Steampunk and more steampunk! I seem to have gotten myself hooked on a new genre, but I swear it’s not my fault – someone keeps on putting books with such catchy, appealing covers out in the library for me to check out!
Mark Hodder certainly does Steampunk well. His books follow two individuals – the brave, strong Sir Francis Burton and the wiry little poet Algernon Swinbourne – but these two characters are accompanied by a whole host of other historical figures, including H.G. Wells, Charles Babbage, the great scientists Darwin and Galton, Detective Inspector Trounce, and others. The characters ride in crazy mechanical contraptions, breed strange and curious monsters, and face down mediums, monstrosities, and all manner of clockwork – classic steampunk tropes everywhere.
If there’s one thing that’s clear about Hodder’s writing, it’s that the man never takes a rest – and neither do his characters! They plunge from adventure to adventure with barely enough time to bandage their wounds before tackling another monster. Reading these books feels a bit like watching a Michael Bay movie – there’s guaranteed to be action around every corner!
Unfortunately, I started reading this series out of order. This book is the first, but I read “The Return of the Discontinued Man”, book 4, before this one, so I have a little advance insight into what fates may befall some of the characters. Still, the writing is good, the plot is tight, and the action is definitely intense.
Time to read: 4 hours or so.