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App Review–Steampunk Holmes: Legacy of the Nautilus

Steampunk Holmes: Legacy of the Nautilus

SteamHolmes3Ladies, Gentleman, and Airship Captains, grab your iPads! I hardly know where to begin this review, so brimful am I with Holmesian, Steampunk, geekish glee.

Several months ago, I had a chance to help my fellow Baker Street Babes interview members of the Steampunk Holmes team about their new venture, a series of Sherlock Holmes pastiches set in an alternative Steampunk universe. More than that, they tantalized us with tales of a world beyond the page, a fully interactive app experience with unique artwork, music, audio drama, and design.

At the time, I purchased the text-only version of Steampunk Holmes: Legacy of the Nautilus, which was the inaugural story written by P.C. Martin. I was blown away. Far from being a gimmick, the Steampunk elements were an integral part of a beautiful story. During our interview, P.C. shared with the Babes her painstaking process of assimilating the narrative voice of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. Her success is a crucial aspect of the success of this project, because a story that places Holmes, Watson, and others from their world into a Steampunk universe needs to feel authentically Holmesian, or else there just wouldn’t be enough of a link to the original stories to call this a Sherlock Holmes series. Thankfully, P.C. more than attained her goal.

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Now we come to the issue of apps. Sherlock Holmes has had a presence in the world of technology for some time, starring in eBooks, games, and applications. When I first purchased an iPad, I eagerly searched the iTunes store for anything related to the detective. My search came up more depressing than empty, and I ended up with a supposedly-interactive version of a Holmes story that was ugly, had few features, and couldn’t keep up with my reading speed. In other words, I felt a mighty need for a Sherlock Holmes app that actually utilized the features offered by the tablet in the service of uniquely Holmesian content.

This week, my wish was granted, with my acquisition of the brand new Steampunk Holmes: Legacy of the Nautilus iPad app, which is just as whimsical, beautiful, and engaging as its creators promised.

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Why should you purchase this app?

  • The artwork is stunning. Artist Daniel Cortes has created a design style that is echoed throughout the app and feels delightfully old and delightfully new at the same time, as Steampunk should. The inclusion of clickable links throughout the text that bring up pictures of items and characters is particularly enjoyable.
  • The musical soundtrack is neither to little nor too much. Steampunk musical act Abney Park has created (optional) background accompaniment that complements the narrative without being overly obtrusive.
  • The audio performance is its own unique experience. The professionalism of the voice acting elevates the audio option from a simple add-on to a whole other world.
  • The adaptation of Mycroft Holmes is, well, something you have to experience for yourself, and it’s ideal for an alternate Steampunk universe.
  • The story itself, in addition to being well-told, has strong ties to one of the original Sherlock Holmes stories. I’ll let you discover which one for yourself.

Simply put, Steampunk Holmes: Legacy of the Nautilus is a feast for the eyes and ears of fans of Sherlock Holmes, Steampunk, or both. It ups the ante of Holmes-themed applications, while at the same time providing a central story that is engaging and suspenseful. Truly a can’t-miss, and one that leaves me longing for more titles to be added to the series as soon as possible.

To purchase the application, visit the iTunes store.

Purchase the story in print or as an ebook.

Check out the Steampunk Holmes website.

Follow @SteamHolmes on Twitter for updates about future stories in the series.

A copy of the Steampunk Holmes application was provided for consideration by its creators. The opinions expressed are the reviewer’s own.

Amy Thomas is a book reviewer, freelance essayist, and author of The Detective and The Woman mystery novel series featuring Sherlock Holmes and Irene Adler, published by MX Publishing. She holds a degree in professional communication and is an avid knitter, geek, and grammar nerd. Amy blogs about Sherlock Holmes at Girlmeetssherlock.wordpress.com and can be reached for professional enquiries at nottinghillnapoleon@gmail.com. Connect with her on Twitter @Pickwick12. Email her at reviews@bakerstreetbabes.com.

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