August 17th, 2014

hasui clouds of glory

The Constantine Affliction

Am given to understand that T. Aaron Payne is T.A. Pratt. I liked the Marla Mason books very much; am less enthused by The Constantine Affliction. It ought to be fun but I found a distinct absence of there there. Possibly Payne/ Pratt was having too much fun himself with his easter eggs and shout-outs and what-all to give the book the kind of heft it needed. The result is lightweight and not even that engrossing to read.

Steampunk is an odd beast that requires a certain attention to both style and pastiche. Marla Mason's diction is perfect for what Marla Mason is: solidly American, solidly city. No flourishes there, but none needed: solid working narrative. 19th century London with frissons of Holmes and Wimsey require, seriously, some of the style of the period. And I really don't think you can combine Peter Wimsey and a hard-drinking American noir detective into the same person; they're very incompatible bedmates. What we're left with is just an alcoholic peer.
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