I'm fairly new to the steam-punk alt-history genre but I quite liked this book. That's not to say that if you think about it too hard the book was perfect, but as an enjoyable listen, it was great. The narration was excellent. I really liked the level of technology in the book, seemed mostly believable enough. I have to say that the big confrontation scene at the end of the book was rather anti-climactic, but that's just me. I'm not sure that I will get the next books, certainly if I did, I'd try to find them on sale.
Hodder clearly had a great deal of fun creating his steampunk world, and wants to tell the reader about it -- all about it. Repeatedly. He also did his research into the Victorian world, and doesn't trust his reader to know anything about it, or to remember the essentials unless constantly reminded. (I did happen to know beforehand who Sir Richard Francis Burton was, but I wouldn't have been bothered by a reminder or two. If only Hodder had stopped at one or two . . .) Hodder's fascination with his created world gets in the way of his story. The best part of the book is Springheeled Jack's first-person account of how he came to be who he is, showing that Hodder is more successful at telling a story outside the steampunk detective framework he so lovingly created.
The book left me with a faint feeling of distaste. It wasn't terrible, but I can't say I enjoyed it, and I have no interest in further books in the series.
The book was intriguing and held my interest. It wasn't predictable and common. The author put a lot of thought into the story and it held together well. Normally I can't listen well to sci fi complicated stories with lots of visual interjections and multitude of characters. But this one was well-paced and one could get into visualizing the characters and surroundings. I like technology and history so I like this strange dual world/future concept.
The Difference Engine by William Gibson. Similar subject but not as involved as Spring Heeled Jack. And although I am a great fan of William Gibson it took me reading his book twice and listening to it on Audible to finally make some sense of it. The Difference Engine was much harder to follow.
It was a complicated story with lots of characters. He did a good job in helping the listener keep characters straight.
Just intriguing and kept my interest.
Looking forward to the next book in his series.
Shorten the entire title of your main character for the love of all that is holy -- the reader/listener knows who he is after chapter 1, and if i hear his full name one more time i am going to . . . (i did not stop listening, but you get the idea).
See above, i mean it really, really, gets to you after the eighth time his full name is mentioned in less than 5 minutes. Richard, Burton, Agent, even Dude looks like a lady would be sufficient.
OK -- nothing special, but you make it through it without shuddering.
Interesting story for the most part, the problems are more annoyances than bad writing.
I could not finish this one. I love fantasy/paranormal and a bit of steampunk, but this one was too much for me. In the beginning, there were way too many things that were unexplained. It felt a bit like being lost in a nightmare from which you can't wake up. Then, by the middle, what was a "mystery" to the characters was very plain to the reader. I was so annoyed by the whole thing, that I just gave up.
This is a very fun ride. The author has done a great job of putting together this story. This is a wonderful piece of brain candy.
If you like to play "what if" then you'll enjoy this book! Excellent narration, the many different characters take on vivid life in the (really, really) incredible story. Again, you have to be able to this "what if" to enjoy, it's pretty much out there.
A great introduction to the steampunk genre, which I didn't really understand until I read this book!
I really didn't expect to like this novel. It was to be one of my fillers between Pendergast and King. But, this book is really good. Great characters and and surprising plot twist. It has really become a pleasant surprise!
An alpaca farmer in Oregon.
Sir Richard, that is.
Francis Burton, that is.
First he gets resurrected and dragged all over Riverworld by Philip Jose Farmer with the greatest of all cowboys, Tom Mix as a sidekick.
Now, as if that's not enough, he's got to battle time-travelling gents and steam-punk historical persons with the eccentric poet Algernon Swinburne as a sidekick.
What is it about this fellow Burton?
For those who fear that all of this seems a little outlandish and fanciful, I would suggest that you do a little research on Sir Richard's actual life and adventures. They are at least as outrageous as anything in these books. Quite a fella, that.
This is a fun book, and where ever Richard might now be hanging out, I'll bet he is enjoying it, and translating it into 23 languages. Probably adding some dirty parts. For my part, I'll now charge straight ahead into the next volume, thank you very much.
If Burton hadn't been such a bad imitation of Sherlock Holmes, with his detecting and disguises and his band of ragged children and his bloodhound. If the hero hadn't been the least interesting character in the book. If the author hadn't fallen into the trap of needing to bring in so many historical characters to shore up a lackluster alternate history.
Hodder obviously sat down and drew up a list of ways to refer to the hero. The King's agent, the famous explorer, the famous Victorian (which undermines part of his own story logic), Sir Richard Francis Burton (if he'd shortened that to Burton every time he used it, the book would have been an hour shorter).
A good reading of poor material.
Burton. A bad sign when you main character is one you cannot bear to be in the company of.
The story is driven by plot devices, things happen because the story needs them to happen and not realistic cause and effect. I made it through, but only because there was a section completely without Burton that kept me interested. Also, the science became ludicrous. It doesn't have to be totally realistic, but at least it has to be believable in the world being created. Some of the characters suffer a side effect of science that makes zero sense, and every time it happened I wanted to scream.