Book Review, Fiction

Review: The Colonel and the Bee

The Colonel and the Bee Book Cover The Colonel and the Bee
Patrick Canning
Steampunk, Fantasy, Adventure
Evolved Publishing LLC
June 1st 2018
Review Copy send by the author


The Amazing Beatrix works as an acrobat in a 19th Century circus, no home or family to speak of. When a daring escape from her abusive ringleader crosses Beatrix's path with that of the daring adventurer Colonel James Bacchus, the unlikely pair team up, fly to safety aboard the Colonel’s miraculous four-story hot air balloon, and begin a grand quest to find the most precious gem in the world, The Blue Star Sphinx. 

If the heroes can outmaneuver the deadly treasure hunters, escaped convicts, and double-crosses that await them, they may win the treasure they seek, or better yet, a sense of true belonging.  - Goodreads

The Colonel and the Bee is a rip-roaring steampunk adventure in the lines of Adele Blanc-Sec and Thrilling Adventure Hour’s Colonel Tick-Tock. It’s fast and pippy and cavalier. 

It can’t be read without ridiculous posh English accents rattling around in the mind.

The characters are all larger than life and frankly they might break out into a Gilbert and Sullivan song at any moment.

Unfortunately, the over exaggerated verbosity of the period makes it hard to follow at times. 

It was fun, but there were two things that kept troubling me. 

Firstly, it is very fast and loose with physics and geography. It takes a lot of suspension of disbelief to imagine a house with a library and a greenhouse being lifted and carried around with a hot air balloon. A beautiful image, but in a world without magic it kept bothering me.

Secondly the characters felt like actors in a stage play, rather than real people living in their own world. At times the dialogue felt like NPCs relaying information and no more.

Moreover, there are leaps in logic that sounds Sherlockain, but made little sense.

There are some lovely characters in the book. Rich and vibrant as a concept visually, but they’re not very deep and the emotion impact never quite hit a mark.

Perhaps this story would fit perfectly as a video game.  I really think it would be brilliant as one.

So, to summarize. Excellent if all you need a bit of fun with beautiful mind imagery.

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