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Prospero Lost by L. Jagi Lamplighter
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Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
My lower rating of this book has more to do with the quality of writing than anything else. I highly enjoyed the book, the story, the characters; I simply couldn't get past the overuse of !. Seriously, a chapter should NOT begin with a sentence that has an ! at the end of it. Perhaps this is more of an editorial issue than a writing issue, but it bothered me nonetheless. It read like it was written by a first-time novelist, which Lamplighter was at the time. However, I loved the concept : 500 years after "The Tempest" Miranda and Prospero are still alive, managing a corporation that controls the magical beings all over the world that create all the bad things (volcanoes, hurricanes, earthquakes, etc.) we blame on "weather." When Prospero mysteriously disappears, Miranda must track down her 6 siblings to warn them of possible doom. It's clever, with a nice mixture of fantasy and mystery. With a dash of Santa Claus, elves, and a little romance. I've just started reading the second in the trilogy and I only hope for writing that's just a wee bit more put together. ( )
  gossamerchild88 | Mar 30, 2018 |
I have had this book on my TBR pile for a long time. I was initially drawn to the beautiful cover and then intrigued by the synopsis. This one was a DNF for me. I read the first hundred pages of this book and just didn’t connect with the story or the characters.

The story is slow to start and the writing style is awkward. The dialogue is especially tough to read and doesn’t sound at all natural. The idea behind Miranda is interesting but she comes across as very cold, distant, and ends up being hard to engage with.

I didn’t necessarily hate this book but I wasn’t enjoying reading it either. I’ve been trying to be stricter with myself about reading a book just to read it; if i am not enjoying it after the first 100 pages I try to stop reading it. I have so many books to read that I don’t have time to read ones that are a struggle for me; especially if they are a struggle and I am not really gaining anything else from the book (knowledge, insight...something).

Overall this was an okay read, but was plagued by awkward writing and indifferent characters. It just wasn’t for me. Those who enjoy retellings/extensions of Shakespeare’s “The Tempest” might find this intriguing. ( )
  krau0098 | Mar 21, 2018 |
I'm legitimately bothered by the amount of negative reviews I'm seeing for this book. Personally, i was drawn to this book by the absolute gorgeous cover and the promise of Shakespearian characters. Fashioned 500 years after the events in The Tempest, Miranda is the head of her families business and the only one of her father's children to remain loyal to the family. As a handmaiden of Eurynome (I am going to blatantly guess on most of the spellings because it would take me forever to search the book for the proper spellings of the names.), Miranda has been gifted with immortal life for herself and for her family.
Personally, I'm kind of in love with this book. It was this intriguing mix of urban fantasy and ancient lore. I loved how the story was woven so that Miranda's memories of times long past were woven into the modern setting. A lot of characters from Shakespeare made appearances and most of the names of Miranda's siblings were from other stories.
A fault i did have with the book was it's pace. It had a tendency to meander, taking too long to describe detail and not push the plot forward enough. With that said, the detail was very vivid, just at times it was too much. I really don't need two pages worth of describing what the elves were wearing at the feast, just a paragraph or so will suffice. Another fault is that Miranda's narration did get on my nerves every so often. She was a bit flighty with her emotions which didn't quite make sense when she was supposed to be centuries old. Of course, it's difficult to capture that kind of immortal aura, especially when you're using the character as the main voice.
The story was beautiful though. The lore was fantastic. Granted, at times it was a bit difficult to follow because there was this notion that the reader would be able to keep up, so sometimes things aren't explained fully. Because i read these kinds of books regularly, i kept up just fine, but i could see someone in unfamiliar territory have a problem with the book.
All of these pale in my enjoyment of the book. I loved the entire Prospero family, even though all of them seemed to have a hidden agenda (at least, the ones that we met in this book) Mephisto was, admittedly, my favourite. Constantly we were reminded of the fact that he was mad, but every so often he seemed to have moments of sheer clarity. A split personality, so to speak. He was also adorable. I did love him.
I loved just the idea of it all, the dread sorcerer Prospero making staves for his children, each with a different power. Miranda's flute can control the Aerie spirits. Mephisto's staff can summon magic creatures. Logistilla's staff can change the form of creatures.... and so on and so forth. Problem being is that Prospero is missing and demons from hell are after the children's staves. It's all very dramatic. All very lovely.
I kind of adore this book. I think it was executed brilliantly and i'm so looking forward to reading the next one. It read like a careful work of art, very beautifully but not without it's faults and flaws. I loved it. ( )
  eaduncan | Sep 14, 2017 |
I'm legitimately bothered by the amount of negative reviews I'm seeing for this book. Personally, i was drawn to this book by the absolute gorgeous cover and the promise of Shakespearian characters. Fashioned 500 years after the events in The Tempest, Miranda is the head of her families business and the only one of her father's children to remain loyal to the family. As a handmaiden of Eurynome (I am going to blatantly guess on most of the spellings because it would take me forever to search the book for the proper spellings of the names.), Miranda has been gifted with immortal life for herself and for her family.
Personally, I'm kind of in love with this book. It was this intriguing mix of urban fantasy and ancient lore. I loved how the story was woven so that Miranda's memories of times long past were woven into the modern setting. A lot of characters from Shakespeare made appearances and most of the names of Miranda's siblings were from other stories.
A fault i did have with the book was it's pace. It had a tendency to meander, taking too long to describe detail and not push the plot forward enough. With that said, the detail was very vivid, just at times it was too much. I really don't need two pages worth of describing what the elves were wearing at the feast, just a paragraph or so will suffice. Another fault is that Miranda's narration did get on my nerves every so often. She was a bit flighty with her emotions which didn't quite make sense when she was supposed to be centuries old. Of course, it's difficult to capture that kind of immortal aura, especially when you're using the character as the main voice.
The story was beautiful though. The lore was fantastic. Granted, at times it was a bit difficult to follow because there was this notion that the reader would be able to keep up, so sometimes things aren't explained fully. Because i read these kinds of books regularly, i kept up just fine, but i could see someone in unfamiliar territory have a problem with the book.
All of these pale in my enjoyment of the book. I loved the entire Prospero family, even though all of them seemed to have a hidden agenda (at least, the ones that we met in this book) Mephisto was, admittedly, my favourite. Constantly we were reminded of the fact that he was mad, but every so often he seemed to have moments of sheer clarity. A split personality, so to speak. He was also adorable. I did love him.
I loved just the idea of it all, the dread sorcerer Prospero making staves for his children, each with a different power. Miranda's flute can control the Aerie spirits. Mephisto's staff can summon magic creatures. Logistilla's staff can change the form of creatures.... and so on and so forth. Problem being is that Prospero is missing and demons from hell are after the children's staves. It's all very dramatic. All very lovely.
I kind of adore this book. I think it was executed brilliantly and i'm so looking forward to reading the next one. It read like a careful work of art, very beautifully but not without it's faults and flaws. I loved it. ( )
  glitzandshadows | Oct 12, 2015 |
ORIGINALLY POSTED AT Fantasy Literature.

Shakespeare didn’t give us the whole story of Prospero, Miranda, Ferdinand, Ariel, et al. If you want to find out what really happened to the characters from The Tempest, pick up L. Jagi Lamplighter’s Prospero Lost. It turns out that Miranda and Ferdinand didn’t get married, Ariel wasn’t freed, and Prospero didn’t get rid of his staff and books. Instead, Miranda found The Well at the World's End and brought back the life-preserving water for her father and her siblings.

Now, centuries later, she runs Prospero Inc, a corporation that negotiates with many of Earth’s supernatural beings so they’ll stay content and won’t lash out at humans. If Prospero Inc wasn’t on the job, we’d have a lot more hurricanes, tsunamis, volcanic eruptions, and other “natural” disasters. You didn’t know about all this because it gets covered up by the Orbis Suleimani, the Circle of Solomon from which the Freemasons split off. This secret society has managed to keep most evidence of the supernatural out of our history books and to make us believe that most “legends” and “myths” are only fiction.

When we meet Miranda, she’s just found a note from her father which indicates that he’s in trouble, that The Shadowed Ones are trying to steal the Prosperos’ magical staffs, and that she must warn her siblings. You might expect that Miranda, a CEO who has assistants, a cell phone, and flies a Lear jet, could easily take care of this with a few phone calls, text messages, emails, or an announcement on the family blog, but if that were the case, the entire plot of Prospero Lost could have been condensed into 3 pages, so… no. Not knowing the whereabouts of any of her siblings, Miranda calls her servant Mab, the Aerie spirit who inhabits a body which looks and acts like Sam Spade. While they hunt down her family and dodge Hell’s minions, Miranda is forced to think about some heavy issues such as slavery, salvation, duty, insanity, loyalty, and faith.

I was attracted to Prospero Lost because of its gorgeous cover and because the description reminded me of Roger Zelazny’s Amber Chronicles (and Kage Baker said Amber fans should like it). While it’s true that both books contain an assortment of powerful and ambitious siblings who have lived for centuries and have abnormal concepts of familial bonds, the similarities end there. While the ideas in Prospero Lost are intriguing and Lamplighter’s writing style is pleasant enough, the story lacks the inventiveness and style that characterizes Zelazny’s work.

The first problem is that Miranda (the viewpoint character) is a prissy daddy’s girl. While I admire her loyalty, I think she’s boring. Other characters give her titles such as “Ice Queen” and “Maiden of Ice,” which tells you that she’s kind of hard to warm up to. Her brothers aren’t any better: Theo is dull and sluggish, Mephisto is insane and obnoxiously silly. Their sister Logistilla is better — she lives on a Caribbean island with animal servants who used to be her boyfriends.

The next problem is that the world-building is mostly done through flashback or dialogue, mostly as Mab interviews Miranda and a couple of her brothers. This is the way we learn about the Prosperos’ ancient connections with Peter the Great, Charlemagne, Napoleon, Louis XIV, the Loch Ness Monster, the Three Musketeers, Father Christmas, the tulip craze in Holland, the East India Company, a raid on the holy relics in the Vatican, etc. Through exposition Miranda explains how characters and creatures we thought of as myth or legend are real and that much that we consider mundane is really arcane. Some of these items are clever and fit well, but many seem thrown in (sometimes in list format) simply as an attempt to add weight to the world building. Unfortunately, they interrupt the action and make the plot feel slow and plodding. There are some exciting action scenes, several of which are amusing, and a couple of which are frightening, but there are also some that are just weird and never seem to settle into the plot very well. For this reason, Prospero Lost reminded me most of Matthew Sturges’s Midwinter — gorgeous cover art and lots of cobbled-together mythology masking a thin story and weak characters.

By the end of Prospero Lost, Miranda and Mab have a long list of questions without answers. Nothing has been resolved and we realize that we must read at least the next novel, Prospero in Hell, to get any sense of accomplishment. I have Prospero in Hell on my shelf, but I’m not sure that I’ll open it. I could have very easily left it alone if the most exciting part of Prospero Lost hadn’t occurred at the end of the very last sentence. Also, I’m a little curious to see where Lamplighter is going with this, especially since I suspect she has Christian allegory in mind. ( )
  Kat_Hooper | Apr 6, 2014 |
Showing 1-5 of 14 (next | show all)
Lamplighter’s powerful debut draws inspiration from Shakespeare and world mythology, infused with humor and pure imagination. ... Featuring glimpses into a rich and wondrous world of the unseen, this is no ordinary urban fantasy, but a treasure trove of nifty ideas and intriguing revelations...
added by rednBLUmood | editPublishers Weekly (Jul 27, 2009)
 
Lamplighter plays fast and loose with Shakespeare in this modern-day fantasy filled with homages to both the Bard and John Milton. ... Intelligent and eminently enjoyable, this series opener by a first-time author is a first-rate choice for fans of mythic urban fantasy.
added by rednBLUmood | editLibrary Journal (Jun 15, 2009)
 
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To William Shakespeare and John C. Wright, who, between them, invented nearly every character in this story except for Mab Boreal, Astreus, and Caurus.
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It was after midnight when I discovered Father's last message.
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(Click to show. Warning: May contain spoilers.)
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Amazon.com Product Description (ISBN 0765319292, Hardcover)

More than four hundred years after the events of Shakespeare’s The Tempest, the sorcerer Prospero, his daughter Miranda, and his other children have attained everlasting life. Miranda is the head of her family’s business, Prospero Inc., which secretly has used its magic for good around the world. One day, Miranda receives a warning from her father: "Beware of the Three Shadowed Ones." When Miranda goes to her father for an explanation, he is nowhere to be found.

Miranda sets out to find her father and reunite with her estranged siblings, each of which holds a staff of power and secrets about Miranda’s sometimes-foggy past. Her journey through the past, present and future will take her to Venice, Chicago, the Caribbean, Washington, D.C., and the North Pole. To aid her, Miranda brings along Mab, an aerie being who acts like a hard-boiled detective, and Mephistopheles, her mentally-unbalanced brother. Together, they must ward off the Shadowed Ones and other ancient demons who want Prospero’s power for their own….

(retrieved from Amazon Thu, 12 Mar 2015 18:13:50 -0400)

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Surviving with her family members for four hundred years after the events of The Tempest, Miranda enlists her siblings in a search for their missing father after receiving a warning about ancient demons who would harness their powers.

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