I knew this was a work of fiction. That there was no Doctor at the turn of the century, performing strange experiments, seeking to resurrect mythical beasts. I knew it was all made up, and paired with drawings both beautiful and fantastic.
But quite a few times, I had a moment of doubt. My suspension of disbelief stuttered towards the border of actual belief. Because that’s just how damn real this story felt. It seemed plausible, it bore resemblance to things I’d read in history books. Steps into the truly insane were rotted to deeply in an understandable world that they seemed almost believable.
Now, that doubt doesn’t make it all true. But, at the end of the book, you’re left with a lingering suspicion. Because it seems just possible that this ma have happened, at least parts of it. The participants vanished, were killed–how are we to know if they lived? The moment of doubt not only occurs during the reading experience itself: it lingers.