40 points, 2 ¼ stars
With a murderer on the loose, it’s up to an enlightened bodysnatcher and a rebellious princess to save the city, in this wonderfully inventive Victorian-tinged fantasy noir.
“Man of Science” Roger Weathersby scrapes out a risky living digging up corpses for medical schools. When he’s framed for the murder of one of his cadavers, he’s forced to trust in the superstitions he’s always rejected: his former friend, princess Sibylla, offers to commute Roger’s execution in a blood magic ritual which will bind him to her forever. With little choice, he finds himself indentured to Sibylla and propelled into an investigation. There’s a murderer loose in the city of Caligo, and the duo must navigate science and sorcery, palace intrigue and dank boneyards to catch the butcher before the killings tear their whole country apart.
File Under: Fantasy [ Straybound – Royal Magic – A Good Hanging – Secret Sister ]
The Resurrectionist of Caligo will be released on Amazon and other major retailers September 10th, 2019. Preorder now!
She was dead now, at any rate. Accidental premature burial was not unknown. It was not his fault. Though a resurrectionist in name, he could not actually bring the dead back.
Unfortunately, I had a lot of problems with the Resurrectionist of Caligo. It started off poorly with me. Then, it did get a bit better before there was a steep nosedive at the end. I just feel a bit out of sorts about this book. I am confused a lot by why this book is the way it is.
I had the same problem in the beginning with Caligo as I did with some other Angry Robot books: I felt like I was thrown in and told to swim. This isn’t a bad technique, if it is being used on purpose, but I don’t think that was the case with this book. I felt comfortable enough in the story and the setting by about 20%, though. So it did sort itself out quickly enough.
Though part of the reason I felt like I was swimming in the setting is because it was so full of holes. If you ignored a whole lot of things, it mostly worked. But if you looked at it even a little bit you could see it was a fishnet instead of a fine mesh foundation. So many things didn’t seem to work. So many things were just completely ignored that could have made the setting work a lot better. A lot of other things were so unnecessary they were distracting. I just had problems with it.
Then there were the characters. I only liked one character in the entire book, and that was the kid sidekick. Every single other character was either an asshole, an idiotball, or both. Every side character except the kid was an asshole, without fail. There weren’t even anything even remotely redeeming about most of them. They just were there to make life more painful for the main characters.
Then there were the two main characters who shared the narration. They were giant, giant idiotballs. Especially at the end. I’m supposed to believe that these two characters knew and liked each other when they were younger, but life led them towards different paths and that they’re going to like each other again in the end? No. It would have been a better story had they never known each other until events pushed them together. And that isn’t when they’re sniping at each other constantly, or when they aren’t making some of the dumbest decisions I’ve seen in a very, very long time.
The story itself is very slow. It takes forever to start and forever to do anything. When things do happen, it ends up covering the same ground a lot. Sometimes multiple times from both of the narration characters. It just doesn’t even do anything for vast portions of the book except exist. It is constantly sidetracked to the point where I almost hoped that Roger would end up dead at the end of the book. His life is on the line to the point where if he gets sidetracked, he could die…and he gets sidetracked. Sigh.
Then there is that ending which honestly just goes from bad to worse. You would think the characters couldn’t get worse, but then they do. And all those holes in the setting and plot end up just becoming wider to make that ending the authors had in mind fit. I had a few theories about how the ending would play out, and instead of the authors choosing they decided to just throw all of them at me. Thanks.
I received this book from Angry Robot in exchange for an honest review. Thank you for providing the opportunity to review this copy.