Sunday, September 26, 2010

Book Review: Aurorarama

Title Aurorarama
Author Jean-Christophe Valtat
Rating ***
Tags fantasy, new venice, alaska, ice, arctic 

Aurorarama is an alternate universe tale set in New Venice, a city in Alaska. It has somewhat of a steampunk feel, though the timeline is not clear. Early twentieth century, apparently, though the technology is sometimes more advanced than ours was at that time, and the culture has music and drug use similar to our own time.

The main characters are Brentford Orsini, who runs the Greenhouses for the city. He is troubled by the developing autarchy of the seven councilors who rule the city, and writes an anonymous book opposing them. His best friend is Gabriel, a professor at the university who gets into trouble with women and drugs.

Orsini gets a mysterious message from his dead love, Helen, to meet her at the North Pole, and he has to decide whether to accept what could be a suicidal task. Things are going strangely in the city of frozen canals. A dark aeroship has appeared and stationed itself above the city but makes no contact. Anarchists are being anarchic.

The book had its good elements, but wasn't, overall, my cup of tea. I wasn't fond of the characters, the setting, or the story. I don't think they were done badly, though, it just wasn't a book that interested me.

Publication Melville House (2010), Hardcover, 416 pages
Publication date 2010
ISBN 1935554131 / 9781935554134



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