Liquid Silver Books, $5.50, ISBN 978-1-59578-807-8
Historical Fantasy Romance, 2011
Bren Christopher’s The Professor’s Assistant is a steampunk romance that also features inter-dimensional travel. We have Parallel Gates that allow one travel from a location in one dimension to another location in another dimension, although this story doesn’t elaborate on any possible consequences arising from such travels.
Julian Blake is an agent who is from that New York, sent to this London as part of a volunteer program to test out the New York Parallel Gate. This London is different from that London, mostly because Julian is from a dimension where men are free to swap body fluids without fear of persecution. I believe we call that place Fan Fiction Net. This London has folks making mechanical dragons and all, so don’t confuse it with London in our own dimension. Am I confusing you yet?
Anyway, Julian has a mission, which he heads over to the Institute for Electro-Mechanical Sciences to fulfill. He then falls immediately in lust with Daniel Sinclair, the young assistant of Dr Hadley, the man whose machine Julian is trying to get his hands on. This machine is amazing, by the way, because in the right hands, it can save many lives, while in the wrong hands, the result will be the opposite.
You may have a lot of questions, such as, for one, what this freaking device is. Well, join the club. Bren Christopher tries way too hard to be mysterious here, and the end result is an annoying story that deliberately keeps me in the dark for… I don’t know, maybe it makes the author feel smarter when poor readers are scratching their heads. Why create an alternate world setting when there is no intention to explain anything to the reader? What I get is a generic story featuring generic, even stereotypical, characters in a poorly drawn setting and a plot that is full of poorly explained concepts. The device is powerful in the right hands, destructive in the wrong hands… gosh, that is so profound, it’s like a new religion in the making!
This kind of writing may be fine for amateur fanfiction, but it’s too wishy-washy and insubstantial to qualify as a halfway decent story for sale.