Welcome to the bizarre and dangerous world of Victorian London, a city teetering on the edge of revolution. Its people are ushering in a new era of technology, dazzled each day by new inventions. Airships soar in the skies over the city, whilst ground trains rumble through the streets and clockwork automatons are programmed to carry out menial tasks in the offices of lawyers, policemen and journalists.
This is an alright steampunk novel which, while not always desperately unique, is quite fun and has decent characters. Sir Maurice Newbury is a quintessential English gent with a secret interest in the occult and he is quite charming to read about. Veronica Hobbs is a strong feminist by Victorian standards and spends a lot of her time endeavouring to prove that women can do more than flounce and swoon. I did like both of them, although Veronica was my favourite for her general pluckiness.
Character A: “Oh, and wasn’t is strange that…happened. I wonder what came of…”.
Character B: “Funny you should mention that. I spoke to [Character C] and they explained…”
Character A: “That makes sense. How nice that’s settled”
So yes, don’t read this if you don’t like your endings a little manufactured.
I’ve read the synopsis of the next in the series (The Osiris Ritual) and it looks as though it might be more of the same; Sir Maurice and Veronica engaged in seemingly separate investigations but eventually realising that their cases have more in common than they thought. I might pick it up one day if I see a copy in a charity shop or something but I’m not exactly clawing at Waterstones’ door to get it.