Marissa Lingen (mrissa) wrote,
Marissa Lingen
mrissa

All Men of Genius, by Lev A.C. Rosen

Review copy provided by Tor.

All Men of Genius seems to have been written entirely by Lev Rosen's id. Whether this is a good thing or a bad thing for you depends on how nearly yours coincides with his. This is a book that has a girl-disguised-as-boy plot*, a special school for geniuses, steampunk automata and animal experimentation at every turn--with highly modern bows to animal rights/well-being, Shakespearean references some of which connect up and some just for the hell of it. It has a train in the basement, a snotty noble, and women of various degrees and types of virtue. It even has a clockwork--well, I won't spoil that part. If you're reading all that and going, "Ooh!", I will tell you that it also has varying expressions of sexuality, and also platonic friendships in different combinations of gender and sexuality.

This is very much the book for a great many of you.

What it does not have is a very good sense of pacing, and there is a Dischism smack in the middle where a character proclaims everything that has gone before all too complicated, and it is, and not the controlled clockwork kind of complicated where it's all going to work out in detail, but rather the kind of complicated where this skin has been thrown on the bones of this plot without as much care for the combination of colors and textures as one might have otherwise hoped (yes, this is a reference to an event in the book). Rosen never makes the error of being too careful, so I have hopes that he will get a bit better at pacing and at managing all the balls he has in the air with his next projects, since there is "there" there to actually get better at.

*Oh how I want a fantasy novel where a boy has to disguise himself as a girl to get into the special wondrous school of awesome.
Tags: bookses precious
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