Camera Obscura (Bookman Histories Series #2)

Camera Obscura (Bookman Histories Series #2)

by Lavie Tidhar


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CAN'T FIND A RATIONAL EXPLANATION TO A MYSTERY? CALL IN THE QUIET COUNCIL. The mysterious and glamorous Lady De Winter is one of their most valuable agents. A despicable murder inside a locked and bolted room on the Rue Morgue in Paris is just the start. This whirlwind adventure will take Milady to the highest and lowest parts of that great city - and cause her to question the very nature of reality itself.

Extra! Extra! Read all about it – for the first time, also includes "Titanic", a short story from the Lost Files of the Bookman Histories.

File Under: Steampunk [ Alternate History | Reptilian Royalty | Murder Most Foul | The World's Fair ]

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780857666000
Publisher: Watkins Media
Publication date: 08/02/2016
Series: Bookman Histories Series , #2
Pages: 384
Sales rank: 1,157,640
Product dimensions: 5.10(w) x 7.60(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

Lavie Tidhar has quickly established a name for himself as a short fiction writer of note, and he's now moved to writing novels, debuting with The Bookman. He has travelled widely, living variously in South Africa, the UK, and the remote island-nation of Vanuatu in the South Pacific, but is currently resident in Israel.

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Camera Obscura 4 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 6 reviews.
Philip_K_Jones More than 1 year ago
This is a series of three novels set in a “Steampunk” Universe that includes a large population of Nineteenth Century fictional and historical characters. By ‘large,’ I mean that I lost track during the first volume and merely took occasional notes during the later volumes. For example, Chief Sitting Bull appears in the same volume as Erich Weiss, aka Harry Houdini and Irene Adler is a Scotland Yard Inspector, keeping her eye on Fagin and Oliver Twist. The three volumes in the series are, respectively, “The Bookman,” “Camera Obscura” and “The Great Game.” All three volumes are, more or less, stand-alone publications. On the other hand, I have a number of questions after completing the third volume, so all of the answers are definitely NOT included in the books. The main theme of the series revolves around Mycroft Holmes and his Intelligence Organization. Many other Sherlockian characters appear as well as an unruly mob of other personages. One really needs a scorecard to keep track. The author also has a habit of making readers work for understanding of the environment. Every once in a while, some character will summarize a part of history, either recent or ancient, so that readers can orient (not ‘orientate’) themselves. Mostly, though, the characters talk about more immediate concerns as do people involved in active lives so readers are left to catch up on their own. I found this aspect more interesting than most fictional settings because it makes a reader think. Meanwhile, the action continues and events keep happening. The three volumes occur in 1888, in 1893 and in 1899. Many characters appear in all three volumes and some explanations are offered. I retain a number of serious questions, such as “What happened to Smallpox” and “Where did Amerigo Vespucci learn to pilot a ship?” There are also open questions about who is on which side of what. There seem to be more ‘sides’ than players and there are a real ocean full of players. Needless to say, the action takes place all over the place and even in some unexpected places. At base, this is an action series. Agents, counteragents, retired agents and secret agents wander in and out, change sides, switch masters and shoot it out with each other at the drop of a hat. It is difficult to bring up any subject without revealing some of the mysteries that are part of the story. As an example, there was a revolution in France in the late eighteenth Century. It was called “The Quiet Revolution.” Doctors Frankenstein and Jekyl are working together, sort of. Milady DeWinter and the Comte de Rochefort are still (or again) in business, working for the French Government, in between other clients. One hint, when the author talks about a “Vespucian” you can translate that as “American.” This is a fun series. There are lots of interesting characters, stolen from everywhere, as much action as can be kept track of and a whole slew of questions left unanswered. Familiar characters pop up in the oddest places for even odder reasons and familiar places all look just a little bit odd. If you can figure out what actually happened, please drop me a note. I’m still a bit puzzled. Reviewed by: Philip K. Jones, February 2012
pen21 More than 1 year ago
Camera Obscura was a really good book. It is the second in a steampunk series by Lavie Tidhar. It is an alternate history of the Victorian era, but had strong thriller content, in my opinion. It is hard for me to narrow down what I thought made it so good. Milady de Winter works for the "Quiet Council'. Murder and a mysterious object start the plot going and it really kept going. I am glad I got a copy of this book. I need to read the first in the series The Bookman. I didn't feel I was missing anything in my read, but The Bookman was referenced in the story.
bookwyrmm on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I really loved The Bookman, the first in Tidhar's trilogy, and there were parts of Camera Obscura that I really loved too - especially when she encounters Holmes's murder castle outside the White City. However, the fourth part disgusted me so much that it slowed my reading of it to almost a complete stop; I had to take it in very small doses, and this diminished my liking of it.
krau0098 on LibraryThing More than 1 year ago
I got an e-galley of this book through I was drawn to the interesting description and the mysterious title of the book. This was an absolutely fantastic book, but definitely not something everyone will enjoy. Those who like quirky characters and worlds that are gritty and a bit ambiguous will find a lot here to love. Those who like their stories happy with well-defined storylines should probably look elsewhere. I didn't know it when I picked this up but this is the second book in this series: the first is The Bookman. This book seemed to provide a good stand alone story; but I am sure I missed some background by not reading the first novel in the series.The Lady DeWinter works for the Quiet Council as an investigator. Her current assignment is to find the whereabouts of a jade statue for them. But then people start turning up dead and DeWinter is being hunted by shadows. There are a lot of factions in town looking for this jade statue and none of them are afraid to kill for it. When the Phantom (a fellow agent gone serial killer) starts on the trail he may be the biggest and deadliest thing standing between DeWinter and her goal. This book is set in a Victorian like France, where a lizard-like people rule Great Britain, and automatons roam the streets. There are small sections of the book that are told from a boy named Kai's point of view; he is the one who originally has the jade statue.The book moves quickly and is incredibly engaging; it was very hard to put this book down and I found myself staying up way too late reading it. Tidhar does an excellent job with description; making the surroundings and characters easy to picture. The world built is incredibly interesting. You have Great Britain occupied by a race of lizard people and complex politics woven around all of that. The action scenes are plentiful and exceedingly well done.The characters are all quirky, unique and very interesting. That being said there isn't a lot of emotion in this book; DeWinter never really has a love interest and that is just not what this book is about. This book is more about the investigation going on and finding deeper hidden truths beneath all of the layers of deceit that DeWinter comes up against. It is also about creating a unqiue and intriguing world. People who are very into emotionally driven stories may not enjoy this book as much.The setting throughout the novel is very dark and gritty. DeWinters is constantly scrapping through the underworld and in a state of almost being completely run down. Again this dark style may be a turn off to some. The plot is very complex involving multiple factions and layers of intrigue and I really enjoyed it. The book ends well and wraps things up nicely.In general this is a strange book, but midway through it gets even stranger. This is the only part of the book that gave me pause. Midway through our heroine goes through massive destruction; I am not sure why this had to happen. I do believe DeWinter came out the other side of it all more interesting, but the emotional damage she would have gained from that trauma wasn't represented all that well (as I said not an emotional book). Things get even stranger toward the end and start involving alien space travel and gates to other realities. I really like weird books; but towards the end this book bending towards the too weird region of weird for me. It was getting to the point where the story was a bit contrived and outlandish...luckily it never got to that point for me but it was close. Some readers may not enjoy the absolutely strange twists and turns; but if nothing else the book will keep you guessing.Overall I really, really enjoyed this book. The completely unique world and the crazy twisting plot really pulled me in. The characters are interesting and unique (if never really emotionally involved) and the mystery and action absolutely spot on. The dark tone to the book and the strangeness of it a
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Anonymous More than 1 year ago