With the versatile voice talent of William Gaminara, acclaimed novelist Kim Newman explores the darkest depths of a reinvented Victorian London. It is 1888, and Queen Victoria has remarried, taking as her new consort the Wallachian Prince infamously known as Count Dracula. Peppered with familiar characters from Victorian history and fiction, the novel tells the story of vampire Geneviève Dieudonné and British spy Charles Beauregard as they strive to solve the mystery of the Ripper murders.
The premise of this book contained a lot of promise, but there is no real development of the story. Everything just sort of happens, without any real development or, quite frankly, point to it. The constant "name dropping" of the author, inserting both real and fictional characters was over the top. In addition the justification for the changes to a Victorian society and the setting required to even try to make this story work fails to be believable. There are a large number of potential plot lines that begin and then either fade out or are terminated without culminating into anything. The end result is that I have the feeling the author was trying too hard to create something brilliant and never really settled on what, exactly, he was trying to do. Even the central plot of solving the "Jack the Ripper" murders really becomes secondary and fails to really develop into anything overly central to the story. To illustrate this, the characters "solve" the ripper murders and the book goes on for another 40-50 minutes.
The narrator is good and does his best with the material so I'd be willing to listen to other books that he reads, but I'm definitely not going to pursue the sequel to this book, or likely anything else Kim Newman does.
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