Overlord is a mnemosurgeon. Mnemosurgery is described thus: "Mnemosurgery is a technique by which one Transformer can enter the mind of another, viewing the subject's memories and giving the mnemosurgeon the ability to "edit" said memories, even to the point where the subject's personality is completely rewritten. The procedure is accomplished via spikes extending from the mnemosurgeon's fingers, which are typically inserted into the subject's neck. The surgical scars fortunately only show up under ultraviolet light. Mnemosurgery can sometimes lead to surgeons experiencing flashbacks—reliving inherited memories from the minds they've worked on."
In the Dark Victorian, the criminal dead are resurrected to serve as Secret Police. They're controlled using memory surgery. "'Memory surgery, Jim said in her hand. 'Amazing trick. You'll remember nothing of yourself, your previous life, your identity; none of it.'"
Sounds like menomosurgery to me, and Overlord was a dick who used that to do horrible, horrible things and torment people and kill them. And okay, maybe they aren't using memory surgery to kill people - but it kinda sounds like a dick move, to be frank. Because, yeah, playing around with memories? Willow did it in Buffy, and they do it all the time in Transformers. It's always a dick move that doesn't end well.
Okay, so I've gotten the Transformer talk out of the way, and the connection to the character for my challenge should be obvious. So, now you get yet another story. I can't remember when Charm School first came out, or why I picked it up. But I kept checking for more issues, and I can't remember why I looked up Elizabeth Watasin, but I did. I'd given up, to be honest, on more Charm School, but I was reminded of the comic or something so I looked her up on Amazon. I was aware that she wrote prose fiction, but.. does anyone else remember that craptastic episode of X-Files that William Gibson wrote? Because I loved the X-Files and I loved William Gibson so how could I not love that episode?
Writing well for one medium does not always translate to another. I was worried due to past experience. And it did take me a while to get into the flow of this story, but I think that was me being nervous more than this story, especially as once I got the flow, io cut just really flowed. Beautiful, even when horrifying beyond belief, but it's the beauty that makes the horror: without that, there would be nothing to compare.
There are also tantalizing hints of redemption, interesting subplots that tie into the main plot, and enough mystery to make me want to curl up into a ball wailing for more. And then I remember that, yay, I did wait long enough for the second volume to be out, too.
I'll be starting that quite soon. Remember I mentioned everyone playing around with memories in the Transformers universes? Yup, I can so use that. Or the whole resurrection bit 'cos zombie robots. (Fine. Zombie biomechanical lifeforms.)