Tuesday, March 21, 2023

Barnum's Angel - The Pale Chronicles #1

Barnum's Angel is a compelling and well written fantasy series opener by Len Boswell. Released 6th Oct 2022, it's 285 pages and is available in paperback and ebook formats. It's worth noting that the ebook format has a handy interactive table of contents as well as interactive links and references throughout. I've really become enamored of ebooks with interactive formats lately. For Kindle Unlimited subscribers, this book is currently included in the KU subscription library to borrow and read for free. The second book in the series, The Barnacle's Son, will also be available on KU after release in 3rd quarter 2023. 

Well written alternate history speculative fiction is a joy, and this is quite a good one. The characters are three dimensional and believable, the background settings are immersive and complete, and the dialogue is witty and flows well. Darwin and P.T. Barnum figure heavily, and the secondary characters, settings and occurrences are so well intertwined around a framework of real history that it's not always clear where real history shades over into fiction.

This would make a nice series for fans of historical fantasy, alternate history worlds, political history, and fans of the Victorian fantasy/mutant subgenre (with dragons). I was blown away by the depth of verisimilitude and world building. 

Four and a half stars. Really quite good. There are aspects of gothic horror and some explicit violence and descriptions, so more sensitive readers should be aware. 

Disclosure: I received an ARC at no cost from the author/publisher for review purposes.

No comments:

Post a Comment