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The Affinity Bridge by George Mann
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The Affinity Bridge (2008)

by George Mann

MembersReviewsPopularityAverage ratingConversations / Mentions
1,0136312,640 (3.43)1 / 100
  1. 30
    Soulless by Gail Carriger (_Zoe_)
    _Zoe_: Lighthearted steampunk with vampires and werewolves
  2. 74
    Boneshaker by Cherie Priest (lorax)
    lorax: Steampunk with zombies.
  3. 20
    Jonathan Strange & Mr. Norrell by Susanna Clarke (titania86)
    titania86: Alternative history of Victorian England
  4. 20
    The Ruby in the Smoke by Philip Pullman (rosylibrarian)
  5. 10
    Steampunk Holmes: Legacy of the Nautilus by P C Martin (lizzy50usa)
  6. 10
    The Iron Wyrm Affair by Lilith Saintcrow (4leschats)
    4leschats: Steampunk in which the two characters work for the queen. Male and female protagonist.
  7. 00
    The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack by Mark Hodder (simon_carr)
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Showing 1-5 of 63 (next | show all)
An interesting Steampunk detective novel. A bit too attached to the Sherlock Holmes foundation, but with a somewhat strong female character. I would have liked more character development. ( )
  Velmeran | Jan 26, 2019 |
I'm of two minds about this book: on one side it was a quick, not unpleasant read, different enough in genre from my usual haunts to be interestingly new; on the other I felt it lacked something - maybe a deeper exploration of the characters, or maybe the willingness to push the envelope a bit further.

The beginning drew me in immediately, with its vivid descriptions of an alternate London at the beginning of the 20th Century, and the presentation of several narrative threads that in the end fused into one big mystery (with zombies, to boot!); and yet toward the middle of the book it all felt a little... stale, for want of a better word, or maybe predictable, and something very close to disappointment settled on me.

One of the two main characters, Veronica Hobbes, is quite interesting and does not suffer from any cliché of the genre: she is indeed a daring heroine yet she suffers from some human failings, and that makes her both believable and likeable. Her counterpart Sir Maurice Newbury, on the other hand, has too many points in common with Sherlock Holmes (including a dependence on drugs) to appear truly original.

If the action scenes are quite good, showing the author can build up the narrative tension when he feels like it, they are offset by long explanatory dialogues that do nothing to move the pace - and the story - along.

Those dialogues also feel a little stilted, as if the author were trying hard to conform to the historical period's speech patterns: he does not do it in a convincing way, though, so that it all feels contrived rather than natural. To make matters worse, at least from my point of view, the repeated use of the term "whilst" transformed soon into an annoyance that kept drawing me further out of the narrative.

It was not enough to make me stop reading, and I did indeed finish the book, but not even an unexpected turn in the epilogue managed to offset that anti-climatic dissatisfaction. I'm more than ready to admit that the fault must lie with me and my tastes, but no matter what, I'm not sure I will be reading any more stories in this series...
( )
  SpaceandSorcery | Dec 25, 2018 |
Stopped reading after 4 chapters. Interesting premise, but the characters were undeveloped, uninteresting and without personality. The main characters were there to drive the plot along, and not the other way around. This book might be enjoyable if you are simply looking for some steampunk worldbuilding. ( )
  joncarr | Jul 9, 2018 |
This is another book in a line of steampunk reads lately that was somewhat disappointing to me. This was an okay read and technically steampunk; although mainly this is a pretty standard mystery type of story. The characters were fairly bland and I felt the writing style itself was a bit devoid of personality. Nothing about this book really grabbed me and sucked me in.

At times I felt like the author had a checklist of steampunk elements he had to include to make this more steampunky: airships...check, zombies...check, cool weaponized cane...check, laudanum...check, etc. etc. While it contained a lot of steampunk elements that story actually wasn’t very steampunk in feel or philosophy. There are a lot of very standard ideas in here and it made for a book that just wasn’t very unique or exciting...and at times was just plain boring.

I was disappointed in the characters as well. I had high hopes when Hobbes entered the picture; she was smart, tough...and ended up being absolutely thin as a character throughout. The best scenes in here are between her and her sister. She just didn’t have enough dimension and wasn’t engaging enough. Newbury, our supposed hero, was supposed to be very Sherlock-like but he missed glaringly obvious clues throughout which was frustrating. Then somehow, despite his injuries, towards the end of the book he gained almost superhuman abilities...I mean really he didn’t...but the way he functioned while injured was completely unrealistic and worthy of a solid eye-roll.

Overall this was another disappointing steampunk read for me. I absolutely love this genre but I have been struggling lately to find anything decent written in it. I have a few more steampunk series on my shelves to try out so hopefully I will find something good soon. Not recommended and I won’t be reading more of the series. ( )
  krau0098 | Mar 21, 2018 |
Roger of the Raj and Biggles meet steampunk. I loved it!

Victorian London, complete with airships, steam powered coaches, plague infected revenants and…murder! What’s not to like?

Sir Maurice Newbury, anthropologist at the British Museum, is an agent for the Crown. Miss Victoria Hobbes is his able assistant. Investigating a series of mysterious murders in Whitechapel, an airship crash in Finsbury Park and the disappearance of a staff member’s relative, Newbury and Hobbes find themselves unravelling a tangled web of clues to solve their intertwined cases.

Actually, it’s not such a tangled web - I figured it out after Hobbes visited the asylum. The characters aren’t especially unique; they are not portrayed in huge depth.

None of this mattered! I still wanted to read through to the end as fast as I could. I wanted to follow our intrepid characters in their acts of extraordinary derring-do and watch / read as they figured it out themselves.

Notice I wrote “watch” – this is so well written that it is like watching a movie. The writing is skilled, atmospheric and Mann creates a believable, detailed, steampunk Victorian London. The mystery moves at a fast pace, keeping you hooked and the physical “action” really ramps up from about halfway through.

It is rip-roaring fun. Just sit back and enjoy the ride…er…read.

Four out of Five Stars. ( )
  tracymjoyce | Nov 16, 2017 |
Showing 1-5 of 63 (next | show all)
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For James George Alexander Mann
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The flies. Always the damn flies.
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Sir Maurice Newbury and Miss Veronica Hobbes, agents of Queen Victoria, battle both physical and supernatural enemies of the crown. They are called in to investigate the wreckage of a crashed airship and its missing automaton pilot while dealing with a zombie plague in the slums of the capital and attempting to solve a string of strangulations credited to a mysterious glowing policeman.… (more)

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