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I've read Melissa Scott's science fiction since she hit the bookstores in the 80's. She managed complex and satisfying world building combined with characters that were both alien and easy to relate to. Jo Graham is not an author that I have encountered before but now I intend to check out her backlist.
Anyway, when I saw this book listed on Audible I seized on it at once, and I am very happy I did.
Not science fiction but historical fantasy, the background of the story is the final year of the 20's. The adventure starts with an archaeological dig in Italy. The archaeological dig is real enough, as are the ships built by Caligula and then sunk in the lake after his assassination. Add to this the release of an ancient malignant being with the attempt to recover the ships and there is the satisfying bones of a good story there.
Alma, Jerry, and Mitchell are all members of a Hermetic Lodge. Jerry and Mitchell are combat veterans of the Great War. Alma was an ambulance driver and the widow of their friend and Magister, Gil, who died of the effects of mustard gas after the war. Each of them have lost something. Early in the book they are joined by Lewis Segura, another veteran pilot who becomes Alma's lover and employee as they struggle to come to terms with their losses and rebuild their lives, mundate and magical.
This story feels true to the time. The details about flying and the attempt to commercialize add to the story. A good part of the US is covered from Colorado to Hollywood to Chicago with period detail highlighting, but not overwhelming the plot and characters.
John Lee, the narrator does a great job. His general narration accent is American with a 1920's feel to it but he voices the characters with their various backgrounds well. Even when reading ritual magic he does not go overboard.
There's another book in this series on the way: Steel Blues. I'm looking forward to the Audible version.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
I was thrilled to see a new Melissa Scott book out and ordered it immediately. I had a hard time getting through the story. The premise is good: a lodge of magicians in 1929 needs to stop an evil spirit. Historical detail seems okay and the story takes includes a lot of stuff about the old airplanes, which I have an interest in. The plot follows a decent arc to a tense confrontation and has enough action throughout the story to keep things moving.
My problem is with the characters. There are four protagonists. The point of view switches between them, but there's little to differentiate the voices, let alone the characters. It's as if we have one person broken into separate pieces and whomever is convenient comes to the front. That makes the story flat.
The narration is adequate, but to carry the book it needed to differentiate the characters more. That wasn't there. The narrator doesn't do accents well and there is no different pacing for the different voices. Also, he would at times get into repetitive lilts when the sentences were of equal lengths. I blame this more on the writing than the narrator. Still, it was at times an intrusion into the story.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
What did you like most about Lost Things?
The way the story line developed.
What did you like best about this story?
The personal interaction of the characters
What does John Lee bring to the story that you wouldn’t experience if you had only read the book?
Different voices to characters
If you made a film of this book, what would be the tag line be?
Any additional comments?
This book was provided free of charge in exchange for a review.
The book started out as a typical WWI aviator who never got over the shock of war. But it seems that the story line develops in pieces with the discovery that the flyer has prophetic dreams that tend to come true. It then builds as it is revealed that there is a secret organization of people with various abilities that feel they should save the world.
This book built up the story line very well and by the end of the book you were not sure the good guys were going to win or not. But it did a fantastic job of knitting all the parts together and was very enjoyable. Enough so that I am actually thinking about the next two books in the series.
John Lee isn't the most dynamic narrator; but did a very good job on the various people's voices.
I searched for Steampunk on Audible and this came up in the list. It isn't Steampunk at all, and I have no idea why it was in the list, but it does have magic in it. A liitle. All the main characters can do magic, and the whole story is about magic, it really isn't all that magical. It's a bit like a long winded chase with vaguely magic interludes. Think of a fairly dull version of North by North West, with no characters you like all that much.
The narrator isn't bad but I kept losing track and found my attention wandering. No idea if that was him or the book not holding my attention.
The point of view shifts all the time, and in the reading that feels really confusing at times, maybe it's clearer in the text.
0 of 1 people found this review helpful