Queen Victoria Like You Have Never Seen Her Before

 

By T. Aaron Payton
Night Shade Books 26.99 320 pages

The Constantine Affliction by Aaron Payton matches well steampunk space. The book explores an alternative England where a disease changes the gender of its victim. An evil genius begins to engineer a London where he can rule every aspect of the lives of its inhabitants. His footsteps are dogged by a drunk, yet very able detective, and a lady reporter. Along the way they must deal with another mad genius and his search for love, as well as Queen Victoria.

Although, there are a number of great ideas running around this book, none of them are really explored. There is some great potential for commentary on the gay community, with some set up for it, but that quickly dissipates. Payton seems to want to do some romance, but it combines strangely with the horror aspects to cancel each other out. There are some incredible characters here, however; these are the kind of characters you would want to go clubbing with just to see what happens. Nonetheless, this fun book is in need of focus; here’s hoping for a sequel to clear it all up.

Reviewed By Jamais Jochim

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