Review: My favorite genres are fantasy and science fiction, yet I am also a long time lover of gothics, and the rise of steampunk writing is the perfect opportunity to enjoy them all. In “Out of the London Mist”, an even greater, insidious mystery unfolds as John Farnley searches for his brother’s killer, and finds a string of murders all interconnected and which must be solved… or more people surely will die. He is assisted by others in his search for the Truth, most notably by his sister-in-law Clara, and a known colleague Sylvia Armley.
The effort to create atmospheric, believable settings on the streets and in the townhomes of London past is noticeable from the very first page, and continues throughout. I also particularly liked that the dialogue was well-done, a skill some writers do not seem to understand. You can have extended conversations that provide important clues, move the story along and give insight into your characters personalities, yet still creatively goes beyond, “He said/She said”. I felt Medana did so effectively in the novel, as well as describing action scenes in a way readers could easily visualize them.
I would have enjoyed more backstory on how the new Lord Farnley knew Sylvia, what their previous adventures may have entailed, as well as more information on the nature of Aether, a worldbuilding expansion that could more firmly root readers in how this London was uniquely different than that of our reality’s past. Yet overall, I felt it was a solid, very enjoyable novel that progresses naturally and smoothly, and a bar a couple of personal questions about terminology for non-English characters, I would definitely recommend “Out of the London Mist”. It lends itself well to a sequel or possible series.
Description: “When news of his brother’s murder reached him, aether pilot John Farnley raced back to his old family home.
While he comforts his bereaved sister-in-law, and tries to sort the family business and holdings, he also wonders why his brother, Lord Nicholas Farnley, had ventured into the cramped streets of the East End of London where he had met his violent end. The slums are a deadly place where life was cheap and murderous thugs preyed on the weak and lost.
Now, in the midst of a thick, London fog, something even more monstrous is waiting in the mist-shrouded shadows. Something that has been brought to life by the refugees crowding Bethnal Green and Mile End. Something his brother might have had a hand in creating.
Aided by his friend, the resourceful Miss Sylvia Armley, his own understanding of the aether lines that flow above London, and guided by the erudite advice of Professor Entwistle, John is forced to find his way through the darkest part of London to avenge his brother and stop whatever aether powered monster is lurking there.”
Lyssa Medana is a 51 year old author living in West Yorkshire, UK. Her works include The Forgotten Village, Digging up the Past, Cats in the Bible, Dinner at Dark and Tales from the White Hart. Lyssa also regularly publishes poems and short stories on her blog, Always Another Chapter.
Lyssa is fascinated by the odd, the quirky and the unusual and enjoys dipping in to old folklore and English social history, which she shamelessly uses for her writing. Her hobbies include knitting, reading and heckling history documentaries.