The Contrary Tale of the Butterfly Girl – Ishbelle Bee
Two orphans, Pedrock and Boo Boo, are sent to live in the sinister village of Darkwound. There they meet and befriend the magical and dangerous Mr Loveheart and his neighbour Professor Hummingbird, a recluse who collects rare butterflies. Little do they know that Professor Hummingbird has attracted the wrath of a demon named Mr Angel-Cakes.
One night, Mr Angel-Cakes visits Boo Boo and carves a butterfly onto her back. Boo Boo starts to metamorphose into a butterfly/human hybrid, and is kidnapped by Professor Hummingbird. When Mr Loveheart attempts to rescue her with the aid of Detective White and Constable Walnut, they are turned into butterflies.
Caught between Professor Hummingbird and the demon Angel-Cakes, Loveheart finds himself entangled in a web much wider and darker than he could have imagined, and a plot that leads him right to the Prime Minister and Queen Victoria herself . . .
Release Date: August 4th, 2015
Thanks to Penny at Angry Robot for reaching out to me about reading/reviewing this book! My interview with author Ishbelle Bee will be posted next week – keep an eye out!
Update: you can now read my interview here!
I read Bee’s first book featuring Loveheart, The Singular and Extraordinary Tale of Mirror and Goliath in April and loved it, so I’m very glad I got a chance to read this “sequel”.
What I liked:
-the cover. LOOK AT IT. IT’S BEAUTIFUL. I cannot even deal with this cover, it’s so gorgeous (I had the same reaction to Mirror and Goliath – someone at Angry Robot is doing a fantastic job).
-the writing continues to have a lovely lyrical quality to it, even when she’s writing descriptions of a massacre.
I especially liked the pages that were full of CAPITALS and wonky-sized/boldfaced words. It broke up the page without completely taking your attention away from the story and gave the whole thing a fairy-tale feeling (fairy-tales more in the vein of the Brothers Grimm and less like Disney).
-Loveheart continues to be mad and unnecessarily violent and I continue to love his scenes. I mentioned last time that it feels weird to be rooting for a man who chops the head off of anyone who he thinks deserves it, but he does it in such a carefree way, you can’t help snickering.
-Boo Boo was the anti-hero(ine) I didn’t know I needed. On the one hand, she is technically the heroine of the piece, but since she becomes just as deadly as Loveheart, she doesn’t fit into a traditional role. I liked how, even though she didn’t talk a lot, she had her own dangerous abilities and talents, instead of being completely powerless.
-the Butterfly Club (and its leader) was creepy and horrible and was exactly what you would expect from a Neil Gaiman-esque story like this.
What I didn’t like:
-I know this contradicts what I said I liked about Loveheart, but sometimes it felt like there was a little too much violence.
I’m not opposed to violence (fictional violence, of course, I don’t condone actual violence), I just mean that when someone’s limbs are being cut off in every other paragraph of a single chapter, it can be a little overwhelming.
Overall, while I loved getting a chance to get into Loveheart’s head again, I didn’t love it as much as I loved the first one. Still a solid four interrobangs, though, and I’ll be following Ishbelle Bee closely now.