Read: For Book Eaters Book Club (formerly the FBC Book Club)
Rating: 7 out of 10
Publisher: Tor Books
Synopsis (from the product description): Sir Maurice Newbury and his delectable assistant Miss Veronica Hobbes do battle with enemies of the crown, physical and supernatural. This time Newbury and Hobbes are called to investigate the wreckage of a crashed airship and its missing automaton pilot, while attempting to solve a string of strangulations attributed to a mysterious glowing policeman, and dealing with a zombie plague that is ravaging the slums of the capital.
Overall Impression: Way late to the Steampunk-ness, but I finally arrived. I blame it on my slow dirigible.
Despite being a little rough around the edges, I enjoyed the Affinity Bridge. This steampunk world of automatons, steam-powered machines, blimps and, oddly, zombies, was a place I’d never encountered before. And it worked for me, especially in regard to the plot. I liked how Mann brought the several different plot threads together (well, most of them at least) and tied them up at the end, while leaving a lot of space for the next books in this series. The characterization could have been stronger (Newbury spent a lot of time written like the poor man’s Sherlock Holmes) and the writing a little tighter, but overall I got a kick out of my foray into foggy, zombie-ridden 1850s London. I put the next in the series on my TBR list.
Positives: Such a different world than anything I’d read before. Definitely adding more steampunk to my list!
Negatives: Once Mann got a word he liked, he wouldn’t let go. The whole book was peppered with “whilst” and “in situ” and “quarry.” My redundancy alarm was clanging like crazy!
Other books I’ve read by George Mann: none
Other blogger opinions:
Brittney at Hardkover: “Unfortunately, that was what he did best in this novel - mesh together the automaton and zombie plots in a rather clever way. The actual writing style and character development suffered so much that I struggled to get to the rewarding climax of the book.”
The Book Smugglers: “There’s plenty of room for growth – and with George Mann’s skill as a storyteller in this well-realized steampunk setting, I have no doubts the series will keep getting better.”
Booktionary: “The Affinity Bridge is very much an homage to Doyle’s Sherlock Holmes style while still very approachable for modern tastes.