The Resurrectionist of Caligo by Wendy Trimboli & Alicia Zaloga
Rating: 4/5 stars
Publisher: Angry Robot Books
Release Date: September 10, 2019
With a murderer on the loose, it's up to an enlightened bodysnatcher and a rebellious princess to save the city, in this wonderfully inventive Victorian-tinged fantasy noir.
"Man of Science" Roger Weathersby scrapes out a risky living digging up corpses for medical schools. When he's framed for the murder of one of his cadavers, he's forced to trust in the superstitions he's always rejected: his former friend, princess Sibylla, offers to commute Roger's execution in a blood magic ritual which will bind him to her forever. With little choice, he finds himself indentured to Sibylla and propelled into an investigation. There's a murderer loose in the city of Caligo, and the duo must navigate science and sorcery, palace intrigue and dank boneyards to catch the butcher before the killings tear their whole country apart.
(Blurb taken as found on goodreads)
** Thank you to Netgalley and Redhook Books for providing me with an eARC of this book**
This book didn’t quite hit the mark for me. When I read the synopsis, I thought I would be in for a mystery-solving duo, instead I got a lot of snarking between the two characters via letters. I think the problem was that what drew me to this book from the synopsis, wasn’t actually what the book was about. Instead, the book focused on family drama, and palace intrigue, rather than an interesting murder mystery.
Neither of the main characters were particularly interesting to me. The most interesting character was Mary, the little girl. As for Roger’s brother, he was just infuriating. There just wasn’t much to make me root for any of the characters, and thus, I wasn’t that interested in the book. Nor did I think that Roger and Sibylla had particularly good chemistry (probably just me being salty), though I did find their history kind of interesting.
What did work for me was the atmosphere of the book. It was exactly what I was expecting and really well done. Additionally, I thought the world-building was interesting, particularly the magic, which I wish would’ve been explored a little more (though a particularly nice twist with a clue based on the magic was nice).
Overall, a decent read that didn’t quite hit the mark for me. I’d recommend it to anyone who likes to dip their noir in victorian aesthetic, and probably anyone who liked The Bullet-Catcher’s Daughter.
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