The Somnambulist

The Somnambulist - Jonathan Barnes The Somnambulist is a dark fantasy sort of mystery that takes place in turn-of-the-century Victorian England. It follow the adventures of Edward Moon, stage magician and part-time detective, and his loyal sidekick the Somnambulist. When a series of bizarre murders and strange disappearances starts taking place throughout London, the Directorate turns to Moon to help them figure out what's going on. But as the investigation proceeds, and the cryptic messages from medium Madame Innocenti start to make a scary kind of sense, Edward realizes that there's something much deeper going on here... something that extends down into the very bowels beneath the city.

The story is told from the point-of-view of an outside party, one who's observing the events from the outside. Because of this, the reader doesn't get a lot of deep insight into each character's feelings and thoughts. In a way, this makes the story seem a bit cold and distant, which may in fact be the intended result. But an unfortunate side effect was that I had a more difficult time remembering some of the more personal facts about each of the characters. I felt I didn't know them as well since the author didn't really allow us to see inside their heads. *shrug* By the end of the book however, it became a bit more obvious why it was written that way, and who the person is who's telling the story. But I found it a bit disconcerting at the first in any case.

Because of my few complaints above, I couldn't give this book a perfect score. However, I really enjoyed the action, the mystery, the dark horror, and the whole wackiness of it, which made for a very enjoyable story overall. And thus, despite its few shortcomings, a book I would wholeheartedly recommend to others.