The Explosionist

Jenny Davidson's The Explosionist was not what I was expecting. At the beginning it confused, later it intrigued me and at the end it frustrated me because I had thought that this was meant to be a stand alone but no, it's definitely going to have at least one sequel.

This is what you have to know about the The Explosionist before you start it - you need to take what you know about the world and chuck it aside. When you start reading this book you are entering another universe that takes place in our own world. It's a sort of "what if" book. What if Napoleon hadn't lost at Waterloo? What if England had fallen during WWI? What if things were very, very different? If you can accept that you'll do fine with this book. I didn't know that going in and I spent the first 50 to 100 pages trying to figure out what the heck was going on. Just accept and embrace everything that seems a bit "off". It's not 1938 the way you've ever thought about it. It's not Scotland the way you've ever thought abotu it either. And that's not even getting into the whole supernatural divation/spiritualism aspect of it.

I liked Sophie a lot. I thought she had a good head on her shoulders. Great Aunt Tabitha I had a hard time understanding - she expressed love but it didn't seem like she showed it so much or that Sophie felt it so much. I have some problems with Mikael...problems along the line of I think he needs a good swift kick. The way that he thinks that Sophie needs his protection makes me want to pinch him. Hard. And I do believe it's going to bite him in the ass in the next book (or at least I'm hoping it is).

The Explosionist is a really interesting book. I do think that some people will be thrown off it by the alternate history aspect of it but once I let myself I enjoyed it. Jenny Davidson is working on (perhaps finished?) the sequel and it's called The Snow Queen. (I'm not sure I get her titles but anyway...) It probably won't be out unil 2010 and I suspect that I'll be wishing that I had waited and read them closer together.

Charlotte has a much better review than mine. I'll just say that I did like it and that I wish the sequel wasn't so far off.