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The Bookman, like many other "steampunk" novels, draws it's inspiration from the work of Jules Verne, H. G. Wells and other Victorian-era authors. There's a dash of Edgar Rice Burroughs in this novel as well and Lavie Tidhar references real historical figures (Verne himself makes an appearance), machines, etc. He's thrown all of these influences and inspirations in a literary blender and come up with a novel I found simultaneously original and inevitably derivative. At times it works swimmingly. Tidhar writes with flair and the story moves at a rapid pace. However, I could never quite connect with the book's protagonist, Orphan and the book incorporates so many disparate-but-familiar elements that I'm afraid it all felt a little too contrived in the end. Nevertheless, it's an entertaining and valiant effort, a love letter to some of the works I most enjoyed reading when I was growing up, and the audiobook is well read by narrator Jonathan Keeble.
I rated it 3 stars but I'd give it 3.5 if that was an option.
The story was engaging, a perfect boys adventure story. The narration was simply brilliant! I will look for this narrator again