Book Review: The Affinity Bridge by George Mann


the-affinity-bridgeAirships, secret agents, murder and madness and automatons, oh my!

The Affinity Bridge, the first book in the Newbury and Hobbes series, takes the reader on a journey to a steampunk Victorian England where progress is distinctively steam powered, but where danger may lurk at every misty corner.

It is a diverse plot, and it is only thanks to the skilled writings of Mr Mann that the novel does not drown in sheer overload. But with this work, it just leaves the reader curious for more details about the setting and characters alike. Rather than doing a lengthy intro section about the characters, they are introduced and then everything sort of starts to unroll from there on. Or possibly unravel, we’ll leave that to everyone else that reads these works to decide.

In this first part of the ongoing series we meet Maurice Newbury and his compatriots Charles Bainbridge and Veronica Hobbes, as well as a myriad of other characters, in their crime solving actions on behalf of the Crown.

And the mysteries are aplenty. Don’t mistake this for a steampunk version of Sherlock Holmes, even though there are some similarities with that other great detective, similarities is all they are.

If you’re looking for an awesome steampunk detective novel set in London, this is one you definitely want to consider.

As a side note, I don’t know whether or not this has anything to do with my laptops, but I found that you can download the three PDF short stories that fit in between several of the novels via Wikipedia on a tablet, but not on a laptop (go figure). So if you don’t own one of those, be sure to ask a friend who does, so you can read the series in the correct order, shorts included.

Or, if you want to simply try out some of the adventures before buying a book, you could download The Hambleton Affair and The Shattered Teacup. They both give a good impression of the actual books, without giving away spoilers for The Affinity Bridge, nor do you need to have read that first to be able to follow the proceedings of the shorts.

I would, however, recommend that once you properly start the series with the books, you do it in the correct order, because otherwise you will miss out on some parts, as the clues are building up and the references are subtle but you need to be following chronology from there on not to miss out.

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