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.
I'm partial to steampunk, sorcery and Sherlock, so this is very much in my wheelhouse. I found it to be a mostly satisfactory end to the series (as a..Show More »pparently it is). It's a decent story, if a little heavily foreshadowed for my taste. Usually I find the highlight of Saintcrow's work to be that she takes a story in unexpected directions, and I had this one nailed around the 1/3 mark. But still fun, and I enjoy Emma, Archibald and Mikal enough to follow them around to see what they'll do. But. It's the Ripper. Making him the product of malign sorcery is a lot less frightening than his being just a man.
My main issue is with the narrator. I found her distractingly unappealing, and more than a little unsuited to voicing a majority of the characters. If she only voiced Emma, she brings a youthful quality to a young-seeming sorceress that would probably got her through. Unfortunately, elderly queens, prostitutes, witches, demons and any sort of man at all seem to be outside her range. But if you want to "read" this book while your eyes are busy with other things, she's better than the text-to-speech feature on a Kindle. Barely.
Overall, I'd say this feels much more like the book that you have to get through to get to the grand finale. And it's just a finale. Gah. This sounds much more negative than it should. It's a solid 4 stars.