A thrilling new Victorian-era urban fantasy for fans of Kevin Hearne's Iron Druid Chronicles, the Showtime series Penny Dreadful, and the Sherlock Holmes movies featuring Robert Downey, Jr.
They are the realm's last, best defense against supernatural evil. But they're going to need a lot more silver.
As fog descends, obscuring the gas lamps of Victorian London, werewolves prowl the shadows of back alleys. But they have infiltrated the inner circles of upper-crust society as well. Only a handful of specially gifted practitioners are equipped to battle the beasts. Among them are the roguish Simon Archer, who conceals his powers as a spell-casting scribe behind the smooth veneer of a dashing playboy; his layabout mentor Nick Barker, who prefers a good pub to thrilling heroics; and the self-possessed alchemist Kate Anstruther, who is equally at home in a ballroom as she is on a battlefield.
After a lycanthrope targets Kate's vulnerable younger sister, the three join forces with fierce Scottish monster-hunter Malcolm MacFarlane - but quickly discover they're dealing with a threat far greater than anything they ever imagined.
©2015 Clay Griffith and Susan Griffith (P)2015 Random House Audio
Please, NEVER recommend an abridged book for me. Really. I love to read and I've become really addicted to audios.
A plot or what's called a "story line" would have made this book better.
Probably not, at least not for a while.
Sure, the reader wan't bad.
...lots of action. The book sort of jumps from action scene to action scene. If that's what your looking for this would work I guess. That said I like a lot of action but it needs a story..some kind of context.
It SHOULD have been good... Victorian setting? check. Supernatural elements? check. Some attempts to add science? check. Interesting people? check. But there was no sense of FUN. No witty comments, no repartee, no tongue in cheek. No thank you.
Where to start with this book? First of all, it's a book that decided to be a Victorian steam punk set in Regency England as though the two eras are completely interchangeable. But that's a historian's criticism, if you don't immediately know the difference between those two eras, don't worry, there are plenty of other problems with the book for you!
The book doesn't so much have a plot as a series of fight scenes loosely connected by a series of improbable events. Pretty much the entire second half of the book is one big 48 hour long stretch of fights. Tons of action might be good enough to get some authors by, but it just doesn't work in this instance. There's tons of plot holes, big ones and small ones. Most of the descriptions of people and action are just strings of cliches. There's plenty of 'flashing' eyes and whatnot. Nothing overly original.
The summary likens this to the Iron Druid chronicles, and while that seems like an unlikely comparison, it actually has lots of similarities (unfortunately not Iron Druid's charming wit and moderately skilled although also flawed plot). Both are far more concerned with showing their hero's vast and overpowering magical skills against a variety of enemies than in a coherent let alone complicated plot. Both feature a tattooed hero whose supposedly limited power doesn't stop him from defeating enemies left right and center. Both have an Irish wolf hound with a stupid name.
Moral of the story, I suppose if you're looking for a really easy listen to give your brain a rest from something more strenuous, then go ahead. Otherwise, go elsewhere. If you're interested in decent steam punk try "The Affinity Bridge" by George Mann. If you're looking for hard core steam punk try "The Strange Affair of Spring-Heeled Jack" by Mark Hodder
I was a fan of these these authors after reading their Greyfriar books, and this book makes me an even bigger fan! Set at the beginning of the Victorian era, it takes place in a London that is subtly different from ours, where magic works, kept from sight of Vanilla mortals. Simon Archer is a roguish playboy, quite the charmer in upper crust circles. He is also a Scribe, a powerful type of magic user thought extinct, who uses runes for magical effect. In fact, a large part of his body is tattooed with runes, so he can create magic effects, such as super strength or force projection, without having to write down a rune. His partner and Mentor, Nick Barker, is a magician who uses several different magic types, such as pyromancy and necromancy. They try and solve small magical disturbances (Hauntings, monster incursions, etc.) When Simon gets a note asking him to meet from an old flame, he is drawn into a much larger conspiracy involving Werewolves and a mad scientist creating Homunculi out of people, all looking for an item that could change the balance of power forever. Helping Simon and Nick are Scottish Werewolf hunter Malcolm MacFarlane and Kate Anstruther, daughter of a noted Lord and adventurer, and Alchemist in her won right. They join forces to do battle with the evil forces arrayed against them, even though they are vastly outnumbered. No spoilers here, but it is a rollicking good tale that will have you guessing whats coming next.
It is a richly detailed book, giving the reader an in depth look into Upper crust Victorian life, while also showing the other side of that era too. The magic is original, and actually pretty believable. There are elements of steampunk in the story, and the characters are engaging and sympathetic. The villains are straight up villains, not just misunderstood souls. They are evil, and loathsome, and perfect for the story. The back story hinted at bigger mysteries, and you can't wait to hear more. All in all, an excellent start to a new series. Nicholas Guy Smith did an outstanding job narrating, easily on par with my 3 favorite British narrators, Simon Vance, Michael Page and Guildart Jackson. It is in the same vein as Gail Carriger's Alexa Tarrabotti books, just without the awkward sex scenes. if you liked her books, or are a fan of Simon Green or Jim Butcher, you should enjoy these books.
I always try to give a book the benefit of the doubt, that it may just have a tough beginning to swallow but even after getting to chapter six I'm struggling to keep myself interested. The reader has a nice voice but the substance of the story fails to grab my attention.
Loved the book, both based on the material, which is similar to a 19th(later-mid to late) century English version of Iron Druid Chronicles. However my closest example of the storyline and environment can best be found on the Showtime TV show Penny Dreadful. I loved the steam powered motorcycle ahead of its time.
Being a fan of historical romance allowed me to for give some of the complaints from the other reviews. I found the story quite interesting and the pace fast enough. The narrator, however needed some work. He spoke so slowly that I had to speed up the tracks to 1.25x in order for the pacing to be at a normal level. Even at that I could have gotten away with increasing it to 1.35x. overall, I liked to story and will continue on in the series.
Sensational adventure, horrible creatures, and astounding Majin combined with vivid characters makes for a mesmerizing story. I couldn't but it down. The authors storyline was brought to life with superb narration. I very highly recommend this book. .
"Do what you can with what you have, wherever you are."
Admittedly this book is a little different listen than I'm used to. My supernatural fiction tastes usually run more towards Richard Kadrey's "Sandman Slim" and Mike Carey's Felix Castor series. The action scenes in this listen are descriptive and fun, but too few and far between. In those long lulls between excitement the book is mired in pedantic Victorian gentile etiquette. It's mind numbing for a person listening more for the supernatural action aspects, rather than a tribute to the fastidious "gentlemanly arts" followed by the disciples of Beau Brummell. The performance was entertaining, with good variance for the different characters. Overall it was just not what I was hoping for.
Certainly no James Marsters.
I had to turn it off after 10mins. Sibilant ssss sssssssssssssssssssssss.
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