The Dark Victorian: Risen
by Elizabeth Watasin
Paperback: 136 pages
Publisher: A-Girl Studio
(Barry’s score 5 out of 5 stars)
“Way will open.” She is Artifice. A resurrected criminal and agent of HRH Prince Albert’s Secret Commission. An artificial ghost. A Quaker. He is Jim Dastard. The oldest surviving agent of the Secret Commission. An animated skull. A mentor to newly resurrected agents. It is 1880 in a mechanical and supernatural London. Agents of Prince Albert’s Secret Commission, their criminal pasts wiped from their memories, are resurrected to fight the eldritch evils that threaten England. Amidst this turmoil, Jim Dastard and his new partner Artifice must stop a re-animationist raising murderous dead children. As Art and Jim pursue their quarry, Art discovers clues about her past self, and through meeting various intriguing women–a journalist, a medium, a prostitute, and a mysterious woman in black–where her heart lies. Yet the question remains: What sort of criminal was she? A new beginning, a new identity, and new dangers await Art as she fights for the Secret Commission and for her second life.
The paperback edition contains the Extra of an illustrations gallery.
First let me admit my bias for dark Victorian stories. From my misspent youth watching Hammer Films to my current love of goth and steampunk, I have enjoyed my fiction like I like my chocolate, dark. So it should come as no surprise that I thoroughly enjoyed “The Dark Victorian: Risen.”
Set in a Victorian-era London, a “not-so” secret agency protects the citizens from supernatural evil. Watasin has created two of the most interesting characters that I have ever read, and between you and me that’s saying something. Artifice (Art) is an artificial ghost with abilities beyond her massive frame. Her senior partner is an animated skull, Jim Dastard (you have got to love that name). Art is the perfect foil to speed our supernatural story along.
While the pair attempt to solve their case, Art tackles the age old question of who am I. I liked the development of her character and the pace of the story. I did find a minor typo. I have to say that the illustrations are eye-popping beautiful and I’d like to have seen more. Also I’d would like to have seen some multicultural London in the story.
If you like James Blaylock, O. M. Grey, or Guido Henkel, you should enjoy Elizabeth Watasin’s The Dark Victorian series. I highly recommend it and give it a “must read” score of 5 stars out of 5.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from the author Elizabeth Watasin. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”