I’ve always loved the Boston Metaphysical Society comics, from the original 6-issue arc to the more recent standalone featuring Granville Woods and Nicola Tesla. So, of course, when I heard there was a novel coming out, I was eager to read and review that, as well; however, truth be told, I didn’t think it would be quite as good as the comics. I’ve read novel adaptations of comics before, and while they’re fun, without the artwork, they usually fall short.
It turns out, though, I think I like this novel even better than I like the comics. The longer format allows us to explore the world that the story is set in – in more depth – and gain a deeper understanding of the characters in it.
So, what is this world like? An alternate history, set in 1890 (five years before the events of the comic), the United States (now called the Great States) has become an aristocracy, ruled by the families of several wealth industrialists called the Great Houses. Together, they’ve built a steampunk empire, held together by a rather precarious peace.
As our story opens, the daughter of one of those Houses, Elizabeth Weldsmore, has married below her station: her former bodyguard and Pinkerton detective Samuel Hunter. Her father, head of the Weldsmore house and essentially American royalty, is understandably not thrilled about the match. To make matters worse, Elizabeth begins to have visions of the future—an affliction she had hoped she had managed to get rid of.
This book is a great combination of science and magic, turning both into a gripping adventure that’s well worth reading. It also provides some background and origins for the characters we first met in the comic. If you enjoy the comic, you’ll definitely want to read the novel, as well, to be drawn further into the BMS world. If you haven’t read the comic, you don’t need any background to enjoy the novel but can jump right in. Either way, both the comic and the novel are highly recommended.
Creative Team: Madeleine Holly-Rosing (author), Luisa Preissler (cover art), Anke Koopman (title graphics), and Vandel J. Arden (interior map)
Publisher: Brass-T Publishing
Click here to purchase.