Caractacus Plume's The Undead King of New York City was published by Silvatici Publishing in December 2018.
Information about Caractacus Plume:
Caractacus Plume is the official biographer of Lyons & Hound Paranormal Investigation Agency (est. 1895). Because of the highly sensitive nature of the Agency's work, some of the names in the upcoming manuscripts have been changed to protect the identities of certain individuals (the author's included).
Click here to visit the author's official website.
Information about The Undead King of New York City:
Beneath the thin veil of “normality”, The Unseen League wages a bitter war to protect the British Empire from the maleficent forces of the supernatural.
When a mysterious American visitor is brutally murdered, The League turns to their former agent, Mr Percival Percy - now a celebrated private paranormal investigator and self-styled guardian against the sinister legions of the night - to help solve the case.
As Mr Percy and his faithful assistant, the redoubtable Madame Wu, close in on the killers, it soon becomes abhorrently apparent that it is they who are the hunted and not the hunters.
REVIEW: THE UNDEAD KING OF NEW YORK CITY BY CARACTACUS PLUME
Caractacus Plume's The Undead King of New York City was a pleasant surprise to me, because it turned out to be a highly enjoyable fantasy romp with mystery, horror and adventure elements. When I began to read it, I was immediately taken by its atmosphere, freshness and entertainment values, and found myself amazed by what I was reading. This novella-length novel is one of the best and most captivating reading experiences I've had this year.
The Undead King of New York City was my first introduction to Caractacus Plume's fiction, but I can mention that it won't be the last novel I'll be reading by the author, because I loved the story (I intend to read all of the author's stories). I consider this novel to be unputdownable fantasy entertainment with plenty of freshness and captivating plot twists. It has clearly been written out of love for storytelling, because there's a charming lightness to it that is seldom found in this kind of fiction.
This novel is spendid in many ways. It features plenty of extraordinary characters, dastardly deeds and surprises, not to mention loads of supernatural action. There are also several delicious and humorous details to be found throughout the story that will intrigue and entertain the reader.
The events in this novel take place in Victorian London where the The Unseen League protects the British Empire from maleficent supernatural threats. The agents of The Unseen League do their best to protect the realm by making sure that various supernatural threats are confronted and thwarted.
The story begins with Captain Jeremiah Teale, an agent of The Unseen League, investigating the mutilated remains of a body in a penthouse suite at Brown's Hotel. He's sure that what has occurred there is of supernatural persuasion. Soon he meets Madame Wu, who is the assistant of Mr Percival Percy, the world's greatest paranormal detective. Madame Wu begins to investigate what's left of the body and confirms Teale's suspicions about supernatural goings-on. Soon, Teale and Madame Wu meet an American agent, Agent Kane, who informs them of what vampires have been doing recently...
What follows this premise is highly enjoyable and the happenings become increasingly captivating towards the end, because the author reveals many things and delivers surprises. I have to admit that I was surprised by how enjoyable and evocative a story the author has managed to write, because it flows effortlessly from the very first page to the final page. There are no flaws in the storytelling, because the story grabs the reader's attention from the start.
The cast of characters is fascinatingly diverse. I found myself captivated by the characters, because they had their own unique quirks and habits. I enjoyed reading about Captain Teale, John Adams (Dandy), Madame Wu, Mr Percival Percy (The Hound Who Hunts Nightmares) and Agent Kane. It was interesting to read about Captain Teale and Madame Wu's pasts, because the author told intriguingly about their lives and terrifying experiences. I was also delighted to find out that there was more to the characters than meets the eye and not everything was what it seemed to be.
The murder investigations are carried out in an entertaining manner. The author pays attention to how the investigators do their work and what kind of things they must take into consideration when solving supernatural crimes. I was pleased to notice that the author doesn't shy away from gory and macabre details concerning the mutilated bodies, because these descriptions are an essential part of the dark and alluring atmosphere.
I enjoyed reading about the vampires and vampire lore, because the author's vision of vampires and how they have organised their activities is well-realised. The author also writes immersively about other supernatural beings (were-hounds etc) and their powers, which adds to the uniqueness of the story. I was impressed by the detailed comparison between the wit-wolf and the were-wolfhound in one of the chapters, because it was something different and wholly unexpected.
I find the author's prose wonderfully engaging, jovial and swift. The prose is filled with small details and turns of phrase that emphasise the entertainment values of the story. The author's way of using gruesome and humorous elements works perfectly, because there's a fine balance between them (the combination of dark and light elements feels incredibly refreshing).
The notes at the end of the novel are useful and offer interesting information to the reader. They clarify a few things and add depth to the story.
I think that this novel will - without any kind of doubt - be of interest to everybody who wishes to read a captivating and entertaining fantasy story with mystery elements. If there are readers out there who happen to be familiar with Vaughn Entwistle's novels and G.S. Denning's Warlock Holmes series, this novel will most likely be of interest to them. I also firmly believe that readers who love urban fantasy will be delighted by the story and its many twists and turns.
Caractacus Plume's The Undead King of New York City is a little gem that deserves to be read by those who love immersive and fast-paced stories. I sincerely hope that as many readers as possible will find this novel, because it's a fully satisfying reading experience with gruesome and humorous moments that will take the reader by surprise.
My final words are:
Caractacus Plume's The Undead King of New York City is an excellent and wonderfully entertaining fantasy romp. More, please!