As the sequel to Bronze Gods, Silver Mirrors picks up directly after the first novel. Detectives Mikani and Ritsuko now have to investigate unusual happenings in the city they thought they’d already saved. Priced at £7.99 from Titan Publishing, Silver Mirrors is part of the Apparatus Infernum novels.
As a sequel, Silver Mirrors has a difficult job. It has to continue a previous story element while also standing as an independent novel. I get the feeling that this doesn’t quite make the grade.
I tried to treat it with a “Star Wars” approach in that you seem to be entering a story that has been going on for a while and there’s the occasional reference to a past that you’d like to know more about. Star Wars did this with lines such as “There’ll be no escape for the Princess this time”. Because of the lack of visual stimulus, a book has the extra task of creating a vision within the imagination of the reader and I think that because the author did this in the first novel, they felt it was unnecessary to do so in Silver Mirrors. Characters were introduced that had been present in Bronze Gods and it was assumed you knew what they looked like and what characteristics they had.
The novel starts off very slow, but it could be explained as a continuation of the end of the first book. Things start to pick up towards the end of the first chapter with extremely unusual happenings. It’s then up to the two Detectives to figure it all out. Throughout the start of the book there’s little reference to any kind of steampunk world around the characters. There’s no period vocabulary, no mention of old fashioned vessels. In fact, it does mention cars, which I didn’t expect. I do realise that steampunk isn’t without it’s creative licence and I wouldn’t mark it down for having cars, I just feel that with little other mention of Victorianisms I was conjuring up a modern day world with oriental influences thanks to the surnames of the protagonists.
Despite these issues that I raised through the review, it’s a very pleasing book to read. Once it gets started, the pace is good and the black humour from the Detectives gives a welcome light relief in the drama of the plot. It does get a lot more steampunk influenced throughout the book.
I had trouble getting into it because I felt that I needed to read the first book to understand the characters which had most likely been given background explanations in Bronze Gods. Once I was in, I liked the book. The story line is good, original and funny.
Ratings: (Out of five)