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Publisher's Summary

Sir Richard Francis Burton is an explorer, linguist, scholar, and swordsman. His reputation has been tarnished, his career is in tatters, and his former partner is missing and probably dead. Algernon Charles Swinburne is an unsuccessful poet and follower of de Sade, for whom pain is pleasure and brandy is ruin. They stand at a crossroads in their lives, and are caught in the epicentre of an empire torn by conflicting forces: Engineers transform the landscape with bigger, faster, noisier, and dirtier technological wonders; Eugenicists develop specialist animals to provide unpaid labour; and Libertines oppose repressive laws and demand a society based on beauty and creativity, while the Rakes push the boundaries of human behaviour to the limits with magic, drugs, and anarchy.
The two men are sucked into the perilous depths of this moral and ethical vacuum, when Lord Palmerston commissions Burton to investigate assaults on young women committed by a weird apparition known as Spring Heeled Jack, and to find out why werewolves are terrorizing London's East End. Their investigations lead them to one of the defining events of the age, and the terrifying possibility that the world they inhabit shouldn’t exist at all.
©2010 Mark Hodder (P)2012 Audible Ltd
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful

By Simon on 07-05-12

bloody brilliant

Wow. What a story, what a series!!

Mark Hodder spins a brilliant yarn. He winds real historical characters into a complex evolving steampunk tale of time and fantastic technology in a world where Victoria doesn’t survive an assassins bullet. This is the first book in a series of three and it’s a ride all the way to the finish. Nothing here is obvious and the twists kept me on the edge of my Galaxy S3 until the last paragraph. Get the series and shut yourself away for the weekend.

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2 of 3 people found this review helpful


By Georgy on 01-18-15

Great world, dumb characters

Would you say that listening to this book was time well-spent? Why or why not?

Not so much.<br/>The world is greatly conceived, the idea of using real-life characters (Victorian explorers, engineers etc.) is fine, the plot is none too shabby (though time travel? again?)... and yet...<br/><br/>Here is the problem.<br/>The characters -- all of them -- are dumb. Stupid. As in, behaving stupidly, making idiotic decisions, not thinking for themselves, playing roles assigned to them by the author.<br/><br/>OK for a teenager fantasy.<br/>For an adult? Not so much.

Who was your favorite character and why?

None of them. See above.

Which character – as performed by Gerard Doyle – was your favorite?

Doyle is OK - not *the* best, but certainly deserves a strong "B".

Do you think The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack needs a follow-up book? Why or why not?

No.<br/>It needs a rewriting.

Any additional comments?

HPMoR. Look it up.

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Customer Reviews

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By Cosima on 08-11-12

Steam Punked and Loving it

I stumbled across this book after doing some research on Spring Heeled Jack. I fell in love with it and could not stop listening. The characters are wonderful and brought to life by Gerard Doyle's fantastic narration. The plot weaves in and out of time and it all comes together beautifully, leaving you wanting more. Fantastic creations and ideas, some that were actually made and others that have been Steam Punked into glorious gothic inventions.
A great listen.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful


By Sara on 06-21-12

Odd, Original and Memorable

An entertaining story that hangs together pretty well. It has some dark moments but it also has moments that did make me smile. The author writes well although sometimes he is a little repetitive on a particular point.

It is mainly a time-travel story in which a man from the 23rd century, keen to reinstate the family's good name, tries to stop his ancestor from killing Queen Victoria and in the attempt dramatically changes the course of history. During the course of the book there is a bit of confusion about the paradoxes that the storyline sets up, but it is all lost in the enjoyable silliness of it all, including a Charles Darwin with two brains and a mechanical Brunel!

Spring-Heeled Jack is a real Victorian phenomena and is worth a look in Wikipedia, but read this after you have listened to the book! Hodder has carefully followed the 'real' myth and speculation in the story he has woven.

The narrator also does a fine job.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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