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. But beneath this shiny veneer of progress lurks a sinister side.
For this is also a world where lycanthropy is a rampant disease that plagues the dirty whorehouses of Whitechapel, where poltergeist infestations create havoc in old country seats, where cadavers can rise from the dead and where nobody ever goes near the Natural History Museum.
©2010 Snowbooks (P)2012 Audible Ltd
"Mann's imagination has clearly run wild in this quirky and well realised version of the world, and this is no bad thing. It's fun, it's exciting, and Mann has a very agreeable hand that's easy to appreciate. He has a sharp talent for writing and a surplus of enthusiasm for the genre...." (SCIFI Now)
"The author does a superb job of recreating 19-century London...a thoroughly engaging story. Excellent world building; captures the Sherlock Holmes feel; never a boring passage. Bottom line: A hugely entertaining book. 4.5 out of 5." (SF Signal)
"Fans of Alan Moore's work will likely enjoy Mann's depiction of Victorian asylums, slums, aristocratic soirees, and things that go bump in the night." (Strange Horizons)
I don't think the professional reviewers could have read this book. It is poor.
This recording is very poor. Badly directed and edited (the narrator actually has a second go at reading some of the sentences), the characterisations are poor, the accent is contrived. They should have signed up Sean Barratt.
I am willing to give all genres a listen/read and the premise behind this book appealed to me, but the thing is so badly put together it is (with this appalling reading) dull as ditch water.
I wonder that the author didn't decide to write it after watching box sets of Doctor Who, The Sherlock Holmes Casebook and the Philip Pullman Sally Lockhart adaptations. I can see it now, he has a list, "Pipe smoking drug taking detective, check; strong female, check; zombie flesh eaters, check; cybermen, check; Scotland Yard Inspector, check; evil business man with mad scientist, check". Scramble together and add some linking words. Job done. In fact, some of this is very like the Doctor Who episodes Rise of the Cybermen and the Age of Steel.
Boggy of Bucks
I'm sorry but what a waste of my Audible credit this month! Simon Taylor's narration is simply dreadful (and I do not entirely blame him for this*) and George Mann's credibility as a writer - even in the sometimes rather poor 'fantasy' section of the library - is pitiful. The story might have been interesting - certainly there are some imaginative concepts - but it is basically very lazily done. The characterisation is shallow and there are far too many easy cliches, too many rusty descriptions with no attempt at novelty.
Action Audio are the publisher and they are the laziest of the bunch it seems. *Poor Simon Taylor was obviously given no 'stage direction' and no help with the accents (none were convincing and many really cringeworthy). On three occassions he makes a second attempt at a phrase - and both are still there! Unbelievable! No direction; no editing.
Useless, useless, flabby, crappy. Bother, bother, bother. And I had nothing else to listen to so I persevered to (almost) the end.
Audible, I want my money back!
He did his best - maybe a bit whispery and over-refined, but you can't make a bad book good in the reading of it, so he was always going to lose.
All of it.
Yes as it's the first book in the series.
Lacklustre narration which spoiled the story for me. The narrator just read the story instead of giving the characters different voices.
"Disappointing . . . this is no Parasol Protectorat"
I expected much more from this author (an editor) and this book
The Audio editing leaves much to be desired with frequent repeated sentences in some cases repeated with different inflections or accents that obviously should not be there. The narrator also does not do most of female voices in the book well.
The story it's self has promise but don't hold your breath for any deep plot, the villains are obvious from the outset.
The fight sequences are unrealistic
I did not feel any real attachment to the main character Sir Maurice Newbury but felt little more for his assistant Veronica Hobbes and some of the lesser characters. Newbury is no Holmes and seems to stumble from one chapter to the next from information provided by others. For an investigator for the Crown it's a wonder his still employed and alive . . .
You don't really get drawn into the book or it's characters and their world of a steam punk revenant ridden London . . . this is no Parasol Protectorate
This is a book and world that has potential and could have been a great start to a series instead you will left with a feeling that it just scape's over to OK from being a bad read
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