Elizabeth Barnabus lives a double life - as herself and as her brother, the private detective. She is trying to solve the mystery of a disappearing aristocrat and a hoard of arcane machines. In her way stand the rogues, freaks and self-proclaimed alchemists of a travelling circus. But when she comes up against an agent of the all-powerful Patent Office, her life and the course of history will begin to change. And not necessarily for the better.
Rod Duncan is a published crime writer. His first novel, Backlash, was shortlisted for the CWA John Creasey Dagger, and he has since written three other novels (all Simon & Schuster UK) and had his first screenplay produced. His background is in scientific research and computing, and he lives in Leicester.
©2014 Rod Duncan (P)2015 Audible, Ltd
"If I had a bowler hat, I'd take it off to the author of this beautifully crafted steampunk novel." (Chris D'Lacey, author of The Last Dragon Chronicles)
A well written romp through a nicely constructed steampunk world. It certainly hasn't put me off getting the other books in the series.
Narration was ok, understandable at x2 playback speed.
I very much enjoyed the audio version and recommend it for those interested in going on an adventure with a female spy (who dresses up as a male, thanks to her fathers foresight and care), has gypsy blood, is proficient at misdirection,and has a wild time of sorting fact from fiction (sometimes successful, and at others not).
The story is set in a fictional England during what is similar to the Victorian period. Elizabeth, the main character, is pursued by the International Patent Office (the bad guys) who's job is to ensure that only the "right" sort of technology is developed and introduced. She is also hiding and being pursued by the Duke of Northhampton who has under unscrupulous conditions obtained a contract for marriage. With all this going on the story is driven by a contract she has accepted to find a missing aristocrat.
The Steampunk reference is confusing because there is no quirky technology,only the Patent Office. So I didn't get that reference.
Elizabeth is resourceful, intelligent, kind and competent; struggling to make it in a world where women aren't suppose to work or "color outside the lines". She has fun, is endearing to many she meets, and is often in danger. What's not to like?
The mastery of illusion. Well written and delightful. Immediately on finishing I went to search for other books by the same author, nothing. The book is set in an alternative Britain, one where the patent office tries to control and stop any new technology. Wonderful characterization.
"An intriguing fantasy set in an alternative United Kingdom"
The story was fast paced and the characters livid. I love fantasies set in an alternative England and this one did not disappoint. I am hoping there is a sequel as the listener is left wanting to discover how the main characters' lives continue to unfold.
The narration was good but failed to adequately distinguish individual characters.
"Delicious - Political Steampunk Delight"
The themes of this book really ticked all the boxes for me - exploring class and gender politics with a heroine who passes as her own brother to work as an intelligence agent with a case that centres around a circus.... so many of my favourite things
The Crazy 8s game..... I loved the way our heroine took the misogynistic circus crew on andbeat them at their own game on so many levels at once.
Elizabeth Barnabus of course - who could fail to love that character!
Elizabeth's concern for Julia and the unquestioning, unswerving support Julia offers in return.
I love steampunk, but sometimes I find steampunk novels become a little far fetched in their realisation of the alternate reality. For me, Duncan pitches this exactly right - fantastical but still completely believable.
I plan to read more from this author based on this listen
the main character
a different world a different age, women who have to work the system to survive
"Bullet Catchers Daughter"
Unique exciting clvere
Elizabeth clever, gutzy and non confromist
Flowed well good voice and very clear
A very good historical/dlight fanatsy mix not usually my type of book but really enjoyed it had to keep listening needed to know what would happen next
"Great story interesting parallel world"
If Ned Ludd had been triumphant and technological advances constrained by the all powerful and sinister International Patent Office where would we be?
Add a cross dressing private eye a circus and a duchess and you have it.
The story rocks along with some good tension and twists and is read well.
"A generally good story."
This story has a bit of everything, past and present, secrets intrigue and suspense, atmosphere, twists and turns, well read! Not too heavy but absorbing and I wanted to know what happened. Have ordered the next in the series. Worth a listen.
"A very easy listen"
Very pleasantly surprised, was waiting for my next book token and this came on sale. As I was without a book to listen I thought it worth a try. Finished it in three days and now I'm back to waiting for a token.
"Style over substance"
The author has constructed a fascinating and original world with interesting characters. Unfortunately, the plot is not nearly as interesting as the setting.
"Just doesn't kick off"
Rather disappointing story really, you keep expecting something exciting to happen, but it just doesn't.
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