Started devouring books at age 7 and haven't stopped since... Now I can read while I drive, do dishes, clean the house, or work in garden!
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!
Overall I thought the book was fun to listen too. The story was good and kept me interested and involved the whole time. The steam punk portions of the book were fun but at times seemed a bit too fantastical. The narration was okay. Not great, but not bad either.
The main thing that really bothered me about this book is in the last 1/3 of the book the author not once, not twice, but three times retold portions of the story he had told earlier in the book. Granted, he told them from a different perspective, but still, we already knew these things had happened and telling them from a different perspective added nothing to the story nor progressed the story in any way.
I did think the length of the story was good. The author maintained the flow of the story and didn't really waste the readers time (with the exception of the retelling in the last 1/3 of the book). It was a pretty quick listen, fun, and imaginative. I liked the story enough that I will definitely listen to the next book in the series.
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.
I will listen to NO boring book. Old Fav's,Card, King , Hobb. New Fav's, Hill, Scalzi, Sawyer, Interested in Lansdale, Crouch, Konrath
Remember the character Hodor from George R.R. Martin's Fire and Ice Series. All he could say was his name over and over. That is what this book turns into. It repeat's itself over and over, until you are just sick of it.
It starts out with some cool stuff and acts as if it is going to be a great story. It has all the elements in a story I love, eugenics and crazy machines. It has loups-garous (werewolves) and it has albeanos (mexican albinos). It has foul mouth parrots and cats that clean you floors. It has famous people from history as major characters, such as Sir Richard Francis Burton, Oscar Wilde, Charles Darwin and Florence Nightingale. When Dean Koontz or Jonathan Maberry, write this stuff it is great, but Hodor (Hodder) ruins it. It has a guy running around ripping clothes off of young women. Some how Hodor even found a way to make that boring. Furthermore we could not be told he did it to several women, we had to go through each and every assault and it was always exactly the same. Perverts don't get excited, there is no description, it is Jack affronts girl, asks question, tares her dress, she screams, he runs away, repeat, repeat,repeat, etc, etc.
Hodor turns Charles Darwin and Florence Nightingale into bad guys. Why would you do that and why have the critics not jumped on it. Also why are albino's always bad guys? Is it because there are not enough of them that they don't have there own organizations like the Black Panthers. Do we always have to make bad guys of people who don't look like us?
Read Koontz or Maberry, not this.
Favorite author: Alexander McCall Smith Favorite narrator: Gerard Doyle Favorite listen : Burton and Swinburne Trilogy
The narrator was really good and the characters were Interesesting. I also like how everything tied together, which was kind of the theme. How every little thing you do might affect the world. Also it was a very inventive story about the legend of Jumping Jack.
I really liked Burton and Swinburne. At first I didn't think I would like them but they ended up being good guys and swinburne was kind of funny.
It was exciting throughout I couldn't wait to hear what happens next. It was also fun as the story unfolds and you begin to realize what is really going on and how it came about. (the butterfly effect). But I did lose some sleep over this.
I didn't cry, some parts made me chuckle. This wasn't a feel good book if that is what you are looking for. It was a book about an adventurer whose biggest adventure was at home.
can't wait to listen to the next of the series. I am hooked on steampunk now
I only stumbled across this since it showed up as a recommendation. But I've loved steampunk from before it was even called that, and am a sucker for anything related to Sir Richard Francis Burton, so decided to give it a try.
On the positive side, the author made some fresh additions to the standard steampunk conventions, developed an interesting story, and had some flashes of humor I really liked. And the narrator did a great job bringing the story to life -he does a great parakeet.
On the negative side the author fell into a loop with his "said Sir Richard Francis Burton" this and "the King's agent said" that. It reminded me of some of the old pulp era stories (Doc Savage being a prime example) where the author was paid by the word and pumped up the word count by injecting repetitious fluff at every opportunity. But I'm now listening to the second book in the series, and it appears Mark Hodder already received this comment and corrected it.
But overall I enjoyed it. And enjoyed it enough to get the next book in 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.
This story has all the elements of a great tale - a dashing hero, an intriguing side-kick, a well-motivated antagonist. It particularly picked up in the second part. There were also a lot of "steampunk" elements and a very imaginative world. Hat's off to the author for bringing together an amazing array of fresh ideas in a world that, crazy as it is, all makes sense in the end.
On the downside, there was a lot of "head hopping," which made it difficult to keep track of view points. Perhaps in the manuscript there were visual cues for changes in point of view, but the narrator doesn't seem to bring these across. I also felt that the main character was a little "too perfect."
Overall, I think if you enjoy a creative world, it's worth a listen. I wouldn't nominate it for any awards, and I'm on the fence about carrying on with the series.
Steampunk has always been a fascination for me. I love the creativity and imagination that goes into developing the "technology" and how it is used in society. I began to read this series just to enjoy this sort of creativity but the author gave me much more than just plausible technology to envision. In this work, I have gotten to meet characters who are more than just one sided, shallow and ultimately predictable people. The "good guys" have their faults and quirks, and the bad guys illicit compassion and caring from the reader. In this series good and evil are not just black and white but a panorama of grey areas where the characters have one foot towards each end of the spectrum.
The author provides the reader with a somewhat plausible explanation for the origins for this alternative history and even allowed the protagonists some free will in choosing their path in this alternative history or in the "actual" Victorian era. Fictional characters interact with people who actually existed in Victorian England, and in some cases historical characters are caught up in the action and play integral roles in this Steampunk version of history. The city of London itself is an integral character in the book and the author depicts this alternative London in a manner not often seen in other books, a dirty, soot and pollution filled London. You can smell the city, and feel the grease and grime and the dust and soot.
All of the physical senses are given a treat with this story and if you like Steampunk, you'll love this tale. Even the pompous sounding, "high fallooting" British accented, narrator seems to fit with the tale and adds to the atmosphere of the story. It's a morality tale that will leave you wondering what you would have done if you faced situations similar to these characters.