Thursday, August 23, 2012

E-Book Review Ex Fumo Gaudiam by Nobilis Reed

You may remember my buddy Nobilis from my very first Pod Cast. (That link is to the latest in case you're interested.) Well I've got a surprise kiddies, he's got a novella out for the Kindle and has let me review it.

First off I'm not very familiar with Steam Punk but I can surely recognize it when I read it. And this qualifies to my untrained eye as such.

But wait it's Latin, you can see it in the title. I know, I know, threw me off too, but roll with it.

Our story is set in something that vaguely resembles ancient Rome on crack. There are steam powered machines and boats and technologies that should not have been anywhere near Rome when they spoke old school latin. These folk traded furs and had titles like Legate and Procurator. Our main character, Marcus, is the second most powerful man in the city, engaged to a higher ranking man's daughter. He falls in love with a native woman and is faced with the dilemma of having to find a way to be with the one he loves and please the Legate at the same time.

The novella unfolds like a history lesson and love story all rolled into one. I think the steam engines keep it interesting while the references to long since dead gods bind each character to the story. Marcus is a clever man and eventually finds a way to succeed in this goal only to be thwarted by the native woman's husband.

Because there are several languages mentioned and discussed I got a little confused. The Roman's speak Latin but Marcus switches to a trade language to deal with the people with whom he trades, then plays translator later on when he's forced to deal with a certain unsavory person near the end of the story. Because your's truly is a particularly special individual, I got a little stuck when the writing became broken to emphasize who was talking. Trust me it kicked in later and I figured it out.

Overall I found this story very engaging, even a little heart breaking when Marcus' betrothed came to her senses and broke off the engagement.  What nailed this novella, was the depth of growth displayed in each of the main characters. I rarely see that in the novellas I come across.

The Dog Log gives this two thumbs. Keep up the good work Bro.
You can find your copy of this awesome e-book at Amazon see here.

Stay Tuned for Friday Fictioneers Blog Hop Tomorrow.

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