This series is a favourite of mine, and when receiving the fifth book via Netgalley I decided to do a re-read of the whole series. Seeing as I read the first book before this blog existed I never posted a review of it, so I will write that for you today. After that I will repost my reviews of books 2-4, seeing as my opinions on them haven’t changed. All of this leads up till Tuesday, when I will share my review of The Revenant Express, it’s publication day. I hope you enjoy Xx
Welcome to the bizarre and dangerous world of Victorian London. Airships soar in the skies, whilst ground trains rumble through the streets. But beneath this shiny veneer of progress lurks a sinister side. Queen Victoria is kept alive by a primitive life-support system while her agents Sir Maurice Newbury and his assistant, Miss Veronica Hobbes, do battle with enemies of the crown, both physical and supernatural…
This is a great example of a good steampunk novel. Yes it has zeppelins and automatons, but they are vital to the plot and aren’t thrown in just for the sake of it. Sir Newbury has some similarities to Holmes (not surprising seeing as George Mann has written several books with the great detective in a leading role), but is a great character in his own right. And then we have his assistant Miss Hobbes, a smart lady who doesn’t mind getting her hands dirty and can handle herself just fine in a fight thank you, but is still a lady.
Added to all this are elements you don’t often see in your average steampunk novels, such as zombie-like creatures, the occult and a sister whose visions into the future landed her in an asylum. All of this gives the story and world a nice and refreshing complexity.
The pace is steady and there is plenty of action to race you through this book, yet not so much that one looses track of the mystery and the crime to be solved, and leaving plenty of space for the development of characters and their relationships.
This book has some flaws, sure. But it was all just such great fun. A very solid start to a great series. One of the best in its genre.