Die Erfindung der Violet Adams PDF/EPUB É Erfindung

Die Erfindung der Violet Adams I was lucky enough to get an advanced readers copy of this book from one of my colleagues who met the author at Book Expo I absolutely loved it In alternate Victorian England, there are many scientists who have mastered the ability to create inventions beyond the common man s wildest dreams, using gears and steam for power Illyria is a prestigious private school run by Duke Ernest, and takes only the best of men Violet is not your typical Victorian girl rather, she is a gifted scientist an I was lucky enough to get an advanced readers copy of this book from one of my colleagues who met the author at Book Expo I absolutely loved it In alternate Victorian England, there are many scientists who have mastered the ability to create inventions beyond the common man s wildest dreams, using gears and steam for power Illyria is a prestigious private school run by Duke Ernest, and takes only the best of men Violet is not your typical Victorian girl rather, she is a gifted scientist and inventor and wants nothingthan to go to lllyria Violet concocts a scheme to impersonate her twin brother, Ashton, in order to attend the school She plans to keep up her disguise until the final exhibition at the end of the year, and hopes that after proving herself as a worthy scientist, she will be allowed to stay As one would expect, keeping up this ruse is not an easy task for Violet, especially when she starts getting close to the Duke Within Illyria, there are also dark secrets that threaten to ruin Violet s plan A mixture of steampunk, The Twelfth Night, and The Importance of Being Earnest, All Men of Genius is a book that will suck you in from the prologue The attention paid to the details of the elaborate inventions will satisfy any steampunk fan, though it is not overdone to the point that newcomers will grow bored with the descriptions which are done very well The combination of action, mad science, humor, and romance allow for the novel to have a wide audience Viola Adams has a gift for invention, and the best way to hone her skills is by attending the prestigious Illyria College Illyria only accepts male students, so of course she masquerades as a boy to attend While there, she runs into wacky professors, sinister clockwork automatons, and the far too sexy for her good Duke While she and the Duke battle their attraction for each other he assuming she s a boy, she wanting to focus on her inventions , the Duke s ward Cecily falls in love with Viola Viola Adams has a gift for invention, and the best way to hone her skills is by attending the prestigious Illyria College Illyria only accepts male students, so of course she masquerades as a boy to attend While there, she runs into wacky professors, sinister clockwork automatons, and the far too sexy for her good Duke While she and the Duke battle their attraction for each other he assuming she s a boy, she wanting to focus on her inventions , the Duke s ward Cecily falls in love with Viola Meanwhile, one of Viola s fellow students plans to take over the world It s a bit like Twelfth Night mixed up in a blender with the Importance of Being Ernest, except without the transversive sexual tension of the first or the humor of either The world building is odd I could never tell exactly when it was supposed to take place Judging from Ada Lovelace s age, it should be 1882, but it never felt like it, not even close All historical details are kept very vague, which is frustrating to someone like me when reading an alternate history I want to know exactly what s alternate about it The steampunk feels pasted on, and it works like magic, not science For someone supposedly obsessed with mechanical devices, Viola certainly thinks about them very little She doesn t seem to learn a thing at Illyria, either she spends all her days working on her own project, without needing professors help, and her nights drinking with friends Why then go to such effort to attend the college She s never challenged, never has to study hard or singe her fingers on a mis wired fiddly bit Her inventing feels like a set piece, or like a randomly assigned character trait One big point in this book s favor it would have been very easy for Viola to be the Sole Exceptional Woman, but in fact she s surrounded by other women, from the girlish chemist Cecily to the sensible prostitute Fiona There were, if anything, too many characters, but a good number of them were women The plot is silly, like the professors are silly, in this very consciously twee style that apes Lemony Snicket s without approaching his light touch There s no narrative tension, and the pacing is soooo slooooow I really, really wanted to like this book, but the construction was just too lightweight and slapdash I d love to read a silly book with gender play and marauding robots, but with characters that readgenuinely, and humor that actually works London,Im Zeitalter des Fortschritts halten Erfindungen wie Luftschiffe und Roboter die Welt in Atem Violet ist selbst ein Ingenieursgenie Schon immer war es ihr Traum, am ber hmten Illyria Institut zu studieren Aber das ist den M nnern vorbehalten, da von jungen Damen in erster Linie erwartet wird, ihr h bsches Aussehen zur Schau zu stellen anstatt sich den Kopf ber mathematische Formeln zu zerbrechen Kurzerhand schl pft Violet in die Rolle ihres Zwillingsbruders und wird an der Eliteschule angenommen Ihr falsches Spiel bringt bald schon seine T cken mit sich, vor allem, als sie den charmanten Grafen Ernest kennenlernt Dazu gesellen sich noch gr ere Gefahren f r Violet In Illyrias geheimen Laboren treiben vom Ehrgeiz zerfressende Wissenschaftler ihr Unwesen Die Gier nach Macht l sst sie vor nichts zur ckschrecken The last steam punk novel I read was The Difference Engine, and that was over 10 years ago I liked it well enough, but the genre didn t catch on with me I think had I read All Men Of Genius by Lev AC Rosen, though, steam punk would have beenconsistent fare in my literary diet This sideways retelling of Shakespeare s Twelfth Night is a fun, witty tale, with characters you wish you could befriend and drink with at a dingy London pub Rosen s devotion to character does not detract from the The last steam punk novel I read was The Difference Engine, and that was over 10 years ago I liked it well enough, but the genre didn t catch on with me I think had I read All Men Of Genius by Lev AC Rosen, though, steam punk would have beenconsistent fare in my literary diet This sideways retelling of Shakespeare s Twelfth Night is a fun, witty tale, with characters you wish you could befriend and drink with at a dingy London pub Rosen s devotion to character does not detract from the main tenant of steam punk, the revisualization of ascientifically advanced Victorian world His England is wondrously detailed, original, and still maintains an element of mystery If I have one criticism, it s that I want to know evenabout the parts of this world that were not mentioned in the story The school of science where the lion s share of the action takes place is architecturally well thought out I ve never been to London, but feel as though the place as described must exist in some form or another The comradery and competition within the school is spiritually reminiscent of Harry Potter s Hogwarts, only with the eccentric students pursuing scientific discovery instead of magic spells Alliances are made early on between the students, with Violet and her friend Jack falling in with a noble crowd suggestive of Gryffindor I don t want to go into much detail about the story itself because this is really a journey best discovered by letting it unfold The short of it is that the protagonist, a young woman who s been denied the opportunity to study science due to her sex, is actually one of the great scientific minds of her age Sufficed to say, she doesn t take no from the school s admission board very well and concocts a scheme to get her education anyway, at the risk of massive reprisal Violet is a heroine you can t help but root for Despite her unorthodox methods of getting into the school, and the doubts and tribulation that come along with her plan, Rosen never loses the beauty of Violet s innocence despite her intellect, and keeps her true to herself You just want to jump into the pages and help Violet and the gang in their adventure I would love to see this book as a movie or television series Violet, as a character that uses her mind and promotes the benefits of study and education, would make an excellent and entertaining heroine for girls and boys to aspire to be like Maybe Spielberg or J.J Abrams will pick up All Men of Genius and be inspired to make it happen Prelim Review As a big time fan of both Twelfth Night and The Importance of Being Earnest, plus steampunk, this was a natural fit for me to enjoy I had met the author at BEA this year during a double signing with Edward Lazellari for TOR my publisher for life , but knew nothing about the book However soon as I began walking away from the table I looked at the backcover and was like HOW COULD I NOT KNOW OF THIS and almost turned around to fangirl at Rosen just on the grounds of what the bo Prelim Review As a big time fan of both Twelfth Night and The Importance of Being Earnest, plus steampunk, this was a natural fit for me to enjoy I had met the author at BEA this year during a double signing with Edward Lazellari for TOR my publisher for life , but knew nothing about the book However soon as I began walking away from the table I looked at the backcover and was like HOW COULD I NOT KNOW OF THIS and almost turned around to fangirl at Rosen just on the grounds of what the book was inspired by.Yes that is how deep my love is for those two plays.So how does the book match up to my expections Fantastically.Not only is the book peppered with inside jokes and references to the source materials Bunburry s multiple accidents, cucumber sandwhichs and well the names are a bitobvious I suppose , but this is possibly one of my favorite steampunk tales to date Rosen doesn t just pay lip service to the genre, he goes into sometimes horrifying detail as well Its possible I could have done without the lessons in Biology that Jack Violet s room mate and childhood friend engages in, but they certainly added a different layer to the tale.I could wax poetical about the various references for probably a good half hour ordepending on the mood of the listener , but instead let me focus on the book itself I would definitely say that Rosen captured the feel of the two plays quite well it has always seemed to me that neither took itself seriously Both Wilde and Shakespeare seemed content to let their creations be just a shade over the top and ridiculous Admittedly the book isn t a farce, but Rosen doesn t let the characters ever think so much of themselves that they become tiresome Well except perhaps Volio, but he s the bad egg of the pieceor less and you expect that of his sort.At any given time there are about a half dozen or so romances going on, one sided and otherwise The centerpiece is of course Violet and Ernest, but through their associates we see the various stages of romance Her brother Ashton and his romance with a servant, a couple of her new friends paramours, Cecily s infatuation with Violet as Ashton, Ernest s confusing courtship of Violet, Volio s campaign for Cecily and Jack s campaign for Cecily I think that pretty much covers things Rosen doesn t let gender really get in the way of romance, and I admit that Ernest s confusion until the truth is revealed had me slapping my forehead in amusement Subtly issues of race, station, sexuality and gender makes it way into the story The boys at Illyria are from every kind of background their only unifying quality their genius and because of this we re introduced to farthan just the elite Truth be told I wanted to seeof what society thought of the Duke of Illyria s school we see scarce little of society outside of Violet s family and mentions by students of their titles or father s titles At one point Ernest does mention he likes to keep to himself, so I suppose that s a reason.As odd as this sounds I think that Ashton was my favorite character We see little of his exploits when they don t pertain to Violet we hear bits and pieces, but that s about it , but I took a shine to his character Maybe because despite all his tomfoolery he showed true care and concern for those around him Or maybe because he was kind of a reckless take me as a I am sort of fellow that I tend to really admire Violet was a good foil for him, or he for her She is serious minded, despite her insane plan and madcap ideas, and though she loosens up while amongst the boys of the school, she s a stabilizing force in the book Sometimes Cecily got on my nerves, which is par for the course as the character in Importance also got on my nerves at times Not that she was naive or stupid, justblind maybe Several times her good fortune is pointed out to her, but she takes much of it for granted Jack, Toby and Drew were fun and rounded out the cast nicely I liked Jack, liked his sensible approach to wooing Cecily I thought Toby and Drew played off the others well and if nothing else gave Violet some sound advice if she were male at least My one sadness was how depressingly pragmatic many of the female characters were Lady Ada, Miriam, Fiona, and even Violet at points were all realistic about their futures Well, perhaps not Violet so much, but it definitely Fiona and Miriam They were definitely live for the moment sorts who understood the ways of the world, but tried not to let that ruin their enjoyment of what they had I m not sure I can recommend this book enough There is I believe something for everyone I do warn at some content matter terrifying automata for instance that had my skin crawling and oily creepers for instance If nothing else I hope the school year proved to the Duke that he needs to install some sort of psychological examination before allowing kids like Volio in again Original review posted on The Book Smugglers HEREFirst Impressions Ana All Men of Genius has been marketed as a Steampunk retelling of Shakespeare s Twelfth Night and Oscar Wilde s The Importance of Being Earnest Well, I love Steampunk when done well and the two aforementioned plays are my favourites by their respective authors so I was super excited to read this At the same time, I was quite wary as there is this really thin line separating great homage from simple reproduction I need not Original review posted on The Book Smugglers HEREFirst Impressions Ana All Men of Genius has been marketed as a Steampunk retelling of Shakespeare s Twelfth Night and Oscar Wilde s The Importance of Being Earnest Well, I love Steampunk when done well and the two aforementioned plays are my favourites by their respective authors so I was super excited to read this At the same time, I was quite wary as there is this really thin line separating great homage from simple reproduction I need not have worried Mr Rosen s book is basically made of awesome and I loved every single second of it.In fact, you will have to excuse me while I wax poetic all over this review.Thea I remember catching wind of this title right before BEA and then excitedly telling Ana that this sounded like an awesome candidate for a joint review there s the steampunk goodness PLUS the wonderful literary allusions inspirations, not to mention the fun cover and clever title It is, in short, the perfect amalgam of things that we Smugglers love I went into this book expecting a delightful romantic comedy of errors and a lighthearted romp through a steampunkified Victorian London and I am happy to report that All Men of Genius delivers exactly that, with some surprising depth to boot.On the Plot Ana Violet Adams is a brilliant inventor and mechanical genius who would love nothingthan to attend the world famous Illyria College Unfortunately for Violet, the College will not accept women, who are regarded by society as the lesser gender But that will not stop Violet and aided by her twin brother Ashton and their best friend Jack, she comes up with scheme to masquerade as her brother and attend the colleague her goal is to become the College s best student and at the end of the year, reveal herself as a woman Things get a littlecomplicated when Ernest, the Duke of Illyria and the headmaster of the College, becomes infatuated with Violet as Ashton who reciprocates the feeling much to her own dismay at the same time that his ward Cecily also develops feelings for the student Violet has to deal with all of this and attend the lessons and concoct the experiment that will prove her genius amongst serious competition with other students Meanwhile, there is something afoot in the labyrinth beneath the College where long lost secrets still dwell.I can t even begin to express how much I loved this book.In terms of the plot it follows Violet and her friends during this one year at College and it deals with several different threads In this alternate universe London, the College is a centre for scientific experiments in a proper Steampunk manner featuring not only automata and steam powered machines but also biological medical advancements in genetics that allow terrible experimentations with animals and even with human beings.As an aside, this is probably my only main criticism of the book that there is little ethical questioning about this although some of the characters do show some horror to what some of the students are doing but since learning that there will be a sequel, I hope this will be addressed somehow.There is also the mystery of what is going on in the basement of the school which may or may not relate to a group of Mad Scientists that wish for World Nomination and that sounds a bit trite because well, not all Science Fiction needs to feature the mad conspiracies BUT it not only kept me going and what s the best thing about this, is that the eventual revelation is completely anti climatic and I totally loved that it was so It not only fit the story butto the point it fit its mood and atmosphere.And then of course, there is the scheme itself and how to keep Violet s identity a secret from everybody there is all the falling in love and falling out of love and love returned and love spurned Most of it is a comedy of manners and a comedy of errors and I am a sucker for both especially when done with such aplomb I mean, I loved everything about it the writing, the narrative style which features an almost omniscient narrator, the banter between the characters and their adventures This is where the novel follows the original plays very closely if you are familiar with either play, you will know exactly where the story is going and who ends up with each other well,or less since Ashton don t really play his original role, buton that later But what fascinated me the most is that even with that, this story was still fresh and original and the author s own not only because of the Steampunk elements but because of how it developed For example, it is very common in Shakespearian plays for characters to fall in love at first sight and this happens here when Jack falls in love with Cecily but she totally calls him on that how is it possible that he can love her at first sight without knowing her More than that though, I loved how the story was set in a somewhat similar Victorian London and despite the scientific advancements, it was still a society with prejudices and sexism I thought the author was at extremely ease with exploring and examining subtly and with compassion those issues, dealing with gender bias, sexism, racism and homophobia really well.To sum up All Men of Genius is charming, fun, funny, romantic and as the English would say, totally my cup of tea.Thea What Ana said If you re familiar with Twelfth Night and The Importance of Being Earnest, you can basically guess how All Men of Genius plays out I loved the allusions, both obvious and subtle, to each play Violet s invention of a mechanical perambulator in which neither a baby nor a novel can be forgotten or switched the phonetic similarities between Ashton Sebastian, Violet Viola, Miriam Maria, the delightful Malcom Volio for Malvolio and so on and so forth Butthan the similarities in names and plot devices, I loved that this hybrid version of Wilde s and the Bard s comedy of mistaken identities has a much deeper examination of sexism, sexuality, and status It s actually incredibly impressive that Mr Rosen is able to stay so close to the source material while translating it to a context that is both engrossing speculative fiction AND a bitingly relevant societal critique.Like Ana, I was easily drawn in by the comedic elements of this story Violet, dressed as a man, heads to Illyria to fulfill her lifelong dream and prove that a woman is just as eligible for a career in the sciences as a man Like her inspirational Shakespearean counterpoint Viola, Violet defies convention in order to find a place in a society that forces women into set roles and she s not the only one to do so Her twin brother, Ashton, also plays within the niceties towards outward facing society, but is an unapologetic invert the Victorian term for homosexual that loves as he wills which is freaking awesome There s also Cecily, the sixteen year old ward the embodiment both her Earnest namesake and Olivia from Twelfth Night who is beautiful and believes herself to be in love with Violet as Ashton But rather than stunting her character as a love struck girl, Mr Rosen gives her a voice beyond that of the blandly naive young ward and shows that part of the reason she falls in love with Ashton is because he treats her as an equal and admires her scientific skill and know how There s also Miriam, Cecily s governess, who is so muchthan her Twelfth Night counterpart, Maria, with her desire for freedom, both socially and sexually Long story short I loved the way that Mr Rosen managed to pay tribute to the plays that inspired this novel, but managed to make them relevant and thematically brilliant by dealing with sensitive issues of gender, sexuality, and social norms.But let s not forget about the Speculative Fiction element After all, this is a steampunk novel set in an alternate Victorian London Like Ana says, I think the charm of this book in terms of world setting is in that Illyria is not a mere college devoted to the creation of dirigibles and automata While Violet IS a mechanical genius, Illyria allows for other kinds of brilliance from the genetically biologically ambitious Victor Frankenstein would have been gleefully at home here to those who long to gaze at the stars and divine the meanings of their celestial movements.The only plot element that I felt was slightly undercooked was that of young Volio and his nefarious schemes The mystery of the school s labyrinthine corridors and the secrets they harbor are the underlying impetus for the climax of the novel, and while it works in a wonderfully absurdist Wilde esque way, it felt a bit of an easy way to pin everything on a main villain Plus, by the end of the novel we only really learn a tiny bit about the mysterious society of Illyria but as there s a sequel in the works, I m certainwill come to light in a future installment.On the Characters Ana If I loved the plot because it was so close to the originals, I loved the characters all thebecause this is where All Men of Genius deviates from the original stories the most because the author took some of the characters into different paths and gave some of them voices.A significant difference for example comes with Ashton, Violet s twin brother who, in this story, is gay and although he is a bit of a secondary character, there is enough exploration of his difficult situation in a society that doesn t accept queer people At the same time, I loved how sister and his friends accepted his sexual orientation without any problems whatsoever.There is quite a diverse cast of characters, the majority of them beautifully rendered in depth I even felt that the villain had his reasons but that might be because I secretly always felt bad for Malvolio in Shakespeare s play I loved the bittersweet relationship between another young, Sir Toby and the older Governess Miriam I loved that Miriam was given a personality separate to what was happening to her ward Cecily, that she is just like Violet, an independent woman who wants to be able to dowith her life and be as free to love and have fun as she wants There is this beautiful scene where Violet just like Miriam muses about the simple pleasure of going out with friends to a tavern to drink and be merry, a pleasure that is denied to her because she is a woman And I loved that I loved every single female character in this book because they had personalities and arcs of their own independently of any male counterpart even though all of them were involved in a romantic storyline This to me, is awesome.Thea I completely and wholeheartedly agree There are many familiar elements and homages paid in All Men of Genius, which makes those differences all thepotent With his portrayal of Violet, Mr Rosen gives our heroine not only the pluck and survival instincts of Viola, but also takes into account the context of Victorian England and prevailing sexism Should Violet be caught in her disguise, she, like other women who dared to pose as men in order to gain an education, would be thrown in prison indefinitely or worse I loved that Violet addresses and weighs these possibilities against her own actions and makes the conscious decision to go to Illyria, because the stakes are so high I also loved that while Violet discovers freedom when she poses as a man, she also discovers her own desire to be and grow as a woman The balance is wonderfully wrought, and I loved the finesse and skill that Mr Rosen shows his heroine.I also have to agree with Ana that all of the female characters in this piece are fantastic and my easy favorites Cecily grows in her own confidences and becomes a young woman, but it is the widowed Miriam that captured my heart A governess, a widow, but still a young woman yearning for freedom and life outside of marriage, Miriam s quest for happiness was completely unexpected to me and added a depth and nuance to a novel that was for the large part a sparkling, light comedy I also adored Ashton and his support for his sister and his resolve to be happy, just as I loved the easygoing prankster Jack, who also grows and learns what it means to truly love someone Finally, there s the Duke of Illyria himself, the Ernest of this piece who is also equal parts Orsino Ernest is a sympathetic hero that one can t help but feel for romantic and soft spoken, his romance with Viola as Ashton and as Viola is hilarious and heartfelt There s a kiss that literally comes out of nowhere that had me gleefully laughing, and I m kind of glad that Lev Rosen goes there I always wondered about the attraction between Orsino and Sebastian in Twelfth Night, and I think the way it is handled here, with much introspection, is very clever indeed.Final Thoughts, Observations Rating Ana As you can see, I loved this book with all my heart to the point I can hardly contain myself It s been a while since I had so much unreserved fun reading a book All I can say now is that All Men of Genius is an Ana Book through and through and I hugged it when I finished reading it It has a secure spot on my top 10 this year.Thea I also truly loved the book, and like Ana, had a very fun time reading it Absolutely recommended to all, and a Notable Read of 2011 1 stars.Where to start This book was such a failure on so many fronts Be prepared for a long inspired rant I mean review.I ll start off with the few good points that I managed to see beyond this mess of a novel The author had okay prose here and there, there were two funny moments, and the climax was silly and fun though completely out of context for the atmosphere the author was going for so a total fail.However, an entire mountain of negative aspects bury the little positive there was, ve 1 stars.Where to start This book was such a failure on so many fronts Be prepared for a long inspired rant I mean review.I ll start off with the few good points that I managed to see beyond this mess of a novel The author had okay prose here and there, there were two funny moments, and the climax was silly and fun though completely out of context for the atmosphere the author was going for so a total fail.However, an entire mountain of negative aspects bury the little positive there was, very deeply.So where did the author err Unfortunately in all areas when judging a book character, plot, and narrative In this case, the elements are so messed up that you can t talk about one area without dragging another into the conversation But I ll try to make my point clear I ll begin with narrative and move on from there The first thing that jumped out at me was the point of view POV jumps The author loves to head hop from one character to the next, sometimes within the same paragraph Sometimes a minor character will narrate for one paragraph before the POV switches back to the main character I don t think the author was going for 3rd person omniscient narrative it didn t have that tone to it I think he meant to do 3rd person limited and unfortunately failed miserably.He has us jump around from so many characters, from all the random professors detailing their happy or failed love lives how is this relevant , the servant girl who has 3 lines of narrative telling us she fears our eccentric heroin um, you had to jump into her head to show us she was afraid of Violet , the Governess Mirriam who goes into long soliloquy over her struggles with dealing with racism , and all the other characters who bore us with their love lives I can go on It s a very long list of POVs.What this shows is that the author doesn t grasp the reason a POV is selected The questions that an author must ask them self is this what is this story about, what message they are trying to portray, and who best tells this story Sometimes multiple POVs are used to tell a story, but they are CAREFULLY selected and they have a STRONG COMPELLING REASON for being included In spearing us with every POV possible from the book, he s only managed to poke enumerable holes in his narrative to resemble Swiss cheese so much so that it doesn t look like a narrative any It merely resembles a patchwork of every POV of the author exploring ALL POSSIBLE variations to a story.This leads to my next point character With a non existent narrative, it s no surprise that he doesn t allow for any character development beyond a superficial level which isn t deep A strong narrative would have allowed us to connect and bond with the major players of the book As it was, to compensate for this, the author had to spell everything out and explain the situation to the reader to make sure the reader understood each character s motivations and personal struggles e.g She felt angry because of these reasons There was no subtext The fact that the Rosen needed to explain these things to the reader instead of the story doing it for him, leads to another major weakness The plot also lacked focus There were so many scenes incidentally the random POVs that did nothing to further the plot along Instead, they confused the plot and bogged it down The book crawled at a slow pace.We re also unsure of what message the author was trying to convey He mashed a whole bunch of very relevant societal issues of our culture into one book, which would have beenthan adequate to dedicate an entire book to each SEPARATELY, but he s managed to hamfist them together into one novel with the level of sophistication of a stomping elephant In doing so, not only did he fail to properly portray one issue and his message, but the resultant effect was a poor mockery of all these issues For instance, he could have focused on a girl struggling to be recognized as an equal in a man s world which the message is completely undermined by the crazy ending , or the oppression of gays and their struggles but the way he presented it, they seemed to happy and struggle free while hiding behind the backs of society , and how about the racial oppression of one woman a minor side character which felt like a totally random topic, by the way Do you get the feeling that this story lacked focus We re not sure where the author wanted to take this story From what I can see, the author himself didn t know where he wanted to take this story Just because these issues are powerful on their own, doesn t mean that just throwing them into your book would suddenly add depth and meaning You have to work for it Work for the issue, get the reader emotionally involved, carry the reader on a journey and leave the reader to figure out the message without the need for blatant narrative to explain it to you which is what he did To bring up one example of just how far off the author went off topic, he s got this one character, Mr Curio, who suffers these Dr Jackel and Clyde moments This character s goals are to find a cure for his blackout rage moments Not only was that a totally random thing to put into the story, but it went nowhere and contributed nothing to the plot In fact, I d say it contributed a negative number How is that possible, you ask Well, it made everything evenof a mess Had the author focused on ONE character and ONE issue, I think he would have done better He has proven he is currently incapable of handlingAuthors who ve mastered the ability to showcase multiple societal issues have developed the skills to subtly present each issue by letting the reader briefly glimpse them, allowing the effect to resonate in the reader s subconscious over and over again throughout the novel until it crests in the climax I m not sure what Rosen s goal was when he sat down to pen this book Was it to force every theme that has ever popped up in literature into one book Because, it certainly wasn t to write a story The reader can t find the story with all these ideas fighting for dominance Now I ll discuss other areas of the book, such as how well were these geniuses presented Unfortunately it was entirely unbelievable Readers go into a book expecting to suspend some disbelief, but the author has proven his ignorance in the matter of science a major fail for a steampunk novel For example, here s a list of impossible things to believe Violet builds mechanical flapping wing additions to 4 brass ducks in one afternoon This probably involves welding and soldering metal though the author never mentioned how it was done Not to mention rigging them to flap Jack stitches a skin tight snake skin to a rat in under 10 minutes Amazing how the rat didn t bleed and managed to move around just fine with all those stitches There s a whole bunch amazing scientific achievement by Jack in a short amount of time of organ addition and transplant between animals Violet performs amazing mechanical engineering of what sounds like the physically impossible Perpetual Motion machine engine the students create and build amazing projects in one afternoon and the list goes on Why are they at this school if they don t seem to be learning anything or really struggling And even if they were that smart and have managed to solve the how of the project assignment, building and assembling the project would take weeks, or at least a few days And what was the record 10 minutes TEN FREAKING MINUTES But wait There sA ferret or bunny rabbit can t remember which gets a voice box transplant from a parrot Now we ve got this furry rabbit spouting off insulting sailor s lingo This would have been funny if it wasn t so, so biologically impossible Let s assume , for a minute, that the voice box transplant was successful How the heck would the rabbit know or remember those sailor terms Muscle memory and auditory memory are located in the BRAIN That rabbit still had the same brain Hence that foul language never transferred over Mr Rosen, you have incredibly, poorly flawed logic that is an achievement in of itself Thank god you didn t endeavor to go into science But, even if science was never your cup of tea, that doesn t mean you can do as you please and throw research out of the window YOU chose to write science fiction, so at least put some effort into it Don t mock us readers The next topic, opposite to logic, broached upon in this book, is romance or love Due to the horrible character depth and development, and narration, it is entirely unbelievable and cringe worthy Especially that impromptu, improbable kiss between a thirty something year old teacher and seventeen year old student in disguise whom the teacher believes to be male Oh, yeah, my disbelief is completely suspended sarcasm All in all, I congratulate you, Mr Rosen, in your achievement of inspiring me to write 3 pages worth of a dissection of your book I m not sure I ve ever written this much for a review before I will end my review with this Mr Rosen does have potential and obvious enthusiasm for writing However, it s still too early for him to publish his works This work plainly shows that he didn t analyze his story deep enough to know WHO and WHAT this novel was about My advice is to mature as a writer before publishing another book And I wouldn t hire the editor of this book or sign any contracts with the publisher Tor Books, either It speaks volumes on the level of skill and standards the team behind the book had for publishing this A word to publishing companies pushing out publications like this only serves to reinforce the idea that your publishing company is of low quality and we can t expect good books from you Better to publish fewer novels than to release crap like this Readers have standards, and we don t want to waste our time and money That s right Unlike my refund, time is impossible to return INTRODUCTION With the super enticing blurb below, All Men of Genius is a novel I have planned to read as soon as I could obtain a copy Inspired by Shakespeare s Twelfth Night and Oscar Wilde s The Importance of Being Earnest, All Men of Genius takes place in a Victorian London familiar but fantastical, where mad science makes the impossible possible.Violet Adams wants to attend Illyria College, a widely renowned school for the most brilliant up and coming scientific minds, founded by the lat INTRODUCTION With the super enticing blurb below, All Men of Genius is a novel I have planned to read as soon as I could obtain a copy Inspired by Shakespeare s Twelfth Night and Oscar Wilde s The Importance of Being Earnest, All Men of Genius takes place in a Victorian London familiar but fantastical, where mad science makes the impossible possible.Violet Adams wants to attend Illyria College, a widely renowned school for the most brilliant up and coming scientific minds, founded by the late Duke Illyria, the greatest scientist of the Victorian Age The school is run by his son, Ernest, who has held to his father s policy that the small, exclusive college remain male only Violet sees her opportunity when her father departs for America She disguises herself as her twin brother, Ashton, and gains entry.But keeping the secret of her sex won t be easy, not with her friend Jack s constant habit of pulling pranks, and especially not when the duke s young ward, Cecily, starts to develop feelings for Violet s alter ego, Ashton Not to mention blackmail, mysterious killer automata, the way Violet s pulse quickens whenever Ernest speaks to her, and a deadly legacy left by Ernest s father She soon realizes that it s not just keeping her secret until the end of the year she has to worry about it s surviving that long In contrast to the trashy crop of contemporary mashups of UF with classics that both degrade the original works and pander to the lowest common denominator, I am quite excited when an original work that reinterprets classic works in a sff nal context appears and while last year s Shades of Milk and Honey was a bit lighter than I expected and The Dream of Perpetual Motion did not connect with me, All Men of Genius hit all the right notes and I will explain why next.OVERVIEW ANALYSIS All Men of Genius succeeds because it hits the right balance in both style and content, while it charms you from the first page in accepting the over the top happenings that could easily transform the novel into pure farce If you are familiar with Twelfth Night in any of its various incarnations across the centuries, you will see its clear and acknowledged influence in both naming and relationships, though of course the author adds his own modern touches.On the other hand the world building is pure madcap steampunk with automatons, crazy inventions that somehow work and all around outrageous inventiveness As I kept turning the pages, I was wondering what seemingly insane contraption that somehow the magical prose of the author manages to sell to us, will come up next.And of course the characters have personalities to match outside of the main ones, Violet, Ernest, Cecily, Ashton and Jack and several of their friends who areor less what we expect, though they also sport last names like Cheek and Pale most of the rest are pure mannerism with names to match like Bunburry, Bracknel, Prism and Curio, while the main villain has the sinister sounding name of Volio And it works so well that you cannot stop but be extremely entertained every moment of this wonderful tale.The dialog has also its share of one liners that made me crack up laughing, though there is a lot of serious stuff especially about the stereotyping of gender roles, but also about poverty, progress and diversity While on first glance, there is a whiff of children of privilege in our characters, the novel quickly throws that on its ear with some extremely well done scenes as for example when Violet accidentally happens upon Ashton in bed with their family s handsome coachman Anthony in retaliation for Ashton hiding her acceptance letter to the Institute letter that of course comes to Ashton as Violet has to become her twin to be admitted And so it goes with the mixing of classesIt goes without saying that All Men of Genius flows superbly on the page and you are compelled to turn the pages, while the ending is in the spirit of Shakespeare and offers a complete package though I would enjoy a return to this universe maybe the hinted possibilities of space travel and an expedition to the Moon Highly, highly recommended and an utterly fun and charming book that I am pretty sure I will revisit on occasion in the future Don t make my mistake of picking up ALL MEN OF GENIUS when you re on your way to bed Hours later, bleary eyed and sleepy, I was only halfway through the book and still fighting to keep reading, unable to put it down Violet, Ashton, Jack and the befuddled Duke captivated me from the get go, and that was before the other Illyrian students even had a chance to win me over.Even if I hadn t fallen in love with the characters, I would have been a goner for the world building Rosen gives science the Don t make my mistake of picking up ALL MEN OF GENIUS when you re on your way to bed Hours later, bleary eyed and sleepy, I was only halfway through the book and still fighting to keep reading, unable to put it down Violet, Ashton, Jack and the befuddled Duke captivated me from the get go, and that was before the other Illyrian students even had a chance to win me over.Even if I hadn t fallen in love with the characters, I would have been a goner for the world building Rosen gives science the same flash and dazzle as magic at Hogwarts, but withadult consequences Violet s passion is machinery, but her best friend Jack is drawn to the biological sciences Animal testing doesn t even begin to cover the transplants and experiments that the students undertake While Jack learns new and exciting things in college, he also comes to the realization that an idolized professor has no real empathy for the animals he augments.Watching Jack find his own confidence was a subtle note in the background of Violet s story, and one of many examples of how Rosen s attention to detail manages to portray some incredibly realistic and important issues amidst all of the hilarity and science Violet and her friends struggle with gender roles, sexual prejudice, and double standards galore And while Violet s crusade to enter the all male Illyria College is a plan with a deadline Violet is going to reveal her ruse at the end of her first year her brother Ashton feels that he will always have to conceal his homosexuality from society and Miriam has no expectations that she ll ever be able to marry the man she loves due to her dark skin and her religion.ALL MEN OF GENIUS is a blend of adult issues and fairy tale optimism The realistic issues that the characters face by no means drag down the tone of the book, but neither does Rosen pull any punches about these prejudices and obstacles I hope so badly that ALL MEN OF GENIUS is going to be the first of many books in this parallel universe of magical science, as there are manyhappy endings that I would enjoy reading.Sexual Content Kissing, references to sex, rape, prostitution, and a threesome Jack laughed What s so funny That all you would see in flowers are scientific principles, he said, even when a man tried to show you their beauty But that is their beauty, Violet said, pursing her lips Really, I don t know what it is with your gender, that they must divide science and beauty into separate fields As if the stars and planets themselves are lovely, but to map the way they turn takes that away from them In my opinion, the way a planet spins only adds to its beauty Perh Jack laughed What s so funny That all you would see in flowers are scientific principles, he said, even when a man tried to show you their beauty But that is their beauty, Violet said, pursing her lips Really, I don t know what it is with your gender, that they must divide science and beauty into separate fields As if the stars and planets themselves are lovely, but to map the way they turn takes that away from them In my opinion, the way a planet spins only adds to its beauty Perhaps you are right, Jack said Of course I m right, Violet said Violet Adams is a genius She is also a woman In Lev AC Rosen s variant steampunk inspired Victorian era London, this caries with it certain limitations chief among them, the ability to gain entry into one of the world s foremost scientific institutions, Illyria College Thus, with aid from her brother Ashton, an invert with a penchant for their carriage driver, Antony, and their mutual, lustful companion, Jack, Violet embarks on a year long scheme to not only gain entry into the college of Illyria by becoming a young man in both dress and mannerisms, but to take the school, its faculty, and her fellow students by storm She aims to cement herself in their eyes as one of the greatest inventors of their age, and then to reveal herself to them as a member of the supposedly weaker sex one that, for a variety of reasons not limited to the distraction a woman would be suspected of causing for the other male students , has never before been allowed entry into the student populace.Claiming inspiration from both The Importance of Being Earnest and Shakespeare s Twelfth Night, All Men of Genius wears its social and aesthetic trappings with pride Rosen writes his characters with extreme delicacy, constructing a cast of characters that at once is familiar yet unique unto itself Throughout the book, hints to other literary venues reveal themselves in tiny increments the individual professors and their marked, Harry Potter esque mannerisms the stuttering, cowardly Curio the brusque and abusive Bracknell the slightly dim witted, partially mechanized Bunburry the partially developed subplot of Curio s chemically induced Jekyll and Hyde personality conflict Though some of these elements bear a resemblance to the works of others, Rosen is adept at skewing their personalities enough to stand on their own, strong and wholly realized within the world he has crafted.The world itself is another accomplishment Rather than embrace the full spectrum of clich s that has dogged the steampunk genre in recent years, Rosen peppers his world with modest accoutrements essentials, here and there, to enforce the revisionist history of his vision of London airships, a proliferation of clockwork configurations and contraptions, automata that are capable of functioning and mimicking human actions The end result is aaccessible variation of the steampunk genre, one that offers a missing link of accessibility elements of this world can be traced to our own with considerably less effort and suspension of disbelief than others of its ilk.One of theintriguing aspects of the story is the relaxed way in which Rosen discusses homosexuality, or invert status Through several relationships, including a rather complicated love triangle between Ernest, the Duke of Illyria, and both of Violet s gendered personas, Rosen introduces but never lingers on the discussion of homosexuality and the social mistrust it entails in his alternate Victorian era London Instead of approaching the subject with a limited, predictable hand, one that could be used to mirror the issue of sexuality with the struggle for acceptance it still faces today, Rosen uses itas a tool for further dismantling the highly stratified existence of his world and Violet s actions to cross such barriers.Though creative and engaging on several levels, All Men of Genius does have a few flaws The book s primary antagonist, the bullish and manipulative Malcolm Volio, feels somewhat underdeveloped, which makes his murderous intentions in the novel s climax feel a littlevicious than he was seemingly capable of Additionally, the Society that is alluded to on several occasions, which seeks to overthrow the Queen and establish the dominance of intellectual, scientific men over all others, remains largely in the shadows, implying a larger plot that, one hopes, will reveal itself in further entries in this series Lastly, and this is a very minor complaint, some of the book s relationships feel too tightly and unrealistically resolved by the conclusion, leading me to feel as if Rosen wanted to clear his slate of all detritus should he decide to write a follow up That being said, my criticisms do not detract from the wonderment of Illyria, nor do they misrepresent the playfulness of the characters and the conflicted game of identity transposition Violet has chosen to engage in.While All Men of Genius occasionally suffers from its inspirations, Rosen s novel remains sure footed and confident enough to stand on its own as a welcome entry into the steampunk genre one that uses the conventions of its genre to its advantage through restraint, offering a strong, character focused narrative that does not suffocate under the weight of its own aesthetic ambitions


About the Author: Lev A.C. Rosen

LEV AC ROSEN sometimes is sometimes known as L.C ROSEN He is the author of books for all ages.


Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *