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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Challenging, entertaining fiction from a experimental publisher
Aetheric Mechanics is one of the newest releases from Apparat, the independent line of Warren Ellis-dominated comics. As a vanity press, Apparat publications have a tendency to vary wildly in their quality of work. In Aetheric Mechanics, however, the creative team of Ellis and Pagliarani has produced something very close to perfect.

In Aetheric Mechanics,...
Published on November 2, 2008 by Amazon Customer

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3.0 out of 5 stars Not as cliche as you think, read it to the end
This was cool. I liked the art a lot and the setting was cool (futuristic London with WWII trappings) but I kept thinking it was kind of cliche. Then at the end I found out why. Unfortunately that made it less enjoyable because I kept saying to myself, "Are you serious? Really? Did Ellis really write this?" So, not one of his best but worth reading if it's already...
Published 13 months ago by Shane Tiernan


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10 of 10 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Challenging, entertaining fiction from a experimental publisher, November 2, 2008
This review is from: Aetheric Mechanics (Paperback)
Aetheric Mechanics is one of the newest releases from Apparat, the independent line of Warren Ellis-dominated comics. As a vanity press, Apparat publications have a tendency to vary wildly in their quality of work. In Aetheric Mechanics, however, the creative team of Ellis and Pagliarani has produced something very close to perfect.

In Aetheric Mechanics, Doctor Richard Watcham reunites with his old friend, detective Sax Raker. Against a backdrop of zeppelin attacks and mysterious 'aetheric' technology, the pair chase down an elusive serial killer - one who flickers in and out of existence like a ghost.

Despite the short length (40something pages), Aetheric Mechanics manages to introduce a fantastic steampunk universe, craft an engaging mystery and then introduce a plot twist that successfully tossesevery other steampunk world into the backseat. If it sounds complicated, it actually isn't - thanks to the writing and the art, the story is so absorbing it is easy to follow from start to finish. In further testament to the creative team's skill, the clever narrative devices and plot twists are also all secondary to the characters. Although the reader is constantly rocked by fantastic revelations, the emphsis is always on the characters and never on self-congratulatory world building.

Gianluca Pagliarani is an inspired choice for an artist. Although black and white, Pagliarani manages to lever in the detail necessary to bring the world of Aetheric Mechnics to life. The layout - especially vital in a space this short - is neatly done, balancing small panels of minute detail with breath-taking city-scapes.

Aetheric Mechanics is clever, clearly experimental and very entertaining. It pushes the boundaries of a fledgling genre, challenges the reader and, above all, gives fans of the graphic novel another rare and must-have read. -- PORNOKITSCH
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Brilliantly Executed Alternate History/Sci-Fi, October 26, 2008
By 
Daniel V. Reilly (Upstate New York, United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Aetheric Mechanics (Paperback)
AETHERIC MECHANICS is the latest stand-alone graphic novel in Avatar/Warren Ellis' Apparat line of comics, and it's a welcome addition to the line. Returning home to civilian life after two years on the front lines of Britan's war against Ruritania, Doctor Richard Watcham resumes his life as sidekick to the World's greatest Detective, Sax Raker. The duo are soon drawn into a strange mystery involving missing and murdered Scientists and a "Man who wasn't there"....The game is afoot!

On the surface, AETHERIC MECHANICS combines Alternate History and Steampunk with, what appears to be, a complete and total rip-off of Sherlock Holmes. Stick with it though, as Ellis uses the last few pages to completely turn the story upside-down, shaking up everything the reader was expecting from the book. The art, by Gianluca Pagliarani, fits the story perfectly, and the amount of detail he includes on each page is staggering. Graphic novel fans looking for something a bit different will not be disappointed.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fun and beautiful., December 23, 2009
By 
S. Duke "SMD" (Placerville, CA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Aetheric Mechanics (Paperback)
It's not very often that I get to review a graphic novel, so when a friend let me borrow this, I was really excited to tell you all about it.

Aetheric Mechanics takes place in an alternate Earth in which Britain is at war with a place called Ruritania, whose powerful technology is quickly turning the tide of the war in their favor. Doctor Richard Watcham returns from the war front and, upon reuniting with Sax Raker, an old friend and renowned amateur detective, he embarks on an investigation of bizarre origins.

I'm not familiar with Warren Ellis' work, but if Aetheric Mechanics is any indication of his talent in coming up with weird stories, then I suspect I'll enjoy just about anything he writes. There's a lot going on here, and the brief instances that explain the current situation (the war with Ruritania, etc.) add some depth to the world Mr. Ellis is working with. Aetheric Mechanics is also generally visually gorgeous, with an exceptional amount of detail throughout the piece. Add to that a strange, steampunk-ish murder mystery and there's plenty here to keep you entertained.

The dialogue is particularly strong here, unlike a lot of comics/graphic novels that try to write in a pseudo-Victorian/WW2-analogous era (assuming, of course, that I got the representative periods correct). Raker, for instance, has a distinct voice that will remind some, for reasons that become obvious when you read the story, of other detective types we've come to know. The other characters, while not as distinct as far as attention grabbing is concerned, hold their own in a world that will immediately spark some of the "gosh wow" desperately needed in quasi-SF tales.

The only problems I had with Aetheric Mechanics are probably normal things found within the comic/graphic novel industry. The story was, in my opinion, rushed, and I would have liked to see the story expanded over two or three volumes to give the twist ending greater impact. The result was that the relationships between characters were either left to reader assumption or not developed at all. Also, the lack of color and the pencil/ink combination removed some of the depth that needed to be there in certain panels (particularly the action-packed ones). Neither of these complaints ruined the experience for me, though.

Overall, I liked Aetheric Mechanics, despite its flaws. It's not perfect, and I hope that Mr. Ellis and his artists continue writing in this world (the ending leaves a lot to be told). I think this is one of those graphic novels that can't be left without sequels; it's too big to be alone. If you're a steampunk/detective mystery fan, then you should definitely check this one out.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A delight, but too short, December 8, 2008
By 
Rory Coker (Austin, TX USA) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Aetheric Mechanics (Paperback)
A number of authors lately have toyed with the concept of a Victorian world in which all the iconic characters of Victorian fiction simultaneously live and breathe. The most famous example is Allan Moore's LEAGUE OF EXTRAORDINARY GENTLEMEN. Here is Warren Ellis's contribution to this new genre.

I picked up the book without reading the blurb on the rear cover, so it was a pleasant surprise a few pages into the story to find Dr. Watson and Sherlock Holmes (under slight disguises) tackling the case of a killer who fades in and out from invisibility to solidity. Irene Adler soon shows up as well.

My only complaint is that the story is much too short. It wraps up abruptly almost as soon as one has figured out what's really going on in the strange and war-torn parallel world that lies beyond Baker Street.

The artwork by Gianluca Pagliarani is staggeringly detailed and completely appropriate for the circa-1900 setting. I haven't seen anything like it since the heyday of Geof Darrow!

Recommended on all counts.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Another great Apparat comic., December 1, 2008
This review is from: Aetheric Mechanics (Paperback)
Warren Ellis rarely disappoints. Aetheric Mechanics is a good little read at a very reasonable price. The story grabs ahold of your attention quite nicely and there are some intriguing plot twists and interesting ideas in there too. If you're a fan of Moore's League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, or any of Ellis' own works, don't hesitate to pick it up. And share it with friends.
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4.0 out of 5 stars "Sax Raker and the case of the man who wasn't there", July 17, 2010
By 
Hadourien68 (Langen (Hessen), Deutschland) - See all my reviews
This review is from: Aetheric Mechanics (Paperback)
"Sax Raker and the case of the man who wasn't there" would be the book title' if this were an ongoing series of novellas, like Aetherics Mechanics' most immediate inspiration source, Sherlock Holmes. Who this man really turns out to be... Well, that would be telling, wouldn't it? It's a brilliant little crime story, after all. Sax is basically Sherlock Holmes, and the down-to-earth, somewhat cynical war veteran of a doctor who's his best friend, Watcham, plays the Watson. A very weird Britain, ruled by aetheric mechanics, some weird science made of fiction and relativity, is on the verge of being conquered by Ruritania (an appreciated tip of the hat to master director Hayao Miyazaki), while in London somebody is killing the best scientists in the field. A man wo appears to be flickering in and out of existence. Sax Raker will solve the case and find out its cataclysmic ramifications, and for the few bucks this will set you back, the fun and thinking you'll get are well worth the expense. Besides, you'll get to watch in acton the Sherlock Holmes you always loved (that bastard who's always hatefully logic and wors of all, right) and a loving, endearing nod to the power of imagination and fiction. A closing thought to Gianluca Pagliarani, artist of the book, of whom I never heard of before and whose art I hope to see again soon: He really drew the hell outof this book!
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4.0 out of 5 stars A Fun Read at a Good price, March 19, 2009
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This review is from: Aetheric Mechanics (Paperback)
With Aetheric Mechanics, Warren Ellis melds sci-fi, alternate history and Sherlock Holmes into a story that feels longer and more fulfilling than its 48 pages. I felt this effort proved that Ellis is capable of writing fully realized characters rather than the 'mean bastard' types we sometimes see over used in his work.

The artwork fits the story perfectly and it's really a shame that we don't get to see it colored. I hope to see more from this artist.

This is a great read for a good price.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fun romp through Steampunk London, July 11, 2010
This review is from: Aetheric Mechanics (Paperback)
Well drawn and well written, a Sherlock Holmesian-esque tale set in an alternative London, where airships are the norm.

Ellis does a good job with the writing and capturing the characters in their dialogue. The artist does a fantastic job of rendering both the Victorian (Edwardian) era London as well as the Steampunk side of it.

I went in, not expecting to enjoy it as much as I did. To say more would be to deprive others of the enjoyment of watching the story unfold.
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5.0 out of 5 stars A little gem, September 24, 2010
By 
Ventura Angelo (Brescia, Lombardia Italy) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
This review is from: Aetheric Mechanics (Paperback)
An alternate Sherlock Holmes in an alternate Britain with flying ships using "Aetheric Mechanics" must solve a case concerning "a man who who wasn't there", on the outbreak of a war with...Ruritania. from those rather bizarre premises develops a story with uncanny implictions, till a rather surprising finale. The drawings are first rate, very detailed and pleasant to look at. A little gem I recommend!
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3.0 out of 5 stars Not as cliche as you think, read it to the end, November 19, 2013
By 
Shane Tiernan (St. Petersburg, FL United States) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: Aetheric Mechanics (Paperback)
This was cool. I liked the art a lot and the setting was cool (futuristic London with WWII trappings) but I kept thinking it was kind of cliche. Then at the end I found out why. Unfortunately that made it less enjoyable because I kept saying to myself, "Are you serious? Really? Did Ellis really write this?" So, not one of his best but worth reading if it's already on your shelf.
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Aetheric Mechanics
Aetheric Mechanics by Warren Ellis (Paperback - November 4, 2008)
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