Book review “Property of a Lady Faire” by Simon R. Green

Property of a Lady Faire

Simon R. Green returns with his latest, and seventh, instalment in the Secret History series. One of the quintessential three in the same major plotline and setting (the other two being Ghost Finders and the Nightside).
And just like in many other books, characters from other settings play a part in this one, I shan’t divulge who exactly, as that would be spoilers, I will tell you that Nightside fans won’t be disappointed.

The premise of this book is that Eddie Drood once again finds himself doing dirty work whilst trying to survive and save the lives of others whilst at it, with enemies breathing down his neck left and right, with his girlfriend Molly Metcalf, the wild witch of the woods, by his side every step of the proverbial way.
Facing new and old enemies along the way, from, also as usual, within the Drood family and from outside of it.

There’s plot getting wrapped up, and questions left unanswered, so hopefully we’ll get more answers in the next instalment.
I would say that this book, whilst having a good solid plot and making for an enjoyable read, is one that wraps up parts of ongoing plot whilst having its own story, and at the same time setting the premise for the next novel in the series.
The Drood family has a major new thing happen to them, but Eddie and Molly remain much of the same characters as they were before, so if you’re looking for personal growth, Property of a Lady Faire isn’t really the book where you’ll find it.
It is, however, a book true to the Secret History universe as we’ve come to know it, which could be both positive for those that enjoy it as it is, but also negative for those that want something a little bit different for a change.
It’s a good read regardless mind.

Secret History books remain a wink to the good old, still properly atom age style James Bond, so if you like that genre of secret agent mysteries, this book series is definitely one to consider. Especially as the author is a master of weaving in excellent pop culture references and steampunk as well as dieselpunk elements that don’t just bandwagon with what’s hip and happening right now, but that actually contribute to the story. This time in a pretty major way even.

Event announcement: D.E.S.C. 2

event announcement DESC2

What: The Dutch European Steampunk Convention, or D.E.S.C. for short
What: We at The Gatehouse like to think that the name of the event is self-explanatory :P
Where: De Lindehorst, Meppel, the Netherlands.

For the second year in a row, The Steampunk Objective (mainly their Dutch main chamber) is joining forces with FantasiaFest to host D.E.S.C. an event to bring together European (and steampunks from outside Europe too of course, everyone’s welcome!) steampunks and dieselpunks for 4 days of camping, merriment and the fantasy fair (FantasiaFest) right next door!
You’ll be able to encounter fellow ‘punks from several countries, shop, enjoy good food, good drinks and good company.
For those with children, it’s a child friendly convention, so you’re welcome to bring the little ones!

If you want to see photos of last year’s first edition so you have a better idea what to expect, click here.

Photo in this post by Bert Van den Wyngaert.

Steampunk at Japan Expo + an event review

Japan Expo 2014 review
Event: Japan Expo
What: Japanese culture convention
When: July 2 – 6
Where: Parc des Expositions Paris-Nord-Villepinte, Villepinte, France

Japan Expo is known as _the_ J-culture convention of Europe, and with it’s 15th edition they proved once again why.
For the first time in years the convention was operating without it’s twin Comic Con Paris, and whilst several people had expressed some worry about this, the event held up fabulously on it’s own.
All the great big stands of Comic Con had returned, some in full force, some obviously reduced in size compared to last year, but the people that came for properly geeky things rather than Japanese culture in all it’s aspects were not left disappointed.
And that brings us to the best point of Japan Expo: it literally has something for everything, going as far as a children’s area so parents have a space where their offspring can have a good time in a spot devoted to them.
There was gaming, both vintage and contemporary; shopping of both the Japanese (inspired) and geeky persuasion, all kinds of art, exhibits, manga, anime showings (including global premieres), concerts of many different musical genres, introduction to traditional Japanese arts, travel, martial arts, plenty of different kinds of food to keep the foodies happy, and of course for the J-fashionista: the Kawaii Area, and much, MUCH more. If someone didn’t find something to do at Japan Expo, they simply put in the effort to not have a good time.

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When Black Is a Challenge

Event: Wave Gotik Treffen
What: Gothic Festival
When: June 6-9
Where: Leipzig

Victorian Picnic

The 23rd Wave Gotik Treffen (WGT) was the hottest one ever. Even the weather forecasts said that it was the hottest first June weekend since record began with temperatures around 36°C and more. So wearing black in that hot oven was really a challenge unless you went for a nearly-no-fabric-look and even then you had to be careful not to catch a sunburn.

Due to the weather circumstances it was no wonder that places in the shadow were much sought-after at the almost traditional beginning of WGT on Friday: Viona’s Victorian Picnic at the Clara-Zetkin-Park.

Although it was so warm the guests dressed up in their fanciest historical gowns and enjoyed the big get together.

This year was the first time the organisers divided the place into two areas: A picnic zone where photographers were forbidden and the peacock zone for everybody. This division lead to a more relaxed situation for everybody as you could picnic with your friends without having a lens in front of your face all the time. And there still where more then enough beautiful people to photograph.

On Saturday then the Steampunk Picnic took place for the third time. This year the location was moved from the park near the Moritzbastei to a more quiet park right behind the main festival area agra, near the Parkschlösschen (Park castle). Like the Victorian Picnic the Steampunks had to deal with too many photographers in the past which lead to the decision to move the location. Continue reading