11 Following

Chance's Take on Books

I'm a novelist who loves to read and discuss all things word-bound.

Currently reading

Swann's Way
Marcel Proust, Lydia Davis
Artful Sentences: Syntax as Style
Virginia Tufte
The Chicago Manual of Style
John Grossman, Margaret D. Mahan
I'll Never Get Out of This World Alive
Steve Earle
The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack (Burton & Swinburne, #1) - Mark Hodder I enjoyed reading this time travel/ alternative history novel, and probably would have relished it to a greater extent were I more familiar with English historical events and figures. Even so, I recognized most of the main characters and parts of London I've seen, so the setting and actors came alive. The fantastical elements were great fun, full of imagination and humor, like a bit of old fashioned Sherlock Holmes mixed with the craziness of Austin Powers - the writing was very visual.

The story was not a fanatical page turner, no sleep lost, but the pace was quick enough to keep me drawn in. In good time travel, the details are layered and fit together precisely to logically account for plot twists, and Mark Hodder placed the puzzle together very well. He was masterful in revealing that all elements existed in a single scene, which explained the insanity and rendered the villain, Spring Heeled Jack, as a very sympathetic character indeed. The process of discovery made for wonderful entertainment.

On a more serious side, literary themes, such as truth and evil, were explored in a subtle and thoughtful way, mostly through quotes and poetry. Those I savored. In all, I recommend this novel, especially if one enjoys history and the steam-punk contraption sort of thing. Thankfully, the details were not overly dense, nor technical, just enough to make the wild inventions a hoot.