Reading through A Dodge, A Twist, and a Tobacconist, Book 1 of the Alexander Legacy Book Series by Sophronia Belle Lyon, I’m reminded that steampunk fiction is making quite the dent in fantasy and magical realism genres. I haven’t seen too many, but I like them, generally. I liked The Three Musketeers (2011) when I watched it, and that is a steampunk-type movie.
The story starts out with a bang, as Flozzie (Floziel, the Prince of Bohemia) finds his uncle, currently the regent ruler, more than happy to orchestrate coup against him in order to gain the crown. After a precarious escape with the help of his friend, the son of the British ambassador, Flozzie sets up shop in London as a Tobacconist. He is then visited by Oliver Twist in a grand travel machine, and they set off on an adventure only Flozzie can save. Along the way, they meet up with other famous literature characters, such as Mowgli from The Jungle Book, in order to fight off their enemy, known as Dodge.
Things to Note:
- The subtitle, A Steampunk Literary Tribute Adventure, sums up the expectations of the book nicely. You get to spend time with popular characters from other famous literary works set in the British Victorian era, including my favorite, Mr. Collins and Charlotte from Pride and Prejudice, all while on an adventure with new characters. Some of the characters are a little different from their original stories, but it’s unique and creative and fun to imagine.
- There are a lot of people from the other novels who are involved in fighting against Dodge, the antagonist, who is in the sex-trafficking business. At some points it is hard to keep track of Flozzie, but seeing the experience as an outsider has its perks.
- Many people have compared this to the movie of League Of Extraordinary Gentlemen and Jules Verne works. I wholeheartedly agree with this comparison, on many levels; it has a similar style, time, storytelling elements, and the right amount of fantasticism.
- Focus on the social justice/morals. While fantasy is known for dealing with the ideas of good and evil much better than other genres, this book really does a good job of presenting it as part of the fallen nature of humanity and its deep discordant abysses at the heart of each person’s choices.
- The heart of the the character is gold. Flozzie’s character has suffered a large life reversal in losing his throne, but ten years later, as he is working, he doesn’t seem bitter about it, and he has a more optimistic agreement about setting off on a strange adventure with people he’s never known. I liked his confusion but admired his strong but mellow tenacity most.
This book really made me think it would be a great adventure to try on stage. Something about the Victorian era just makes me think of plays. I’m honestly torn between watching the League of Extraordinary Gentleman or reading Shakespeare now that I’m finished with the book. Or I might just check out Book 2: The Pinocchio Factor.