I have already recommended this book to friends.
I loved this original book. The mash-up of steampunk, sci fi and historical fiction was fun and the reader did a wonderful job. Having a previous knowledge of the time period and the characters before hand made the book especially interesting for me.
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.
I'm pretty sure I'm addicted to audio books! It's a good thing they don't weigh much and don't take up much shelf space.
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.
I'm a big fan of alternate history and steampunk tales. I was in no way prepared for the absolutely cracking tale that I ended up listening too.
A fantastic piece of story telling that shows the impact of time travel and the divergent timeline that is created from it.
I've always been interested in Richard Burton as a person. He' was a famous Victorian adventurer and the only non Muslim to complete the Hajj (that we know of).
The divergent timeline turn what would have been the Victorian Era into this very bizarre steampunk/bio advanced society.
There is the mystery of Spring Heeled Jack that must be solved and it serves as the lynch pin to the entire tale.
Very worth whiled to listen to.
The idea of the book is great, execution was poor. I think someone who doesn't mind the victorian "voice" of the book and who won't mind the liberty taken with great scientists of the victorian age in terms of their ideals, personalities and character will enjoy it.
So repetitive. If I heard "the kings agent" or "the great explorer" one more time, I was going to scream. There was also this issue of being told the main character is an amazing man versus gaining that "street cred" that's gained from seeing him be great. It made the main character hard to bond with and made his reputation seem as though it wasn't won but given.
Disappointed. Lots of rambling.
The way it's based so closely on what we know of Burton's life, then it just runs wild. Plus it does Time travel in a way that didn't leave me going, "Wait a minute, now...".
I love Gerard Doyle. No question who was who, and I love how STRONG his voice can be, and how meak and little it can be also.
I laughed a few times. But more so it made me look up the characters in the book and take great interest in their actual lives.
I enjoyed this book and about 2/3 of the next... It started going down hill towards the end. From the reviews I don't think I'll purchase the third, but who knows, i may change my mind. But this really was a good time and worth a credit no matter what happens later.
Dark, dank, and clanking
I liked the weirdness of the solar-powered time travel suit with the pogo-stick boots, and how the author connected it closely with the "real" urban legend of Spring-heeled Jack.
I thought the dramatic reading was good, and the personalities given to the characters was convincing. I especially liked the mincing little Swinburne, who made me laugh A LOT.
Heck, yeah! I'd love to line up the rest of this series and knock 'em down, but I suspect I'd have to sleep sometime.
This story is a hot mess! There are some interesting concepts here, but the author picked the wrong perspective to present them, so has to veer off into long narratives to keep the story on track. Had to repeat too many times, and quite frankly lost my interest for long stretches. Then didn't bother to resolve the time travel questions. Don't waste your time.