the nice trick of letting me guess what was going on long before the characters did, without my feeling like they were idiots for not getting it.

The problem I have is that the characters and their arcs feel a bit shallow. And I actually ascribe this to the genre at least as much as to the author; seems like whenever anyone tries to do Victorian-era fiction - steampunk or not - we get a lot of caricature not character. Various stereotypes saying British things like "Cheerio" and "Pip pip", and sounding like Oscar Wilde characters. For all I know they actually said things like that in Victorian England, but it doesn't matter; realism does not always equal believable - the characters end up feeling flat. Funny, but fake.

But overall this was a fun read, just not deep. And I don't think it was ever intended as anything else.

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