Title: Prospero Lost
Series Title: Prospero’s Daughter
Author: L. Jagi Lamplighter
Date Added: June 19, 2016
Date Started: February 11, 2017
Date Unfinished: March 18, 2017
Reading Duration: 35 days
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….
It’s well known I’m in love with the works of Shakespeare, though I haven’t yet read The Tempest this is based on. Miranda and co not only inspired The Bard in the world of Prospero Lost, but they use the play as a mythology to in which to conceal themselves. Since people believe Shakespeare made it up, the information therein is obfuscated by fable, and Prospero Inc., the family company, is allowed to do its good works unhindered.
The main character Miranda, her father Prospero, and most of her siblings are immortal and have been alive for 500 years, aided by the power of magic staffs the sorcerer crafted. Of course like most magical objects, they’re coveted and sought after by nefarious agents, in this case the Shadowed Ones who are more than likely the cause of Prospero’s disappearance. This is the catalyst for the story that sends Miranda on a worldwide search with only her mentally unstable brother Mephistopheles and her aerie servant Mab for company and succor.
The concept behind this story is interesting, but one of the major issues with the novel is how much is introduced. Since the Prospero family has been prosperous (I’m not sorry) for 500 or so years, there’s a great deal of history there, and the author attempts to reveal it in exposition throughout. However, this occurs as dreaded info dumps that take you out of the mise en scene far too often. I’m usually okay with exposition/author explanation, but it was so egregious and long-winded in this case. There’s obviously a huge history there, but the way it’s presented is it too haphazard and random. Miranda will start to ponder something that happened in the far past for several paragraphs, and it messes with the flow of the story. Ms. Lamplighter also uses exclamation points a bit too liberally.
I also wish there’d been more about the company, Prospero Inc., and the work they do in it rather than just brief mentions and exposition. The blurb states that they use their magic for the good of the world, but there were no examples of this in the novel itself. It’s another example of showing instead of telling.
Despite this I didn’t declare this DNF due to dislike, but rather because it wasn’t quite holding my interest at the time. I’m hoping to finish it at some point in the future, as there were numerous plot points introduced that I’m curious about. The author also did a great job differentiating the siblings (that were introduced), which can be a daunting task when you have multiple ones.
I may read Shakespeare’s The Tempest before I return, since it relies heavily on that narrative and having it in my mental lexicon might make the beat points in Prospero Lost more pronounced, easier to digest, and I may be more forgiving towards the extensive exposition.
No rating for this since it’s Unfinished and I intend to remedy that one day. I do have a rating in mind (as I usually do with most novels by the time I get to a certain point), but I’ll leave it until such time as it’s complete.