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Book Review of The Affinity Bridge (Newbury & Hobbes Investigations, Bk 1)

The Affinity Bridge (Newbury & Hobbes Investigations, Bk 1)
perryfran avatar reviewed on + 1025 more book reviews

I really enjoyed this one more than I thought I would! This steampunk novel comes at you from a lot of different directions and ties them all up neatly at the end. First, there is a plague that came from India that is decimating the lower class population of the Whitechapel area of London. This plague turns people into "revenants" or zombie-like creatures that attack the living similar to "The Walking Dead." Then there is a series of murders in the same area that are supposedly done by a bobby that has a blue glow. These murders are similar to another case some 12 years earlier where a dead bobby supposedly got revenge on his murderers. Then there is the wreck of the airship The Lady Armitage, a Zeppelin-like ship that crashed in London killing 50 people. All of this is being investigated by Sir Maurice Newbury and his assistant, Miss Veronica Hobbes at the direction of Queen Victoria herself. The captain of the downed airship turns up missing and it is revealed that the captain was in fact an automaton, developed by the airship company to pilot the ships. The automatons are made of brass and are supposedly driven by mechanical clockworks and punch-cards...but is this really the case? And how did the automaton piloting the ship disappear? (I kept picturing CP30 from Star Wars as the automata in the novel.) All of this takes place around 1900 in and around London. Overall, very enjoyable in a kind of Sherlock Holmes way with elements of steampunk thrown in. I know Mann has written some sequels to this book which I will be on the lookout for. He has also written a couple of Sherlock Holmes novels that I would also like to read.

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