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Review: Prospero Lost by L. Jagi Lamplighter

>>Monday, April 4, 2011

Title: Prospero Lost
Author: L. Jagi Lamplighter
Series: Prospero's Daughter #1
Format: Hardcover
Pages: 352
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publication Date: August 4, 2009
Publisher: Tor Books
Rating: C-

This book is part of the 2011 Women of Fantasy book club hosted by Jawas Read, Too!.

From Goodreads: 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.

Going into this I didn't know what to expect mostly because I never read The Tempest and know only bits and pieces about it. This story follows Miranda, the daughter of the dread Prospero as she tries to uncover what happened to her missing father. Along the way she tries to warn her siblings of the danger to their family and we are faced with the wonders of the supernatural side of reality. 

I found it hard to really get into this novel. I don't think it's bad per se, I just found myself indifferent for quite a lot of it. Miranda, as the narrator, is cold and uninspiring. She is a Handmaiden of Eurynome and therefore often calls on her aid in tough situations. I found this to be an easy way to drive the plot forward without much explaination; if Eurynome told Miranda to go somewhere, she went.

Also, I found that the plot was hard to grasp; as the reader and maybe even Miranda, we're not really given a direction to go into. It seemed very arbitrary. One day Miranda would go to find this sibling, and another day go to a ball. There wasn't really a big sense of danger. 

Lastly, what bothered me was the choice to include pretty much any and all mythological creatures or realities. There seems to be so much packed into this story that I felt like there wasn't much to tie it all together. I wasn't entirely convinced that all these supernatural beings and legends could really coexist.

Overall, while I wasn't feeling very inspired by the end of Prospero Lost, I think others may enjoy it if you could overlook some of the issues I mentioned. But do be warned: this book ends abruptly and continues in the next installment, Prospero in Hell. I don't know if I'll be continuing the series. C-

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