Camera Obscura (Les Lézards, Book 2)
Review brought to you by OBS staff member Erin
CAN’T FIND A RATIONAL EXPLANATION TO A MYSTERY? CALL IN THE QUIET COUNCIL.
The mysterious and glamorous Lady De Winter is one of their most valuable agents. A despicable murder inside a locked and bolted room on the Rue Morgue in Paris is just the start. This whirlwind adventure will take Milady to the highest and lowest parts of that great city – and cause her to question the very nature of reality itself. (via Angry Robot)
A companion (rather than sequel) to The Bookman, Camera Obscura is set three years later, this time in Paris, France. Some events from The Bookman are mentioned, more as an aside rather than for plot. Camera Obscura is more of a straightforward mystery story. Well, as straightforward as you get in an alternative history where the ruling class of England are giant Lizard aliens.
Just as full of action as The Bookman, it has less of the romantic world view. The main character this time is an Amazonian woman (instead of a poet) and the narrative reflects this.
Of course it’s set in an alternate timeline, and still cast with living literary characters (Milady de Winter is the protagonist, but Dr. Frankenstein and Quasimodo also appear), but it feels slightly less magical than The Bookman. Even still, it’s a joy to read. And the way Lavie Tidhar describes the people, the places, the smells, makes you wish you could visit. It’s more violent (and gory) than The Bookman, but that comes with the territory of secret societies, conspiracy theories, and murder investigations. After you experience the world Tidhar has created you want to know more, making Camera Obscura well worth reading.