Another topsy-turvy adventure takes place in this last episode in Carman’s hotel trilogy.
This is really a trilogy that’s best read from the beginning, as the beguiling nature of the hotels being assembled here—top floors only, all secret chambers except to heroes Leo and Remi—delivered by great airships, needs some explaining. Carman has so many balls in the air that it is good to have background, but nimble readers should be able to pick up where things are and enjoy this exploration through the titular field of wacky inventions and accompanying riddles. It’s all a challenge set forth before the managers of Merganzer D. Whippet’s hotels to see who will “run all my hotels. I’m expanding into Europe. And Japan. The Ukraine is very promising.” But Whippet is a thoroughly lovely character, not some money-grubber, and the contest to see who will run the grand hotel is both droll and exciting. There is also, happily reported, his cast of queer and delightful players, now including a miniature T. Rex and a girl stowaway, Lucy, who add more to the storyline than any battery of flamethrowers or homicidal roller-coaster rides. As in the two previous volumes, the writing is fluid, with quiet stretches interrupted by rapids and whirlpools.
The quirkiness of Carman’s tale could easily become too familiar, but he pulls new rabbits out of his storytelling sleeve pretty much with each turn of the page, keeping them turning. (Adventure. 9-12)