We like to be impressed here at the Haunted Eyeball and we were particularly blown away by this collection of stories set in the darkness of Promethea.
We approached this anthology wondering how they’d pull off the premise. The RPG and the book explores what would happen if Frankenstein and his monster didn’t meet a dreadful end, as all believed, but evaded capture and went on. Frankenstein continues to develop his technique, ultimately carving out his own country, cut off from the rest of Europe by stringent border controls, and the technique of body augmentation became the norm for the upper classes in a twisted take on plastic surgery and beyond. As Promethea’s class system manipulates these benefits, the body parts of the poor and the vulnerable become used for their Dark Harvest.
Based around the scenario of a role playing game, developed by Iain Lowson, Tales of Promethea explores this concept thoroughly, leaving room for the imagination to ponder on the scenarios, whilst expanding the possibilities, and building a vivid and convincing alternate European history.
This selection of short stories does a fantastic job of drawing you into the dark country Frankenstein created since the famous Mary Shelley novel. Each tale brings the augmentation in Promethea back to a human level, as the exploited poor attempt to escape, and the callous actions of the powerful grow ever more twisted. The stories rise above a strong pulp premise, hooking us in and keeping us invested as the characters try to navigate their frightening new world. Characters range from the poorest servant girl to Frankenstein himself, with a fresh and devastating angle each time. While on the surface they may appear similar – for there are several where a person tries to avoid augmentation, only to come to a sticky end – there’s always a fresh example of scientific depravity and heroic struggle to enjoy.
Despite the salacious subject matter, the stories are classy and tightly written with a sensitivity to right, wrong and justice served. It’s a fantastic introduction to the world of Promethea and we really can’t recommend Dark Harvest strongly enough. These fascinating characters and scary what-ifs are well worth a look.