Transported through time to the dank streets of Victorian London, Alex Locke seeks to unravel the mysteries of the Obsidian Heart, the enigmatic object to which his fate is inextricably bound.
When a string of grisly murders takes place across the capital, Alex follows a trail that will lead him through the opium dens of Limehouse, into the dark and twisted world of the Society of Blood and ever closer to unlocking the secret of the Heart.
©2015 Mark Morris (P)2015 Audible, Ltd
"Time... to un(t)ravel some threads"
As a second book in what must be at least a trilogy (more! please more!), it very honorably holds its ground.
If there's less action and a bit more 'exposé', it's only understandable.
I particularly liked the parts where the subtleties of life in Victorian London are explained. Details like smog or dogfights imbue the narrative with a particular atmosphere that thoroughly enriches the horrors that await the reader.
Overall, the quality of the writing is on par with the first book, but because of the need for some explanation and clarifications to be expected in relation with time-travel, it may *seem slightly less gripping* than its predecessor.
It remains a very enjoyable book.
"Convolutions become more complex"
The second book is always in danger of being the runt of a trilogy. This one escapes that accolade but does seem to ride on the interesting ideas of the first and tread water while waiting for the last book. Some possibilities are not even questioned leaving the reader to wonder if they are the clue as to the ending. But the tale of Victorian time travel is still interesting enough. What was awkward in this audiobook was the apparent laziness of the narrator. He did not seem to have read the chapters first as the emphasises seemed wrong much of the time and there were many breaks in sentences when there shouldn't have been, so a lot of the time the listener is imagining how it should be read rather than getting captured by the story.
Gory like part one, maybe more so. Not for the squeamish.
Ben Onwuke's narration was a good as ever.
The story was great. I enjoyed it. The characters are full of well, character.
The end is not what you're expecting, but when you get there you'll have to buy part three. That's all I'm saying.
"Intelligent Urban Fantasy"
This follows on brilliantly from the first book in the series, continuing to delve deeper into the 'rabbit hole'. The staging of the book in early 19th Century gives it a Sherlock Holmes feel but with the added mystery and supernatural element. Can't wait for the next instalment. It works excellently as an Audio book, with Ben Onwukwe giving an excellent voice to the character.
"We are all rooting for Alex."
I love these books. Time jumping has he got the heart back, will ever find Kate. No spoilers here.
The characters are as rich as the plot line Alex is a great character and his adventures make for a compiling story. You can feel you are really getting to know them all and the villains are just creepy. The Dark Man! Can't wait for the next instalment
This book did not contribute anything and listening to it was like treading water. I am not sure if I will consider the next book at all.
i liked it, some very long narrative passages but just enough action to keep it going, and I'm still enjoying the general story. was shocked I'd reached the end of book thought i must still be somewhere in the middle! i guess not a huge amount happens and clearly the third book has the ending which makes this a bit more filler than I'd like. but it's good if you liked the first book go for it, really enjoyable and I'm looking forward to book three to tie up all the storylines!
"Good, but not as good as book 1."
First 3/4s of this book was good but then it starts to fall over towards the end.
I re-listened to book 1 before starting on this and you definitely need to have book 1 at the back of your mind to make sense of this.
Trapped back in the Victorian era and trying to get back to his own time, this book does a great job in bringing the Victorian age to life with some great bits of horror and Dr Who style adventure.
The only fault I had for this part of the story was the relationship between the lead character Alex and support cast Clover. You could understand Clover falling for Alex in book 1 and trailing around with him. In this book, we're just expected to take it as given that a future Alex at some unknown time collected and dropped a future Clover off in Victorian London to unite her with his past self - something most sensible people would refuse so without a perspective in her own right or even some love- incentive, she becomes a support character for the plot but there is no character development and you find it difficult to understand and sympathise with her and why she does what she does to support Alex. Given her crucial role in the book, this is something of an oversight.
The last section of the book becomes a bit slow as Alex questions and re-questions how time works, what to do, and turns into some driveling wet blanket. Book 1 and the first 3/4 of book 2 work because of the action and adventure - something which dies off to be replaced by some rather slow and dull introspection which goes on a bit and furthermore, without the threat of the "dark man" or some other evil, the energy just cuts out.
I still intend to listen to book 3, but I hope this is something which is rectified!
"Required heading despite being marked as optional"
Love Ben Onwukwe's various accents he does for the characters. Serious talent there. Story reminds me of the best of Lovecraft & Derleth but brought up to date.
"A satisfying end to the trilogy"
It was so nice to listen to a proper old style trilogy with a beginning and an end. I loved the book, and there is definitely room for more stories, but the three books made a great story even better by not dragging on loose ends for the sake of infinite sequels!
As for the overall story, there were still several more twists left for the final book, in a good twisting romp through a mix of modern day, world wars, victorian times, and a simple story of a man trying to find his daughter. The characters were believable, and the scene was well set. The first book took a while to kick off, but later you realised why you needed to hear all of the start.
If you like a bit of crime, some human drama, and would like some time travel mixed in, then this trilogy is one of the best, and well recommended.
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