This is an exercise in alternate history with immediacy of a kind I have seldom enjoyed before.The author has exceeded even his own previous sensory-immersion achievements.
For someone like myself, with fear of structural heights, the episode wherein the beautiful protagonist scales a storm-drenched schloss, surviving only by dint of pure bravery and fitness, actually increased my heart rate and breathing.
Teddy Roosevelt is president, and his party is the Progressive Republican Party. Everything and everyone from the nascent secret police to a government-sanctioned eugenics movement is just enough off to make for queasiness.
Growing up myself in Santa Barbara made the heroine’s youth there amid the gardens of my childhood piquant, making the visualizations even more evocative. Throw in the late Potter Hotel, the familiar tiled architecture of the estates in Montecito’s coastal area, and the swarming monarchs, and it all made for grand color.
Colloquial Spanish, German, and linguistic analysis as a recurrent theme could have been a distraction, but the author took the effort to provide immediate translations.
This book has something for all phobias: submarine life for the claustrophobic, the previously mentioned evocation of acrophobia, and even homophobia/homophilia in several directions tossed in for garnish. Add constant sexual awareness without ever descending into actual pornography, and you will thank yourself for buying Black Chamber.
|Author||S. M. Stirling|
|Page Count||400 pages|
|Amazon||Buy this Book|
|Category||Science Fiction & Fantasy|