Monday, October 3, 2011

Corsets and Machetes: My Review of "Queen Victoria, Demon Hunter" by A.E. Moorat

Much later, as he watched his manservant Perkins, eating the dog, Quimby gloomily reflected on the usual events of the evening.
But oh! It had begun so promisingly! All of the zombies were safely confined to the lower quarters, the prostitutes had arrived and were being served drinks in the library and Quimby was briefing the man about the …
Queen Victoria: Demon Hunter, A.E. Moorat


The novel takes you to the smoggy, cobbled streets of Victoria's vile and villainous Britain, but not as you know them ...A layer of horror will be seamlessly woven in to comedic effect. You'll meet Queen Victoria not as the bitter old widow forever draped in black, but transformed into an ass-kicking killer of evil creatures. It will be so scarily convincing that you'll be certain that in the dark days of Queen Victoria, it was more than just the pick-pockets you had to look out for

          I picked this book up after seeing the cover and nearly squealed in the middle of the store. Zombies, demons – and the Royals! Must. Read.
          Unfortunately though hilarious, it took me awhile to get into this. I didn’t expect that to happen but it did. I started reading it two Halloween ago. And finished it in September this year. Nearly two years.

          Which is strange since, it is a good story. Queen Victoria is hilarious in her anger, and her biting remarks and he irritation at the merest hint of an interruption of the social hierarchy or worse, someone making a comment about her German husband (they be lovebirds). She is intensely vigilant and vibrant, and she pops off the page, even though everything around her is shrouded in mystery and secrets, ill-kept by her advisors and enemies alike.

          And the world created by Moorat works for this  - even her bodyguards defer t the ever-famous Victorian rules of propriety and stuffiness. It reads well, and with a comical twist, much like other Monster Mash-ups I have had the pleasure of reading.

          But Queen V and her entourage does not light up this book for me. No. A pair of unlikely partners shine off the page much more brightly and in a way so much more comical that they have superseded even the interactions between Victoria and Lord M (Melbourne, the Prime Minister).

          Who, you ask? Quimbly, the Gentleman Mad Scientist and general Libertine, and Perkins, his man servant who defaulted into Zombie-dom after a particularly disastrous experiment on his master’s part.


          Not only are the two so well together that they rival the best comedy troupes, but they’re actions and quick commentary act as a fast-moving side story that runs the other stories down so that by the time that all the storylines merge, it as Perkins and Quimbly I was looking to, to make sense of what was happening. They were a delight to rad and an even better delight to read out loud to the Boy who was trying to sleep.

          I highly recommend this book – just for the two of them. The story begins and ends with them, and there is good reason why.

Up next for Review: The Deception of the Emerald Ring by Lauren Willig

Read if you liked:
  • Pride, Prejudice and Zombies by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
  • Sense, Sensibility and Sea Monsters by Jane Austen and Seth Grahame-Smith
  • Abraham Lincoln: Vampire Hunter by Seth Grahame-Smith
  • Little Women and Werewolves by Porter Grand
  • Mr. Darcy, Vampyre by Amanda Grange