Saturday, December 10, 2022

1920s Book Review: Absynthe

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Before NaNoWriMo started, when I decided I was going to rewrite Ruby Ransome and Pandora's Box, I went on a 1920s book spree.  I was initially looking for nonfiction books about the 1920s on Overdrive, but I ended up finding a ton of fiction about the 1920s, which I've been steadily plowing through (when I'm not too tired from staying up late writing my own book).

One such book was Absynthe by Brendan Bellecourt.  I checked it out along with a ton of others, after having read enough of the description to see that it mentioned casting illusions and other powers.

Once I started the book, though, I realized it wasn't urban fantasy as I'd thought it was.  It was basically dieselpunk with an alternate timeline.

It may not be vampires, and the author's vision of the 1920s might be rather different than what I was expecting, but I loved Absynthe.  It was an incredibly original take on dieselpunk, automatons, illusionists, and extrasensory abilities.  The further you get into the novel, the more you realize how different the timeline is, and the stranger and more intriguing everything gets.

The author mentions in the note at the end a couple of things I found interesting.  He thanked someone who had suggested opening it at the scene he did, which I'm guessing is what triggered the use of flashbacks in the book instead of a linear telling.  This made me think about how much more powerful of a story it was with that mystery and intrigue of what exactly had happened to the main character during the war.

The other thing he mentioned was combining characters for a more cohesive plot.  He thanked a lot of people for fixing plot holes and helping him tighten the story, and I found this interesting simply because it's such a great plot.  The story is quite complex and layered, full of interesting twists and turns.

All in all, a great book, and one I highly recommend for anyone who loves interesting takes on the Roaring Twenties!

It was nice to read something that was somewhat 20s but also not at all what I expected!  

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