The ways in which Lev AC Rosen plays with gender and sexuality in All Men of Genius is astoundingly brilliant. Seriously. The fact that Twelfth Night and The Importance of Being Earnest interpretations are wrapped up in it makes things even better. Basically, what I’m saying is that I want some of the kool aid to which Lev AC Rosen obviously has access.
One of the first things I plan on doing now that I’ve read All Men of Genius is to reread The Importance of Being Earnest. I don’t think I’ve read it since high school, and remember very little. Twelfth Night is my favorite Shakespearean play, so I had no trouble eating up all those references. But the Oscar Wilde pieces? Much less so. But, I loved All Men of Genius so much that I want to be able to love it even more! The Importance of Being Earnest here I come.
Steampunk. Classical retellings. Victorian London. Cool scientific stuff. Gender role reversals. Plays on sexuality, feminism and homosexuality. That is quite a list, y’all. Lev AC Rosen nails all of it. Violet, a scientific whiz, wants to go to the prestigious Illyria College of science. Too bad it’s all all boys institution, right? Good thing she has a rather devious twin brother willing to let her take on his identity! (Are y’all feeling the Twelfth Nighty goodness?)
What follows is a delightful ImportanceofBeingEarnestian comedy of errors worthy of a Shakespearean play. (I’m ridiculously proud of that sentence.) People fall in love with people who fall in love with people (even if it is a man instead of a woman…or so they think) who are in love with the same people who…well. Really, just pick up All Men of Genius and see for yourself.
Seriously. I had so much fun while reading All Men of Genius! I couldn’t put it down…Violet is such a fantastic character. I’d follow her anywhere. I’ll also follow Lev AC Rosen anywhere. I’m so excited to see what he comes up with next.
I highly recommend this for fans of fantasy and classic retellings. You don’t want to miss it – promise.