Roger Weathersby digs up corpses for medical schools. It is his hope to earn enough money by this means to buy his own text books and study to become a physician. Though he’s never been a man of wealth or means (he was the son of a servant) he had been childhood friends with a princess – Princess Sibylla – though that was many years ago.
For her part, Sibylla had been rather pleased when Roger left the estate. She had seen him kissing members of the staff and heard that he’d taken a bribe to leave the palace. A man like that was not needed around royalty. Now Sibylla is focused on continuing her magical bloodline, which means finding a suitable mate. (Can we guess where this might be going?)
Roger is accused of murdering one of the corpses he digs up. Since the police are sure it’s him, and he (and we) know it’s not, that means there is a killer on the loose and it’s up to Roger to find him. Roger’s only hope is his old friend Sibylla and time is running out!
I really found this book quite average. There is a slight sense of steampunk-ness given it’s mock-Victorian-era setting, but it’s not fantastically steampunk or Victorian. There is a slight murder mystery but the book is more interesting in establishing two characters to really give us a meaty mystery. There’s a slight hint of magic, which gets used more frequently as we’re about to be done with the book, but even this seems to be more a prop for a longer story arc than important to this book. And that leaves us with … I’m not sure what.
The story, such as it is, takes way too long to develop. It’s maybe two-thirds in before we start to feel like we’re getting what we came for, those pages filled with backstory and character development. But if we don’t see where it’s headed, we don’t really care where we’ve been.
This was one of those books where I could see that others might enjoy it. Romantic Victorian fantasies have a following but I rarely have ever enjoyed such myself. I was hoping for a little more on the mystery portion of the book, or perhaps even some adventure, but I found it a little too … flowery? … to provide much to interest me.
Looking for a good book? There’s a specific audience out there for The Resurrectionist of Caligo by Wendy Trimboli and Alicia Zaloga, but if you’re not into Victorian fantasy romances it might not be for you.
I received a digital copy of this book from the publisher, through Netgalley, in exchange for an honest review.
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The Resurrectionist of Caligo
authors: Wendy Trimboli and Alicia Zaloga
publisher: Angry Robot
paperback, 360 pages