I normally eat up this type of world; set in a Victorian England with lots of steampunk toys and plenty of supernaturals. This just didn't hold my att..Show More »ention. Very disappointing.
I liked Quirk's narration. Unfortunately, Saintcrow's attempt to describe Bannon and Clare's surroundings, the mystery they were trying to solve, and the undertones of the character's relationships were all a jumbled mess. It didn't come together like many other Saintcrow books I have read. My comprehension skills are just fine, but I found it hard to make sense of the plot at certain points. I think the story needed to be restructured before it should have been published.
In terms of the storyline itself, I was equally disappointed. For every positive aspect of this book, there is a negative one. The most obvious example I can think of is Clare and Bannon. Archibald Clare is observant, pleasant, and candid. Clare's antithesis is definitely Emma Bannon. She came off as self-centered, haughty, and callous. I will openly admit that it has a lot to do with the social/class system. Nevertheless, it was disturbing. The Prime/Shield relationship seems to be set up to breed narcissists and lapdogs. I liked the 'mentaths,' but sorcery world's caste-like power system offended my American sensibilities.
As a huge Sherlock Holmes fan the similarities between the two characters are inescapable. Yet they are so different, as is the England in which they ..Show More »are set as to be almost unrecognizable. It is a unique take as well a delicious roll reversal of the famous old English detective and his erstwhile companion. While I can't say that this is a great series, I can say that it is a very good one. The interaction between the two protagonists is very well done.
It is with eager anticipation that I look forward to seeing these two characters develop.
Introspection seems to have taken over plot development; exposition, particularly to set character, in “The Iron Wyrm Affair”. The more I heard of the..Show More » internal thoughts, the harder I found it to believe in the characters … hard boiled sorceress and unparalleled logic machine … Bannon always self-doubting, and worrying about it; genius detective (supposed to be good at putting data into context, continually taken by surprise by the most obvious developments) Archibald Clare always talking to himself about how he shouldn’t be thinking about …
The first book was full of steampunk description, “fantastical mech monsters”, intriguing; this is all about confused, out of character - as they are represented from narration, stream of consciousness self-characterization.
All this affects Jane Collingwood’s effort. Stream of consciousness requires different ‘voice’; there is so much of it here it is difficult to endure.
The development of plot was more interesting in the first book. Here is just seems to drag itself into the narrative fighting against the flow.
With this story, Lilith Saintcrow brings the Bannon and Clare trilogy to an end. It's a complex and compelling story that shows a wonderful ability t..Show More »o create a consistent and believable world in which sorcery and logic both operate under rules that provide a creative tension throughout.
I have seen some complain that this is the end of Bannon and Clare, but would disagree. At the end of this story you have two well-developed characters going their own ways, Each represents one half of the dichotomy present in the universe and each is potentially immortal due to their carrying a philosopher's stone. I can foresee many stories in the future featuring each of these characters as a sole protagonist. If she ever opens the universe to additional submissions for anthology projects I would love to write some stories about Clare in different times and outside of the bounds of Brittania.