Featured Review: Voyages In The Underworld Of Orpheus Black (Marcus Sedgwick & Julian Sedgwick)

43069835._SX318_

About This Book:

Harry Black is lost between the world of war and the land of myth in this illustrated novel that transports the tale of Orpheus to World War II-era London.

Brothers Marcus and Julian Sedgwick team up to pen this haunting tale of another pair of brothers, caught between life and death in World War II. Harry Black, a conscientious objector, artist, and firefighter battling the blazes of German bombing in London in 1944, wakes in the hospital to news that his soldier brother, Ellis, has been killed. In the delirium of his wounded state, Harry's mind begins to blur the distinctions between the reality of war-torn London, the fiction of his unpublished sci-fi novel, and the myth of Orpheus and Eurydice. Driven by visions of Ellis still alive and a sense of poetic inevitability, Harry sets off on a search for his brother that will lead him deep into the city's Underworld. With otherworldly paintings by Alexis Deacon depicting Harry's surreal descent further into the depths of hell, this eerily beautiful blend of prose, verse, and illustration delves into love, loyalty, and the unbreakable bonds of brotherhood as it builds to a fierce indictment of mechanized warfare.

 

 

*Review Contributed By Olivia Farr Staff Reviewer*

 

 

VOYAGES IN THE UNDERWORLD OF ORPHEUS BLACK is a story about brotherhood, war, and the power of art. Harry is a conscientious objector in World War II, a quality which has left him disowned by his father, a weapon’s manufacturer, and at a distance from his brother Ellis, a soldier in the war. In 1944 London, he is working as a firefighter to put out the fires often created by bombings.

After he meets with his brother to try to mend fences, he is traveling on a bus when bombs land, and he then wakes in the hospital. Once he gains consciousness, he learns that the pub in which he had met and left his brother was destroyed by the bombs, and there are believed to be no survivors. Harry is compelled to go there and see if he can learn the truth about his brother and save him- beginning an even more dangerous journey, accompanied by Orpheus Black who has joined with him and a younger girl whom he met in the hospital.

The book is told in three ways: journal entries from Harry’s perspective, poetry from the perspective of Orpheus Black, and artwork. The three combine to create something potentially more powerful than any of the three separately. Harry’s journey to save his brother seemingly takes him into the afterlife/underworld, and really captures the depth of brotherly love.

What I loved: The illustrations and poetry were really beautiful. The illustrations capture war and danger really well, and the poems have a great flow. The concept is also very interesting, and I enjoyed the theme of brotherly love. While there is some anti-war tones, there are also messages about why the war was necessary and the atrocities being committed; however, it would have been nice to get a little deeper into the debate, as it was difficult to go into much in this format/with the other main themes.

What left me wanting more: The book almost seemed too ambitious, and the end was a bit abrupt. It was difficult at times to join the three modes of storytelling together to get a complete picture. While some of this is explained by the ending documents, there are still a lot of things that were not very clear. This is more of a thought-provoking and mysterious book without really clear answers, and this will appeal to some readers.

While Orpheus is described and the mythology alluded to, it does help to google the story to get a full picture of what is going on and why this myth is being used (and once you do, this helps to understand the story better). As another small point, the dialogue was all described/written without quotations in the journal entries, which is probably more on point as to how it would be written, but it did make it a little harder to read.

Final verdict: For people who like mysterious books with magical realism type elements, this book will be a unique and engrossing read with images, text, and poems combining together to create an intriguing tale. While I think a little more length would have helped to flesh out the story further, the elements were each pretty well done and certainly keep the reader interested.

 

 

 

 

*Find More Info & Buy This Book HERE!*

 

 

Giveaway: NATIONAL GEOGRAPHIC "Back To School" Pri...
Author Chat with Joy Jones (Fearless Public Speaki...

Related Posts

 

Comments

Already Registered? Login Here
No comments made yet. Be the first to submit a comment

FEATURED GIVEAWAYS

Latest Book Listings Added

 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Elemental Manipulation is tricky. Only those with the power can...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
When fifteen-year-old Marlee Stanley joins her two sisters and the...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
They call me the Dark Queen… Ryleigh...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Two friends in the 1980's were graduating from Cosmetology School....
Twisting Minds
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
How can you trust your heart when you can't trust...
The Art of Holding On
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Life happens, whether you’re ready or not. All you can...
Breaking Through: How Female Athletes Shattered Stereotypes in the Roaring Twenties
 
5.0
 
0.0 (0)
Award-winning author Sue Macy offers a fresh and timely account...
Outlawed
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
OUTLANDER meets Robin Hood. Traveling through time...
The Path We Take
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
He’s alone He’s tattooed He’s badly burnt ...
Half-Blood Mage
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
A cursed dragon hunter A half-blood mage...
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
If genetic engineering could guarantee you and your family perfect...
Slayer (Slayer, #1)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Into every generation a Slayer is born… ...
Magic Bound
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Starting a new school is never easy and this time...
When Wishes Bleed
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
One Prince. One Witch. One Fate. ...
Dealing in Dreams
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
The Outsiders meets Mad Max: Fury Road in this fast-paced...
Girls With Sharp Sticks (Girls With Sharp Sticks, #1)
 
0.0
 
0.0 (0)
Some of the prettiest flowers have the sharpest thorns. ...

Latest Member Reviews

Girl at Heart
 
5.0
"'Girl at Heart' by Kelly Oram is a sweet, entertaining, easy read that any lover of YA romance will adore...."
Kingdom Cold
 
4.8
"What I loved: First and foremost, the characters. Princess Charlotte's fierce, unyielding manner. The way her character is left..."
Sword and Pen (Great Library Book, #5)
 
5.0
"Isn't great to finish a series and feel satisfied? Sword and Pen by Rachel Caine is the final book in..."
Wonder Woman: Warbringer (DC Icons #1)
 
3.7
"I snapped this one up because I love Wonder Woman, and I much appreciated Leigh Bardugo's adept writing in Six..."
Breaking Through: How Female Athletes Shattered Stereotypes in the Roaring Twenties
 
5.0
"One hundred years ago. When I was growing up, this seemed like an impossibly long time in the past. The..."
Scarred
 
4.8
"Emotionally, I mean. What I loved: As you can guess from the title,..."
The Path Divided
 
5.0
"I'm going to break out of my usual review mold here because this book was so many things. It..."
Girl at Heart
 
4.8
"What I loved: Just about everything. This was an adorable YA Contemporary Romance with a surprisingly well-rounded..."
Skin Hunter
 
4.3
"What I loved: The world building was perfectly illustrated without bogging down the story. Everything from the..."
Our Year in Love and Parties
 
4.0
"What I loved: The story was told through the unique lens of four specific events with..."
The Secret Key (Agatha Oddly)
 
4.0
"Agatha loves the work of Detective Hercule Poirot. He's actually her imaginary friend and she uses his work to influence..."
Jack Kerouac is Dead to Me
 
4.3
"JACK KEROUAC IS DEAD TO ME is Gae Polisner’s most recent YA Contemporary novel. Like in her other books, she..."
Woven in Moonlight
 
5.0
"Woven in Moonlight is a beautiful and lush fantasy, based on the culture and history of Bolivia. It is set..."
Julie Winsome M.D., Medical Detective Science Fiction Mysteries, Volume # 1
 
4.7
"Always fun to follow along with Dr. Julie Winsome Medical Detective! Great stories and I love the writing style..."
We Are All His Creatures: Tales of P. T. Barnum, the Greatest Showman
 
3.0
"WE ARE ALL HIS CREATURES by Deborah Noyes is a series of eleven short stories about the beloved showman, P.T...."
Jane Anonymous: A Novel
 
4.7
"JANE ANONYMOUS follows two timelines: one while Jane was captured for 7 months and one after she is back home...."
Finding Mr. Better-Than-You
 
4.3
"FINDING MR. BETTER-THAN-YOU starts off like a cheesy romantic comedy, but ends up being a lot more fulfilling light-hearted YA..."
Freaky in Fresno
 
3.7
"FREAKY IN FRESNO is a spin on the old novel, FREAKY FRIDAY. Ricki (nickname for Lyric) had a falling out..."
Only Mostly Devastated
 
4.3
"ONLY MOSTLY DEVASTATED is a charming YA contemporary romance that follows Ollie. Ollie had lived in California, until this year..."
Neffatira's First Challenge
 
5.0
"The descriptions are very beautiful and you can perceive the feelings of the characters to the point of empathy. ..."