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Publisher's Summary

It is 1864, and London is a city in transition. The Constantine Affliction - a strange malady that kills some of its victims and physically transforms others into the opposite sex - has spread scandal and upheaval throughout society. Scientific marvels and disasters, such as clockwork courtesans, the alchemical fires of Whitechapel, electric carriages, and acidic monsters lurking in the Thames, have forever altered the face of the city.
Pembroke "Pimm" Hanover is an aristocrat with an interest in criminology, who uses his keen powers of observation to assist the police or private individuals - at least when he’s sober enough to do so. Ellie Skyler, who hides her gender behind the byline "E. Skye", is an intrepid journalist driven by both passion and necessity to uncover the truth, no matter where it hides.
When Pimm and Skye stumble onto a dark plot that links the city's most notorious criminal overlord with the Queen's new consort, famed scientist Sir Bertram Oswald, they soon find the forces of both high and low society arrayed against them. Can they save the city from the arcane machinations of one of history's most appalling monsters - and uncover the shocking origin of... The Constantie Affliction?
©2012 T. Aaron Payton (P)2013 Audible, Inc.
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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By Tango on 08-09-14

A Mash-Up that Gels into a Rollicking Adventure

Steampunk that works on every level with alternate technology woven seamlessly into the plot (not just tossed in for effect) with a mash up of genres (melodrama, alternate history, paranormal, horror, romance) and flavored with a bit of everything (romantic comedies of the 40's, Dr. Frankenstein, Regency tales, etc.). The plot sizzles and steams until all these bits and pieces gel into a wonderfully fun and cohesive story that will have a permanent home in My Library. It would be a spoiler to detail anymore of the plot than provided in the Publisher's Summary, but the premise of a disease that causes gender change in a person during a era when genteel people would never mention the word gender much less sex and in a time when men held most of the property and power and women were not guaranteed basic human liberties obviously provides a setup for some interesting conflict. T. Aaron Payton (pseudonym for Tim Pratt) has used this terrific premise to lay out a very engaging story that is fun and funny while still providing some food for thought. I have liked some of Tim Pratt's previous books, but I'm glad I didn't realize Payton and Pratt are the same person before I read the book because The Constantine Affliction is a major cut above and I'm really glad this book is a "Book 1" because I want much more of this. The characters are well developed (I could so picture Cary Grant and Rosalind Russell or Katherine Hepburn playing the leads in this), the plot is crazy but coherent, the biological bent of the alternate technology is a nice new twist on steampunk, and John Lee's narration is truly great. Even if you have given up on steampunk (because, hey, there is a lot of it that isn't very good), I'd urge you to try this one - first rate entertainment!

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13 of 14 people found this review helpful

4 out of 5 stars
By Troy on 07-21-14

Screwball Fun

I went into this expecting a steampunk mystery built upon a screwball, gender-bending premise. From there, the only assumption I made was that it would either be fun or absurd. I got both, and I got a few surprises along the way, which I won't spoil because that's part of the fun.

The characters are a blast. Oddly, as much as I like the two lead characters, it's the supporting cast that really makes this story tick. Kudos for the villain on this one. I love a good over-the-top "I'm the hero of this story" monologue in the classic style, and this one doesn't disappoint. As bizarre as the premise is, the story does offer some rather spectacular modern social commentary through the lens of Victorian society and its expectations. Explained through the villain's point of view... wow.

I'm looking forward to book 2 now. I'm curious to see what the author offers as an encore.

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5 of 5 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
5 out of 5 stars
By susan on 05-01-15


Quite the weirdest steampunk book I've ever read but fascinating. Throw away comments became major plot points & major plot points became mere distractions all interwoven with incredible characters, believable romance & the most interesting version of Queen Victoria I've ever read.
I have to say though, my favourite character was Freddie & I was mildly disappointed that he is a secondary character because I would happily read book after book about him.

Waiting with baited breath for a sequel.

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2 of 2 people found this review helpful

5 out of 5 stars
By ssbsts23 on 01-27-15

Steampunk at its best...

Would you recommend this audiobook to a friend? If so, why?

its a great read with interesting characters especially the development between the main character, his wife and his love interest

Who was your favorite character and why?

Ellie and Freddie,
Ellie because I fell for about half way through the book, I am Jealous of Pimm...
and Freddie because she was just brilliant in every scene

What about John Lee’s performance did you like?

almost perfect, cant explain it

Was there a moment in the book that particularly moved you?

where Ellie first finds out about Freddie

Any additional comments?

the lovecraftian things were a little out of the blue but overall its a great overall plot, great characters and a pretty good love story

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3 of 4 people found this review helpful

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Customer Reviews

Most Helpful
4 out of 5 stars
By shay parker on 06-28-17


Very cool. Loved it.
Fantastic story line- so outrageous! Will begin my search for more from this author.

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