Title: The Case of the Electric Resurrectionist
Author: David Stroup
Publisher: JMS Books
Characters: Ander Waeryn
Sub-Genre: Steampunk, Fantasy, Suspense
In the steam-powered city of Sylean Tul, bringing the dead back to life is all in a day’s work for Ander Waeryn, the police department’s Consulting Necromancer. But even this ancient city steeped in dark magick is shocked by the latest sensation: a ‘professor’ who claims to be returning the dead to the land of the living — without the use of magick.
His “electrical” process is like nothing the city’s wizards have ever seen … but the formerly departed don’t last for long. With wealthy, grieving families lining up to pay their fortunes for the ‘miracle,’ the Consulting Necromancer is hired to discover what the professor is up to. His race against the clock will take him from the homes of the bereaved to the darkest corners of the city’s boneyards … and deep into the reanimator’s gruesome laboratory.
What is the secret of the process? What is the reason for the strange, inhuman behavior of the reanimated? And will the conquest of death put an honest necromancer out of business?
The problem with this story is the length. My curiosity was awakened, and then given far too little to munch on. Other than that, this was an okay steampunk novella.
Told in the first person, Ander gives us the story. He is a consulting necromancer who is hired to make sense of a new style of awakening the dead. Electricity is coming to a world ruled by necromancy and magic. But perhaps waking up the dead isn’t so easy after all, and there’s always someone with something to hide.
The background for this story, the city of Sylean Tul, is fascinating, but we’re given only titillating words, names and places. Only a handful are explained, and even less give depth to the worldbuilding, adding only to the curiosity factor. As a longer novel, with more happening and more things shown and explained, this would have made an easy five stars, even with the first person storytelling.
Now an important note: This is not a romance, erotic or otherwise, straight or gay. Ander has a wife, Llanae, but their relationship is not shown in a romantic sense. They’re partnered in finding out what is happening, that’s all. So, a gay romance this is not.
So, overall, a good, if short, story in a rich world, but we’re shown the pauper’s version, no meat to the bones. I truly hope the author writes a longer piece in this intriguing world so that it doesn’t go to waste.
Reviewed By: Susan