Welcome to a place where airships are produced in manufactories one after another, spinning-eyed automata are cropping up everywhere, opium is still the drug of choice, and the canes of gentlemen’s gentlesman turn into weapons with the twist of a wrist – this is the world of The Affinity Bridge.
Sir Maurice Newbury is an agent of the queen, Victoria, who in this world, is kept alive by the whirring of machines set up for her by The Fixer. Newbury’s assistant, Victoria Hobbs, just joined his team and is eager to begin solving cases. Her sister is the current inmate of an asylum because she has seizure fits in which she sees the future. There are renevants (zombies) roaming the streets of the London slums, and a heavy fog that has settled over the city. Strangulation murders have become commonplace in one neighborhood, reminiscent of a crime spree involving a glowing police officer that took place years before, and an airship has recently fallen from the sky, killing every passenger aboard. Newbury and Hobbs rush to solve these mysteries that could very well be connected, before any more terrible things can happen, with the help of the local constabulary and Scotland Yard.
The pace of the book is both leisurely and fast moving at the same time. Because of Sir Maurice’s ease with his work and his gentlemen stature, he never rushes anything, yet exciting events in the story happen one after another, never losing the reader in the hub-bub. I also loved the Steampunk aspect of the story, which is why I picked it up in the first place – something about that ‘era’/genre intrigues me to the highest degree, and if it’s done well, I always enjoy it (if you’re looking for more Steampunk, try The Windup Girl).
I bought this impulsively because the NookBook was on sale and promoted, otherwise, I’m sure I’d never have seen it; I’m so glad I did! I believe it is part of a series, as the title includes (Newbury & Hobbs #1), and if so, I will be incredibly happy to indulge in many more novels involving this mystery solving duo. If you’re looking for something adventurous where you don’t have to invest too much of yourself into it – I highly recommend The Affinity Bridge!