I am brutally honest. Popular, love everything they read, reviewers are scared to go neg. and risk their ranking. It's your money!!!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
Say something about yourself!
The plot is preposterous, and the world-building - "add a steam engine to ever VIctorian artifact and throw in some rotors" - is unimaginative. If you want to see that done right, try The Windup Girl.
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.
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.