It’s always tough when people redo Shakespeare. Sometimes it works really well and sometimes it’s just horrible. I absolutely loved the way Scott Tarbet resets a Midsummer Night’s Dream in a Steampunk Victorian England. He was able to use Steampunk to handle the existence of fairies in the original and he uses wordplay to deal with stuff like the ass. It was only the love potion that had to resort to hand-waving to work with the story. I didn’t mind it too much.
I think the only thing that gets a LITTLE tiresome is the constant references to how if they didn’t get everyone to cooperate we’d have world war 1 and 2. Having already learned about 15 years ago that all the heads of state were related, it was fun to see the author have a lot of fun with that.
Although it matches with my memory of the original, I do like that both the men and women take turns in the spotlight and all can hold their own. Sometimes the men rescue the women and sometimes the women rescue the men.
I think it’s extra fun with all the Easter Eggs you come across if you know Shakespeare (particularly more than just Midsummer Night’s Dream), but you don’t have to know the original to enjoy this one – I think that’s part of what makes it so successful a remake.
The post-script on the book (from the author and the publisher) make it seem as though this is perhaps his first book. I’d say I can’t wait to see Mr Target tackle an original story, but he makes this book his own (as I mentioned above) in such a way as to lead me to say, I can’t wait to read his next book; whether it takes place in a Steampunk work or not.