Where I Got It: A review copy from the author via Audiobook Jukebox (thanks!).
Who I Recommend This To: Mystery fans who like a light steampunk flair.
Narrator: Wayne Farrell
Publisher: Self-published (2012)
Length: 56 minutes
Series: Book 1Galvanic Century, Book 1 A Bartleby and James Adventure
Just a note: I have not listened to 3 books in this series and they each stand alone. So enjoy them here and there or Michael Coorlim‘s entire series back to back.
James Wainwright prefers his basement lab to any other place. Yet Alton Bartleby seems dead set on dragging him along on his latest commissioned adventure (or madness). An assassin painted up in white stage makeup and showing extreme flexibility is terrorizing London with her killings. She has been dubbed The Spider by both the news rags and her pursuers. James and Bartleby need to discover her identity and neutralize her threat, but she has other ideas.
Set in a lush alternative England at the beginning of the 20th century, Queen Victoria reigns over airships pirates and galvanic monsters alike. This tale is told through James Wainwright, who is something of a mad scientist, or inventor at least. His commentary on his gentleman friend Bartleby often had me chuckling and his dogged pursuit of The Spider once he became interested was entertaining. While not my favorite so far in the series, it is an excellent first book to introduce readers to two of the main characters and the setting. In short, it was an excellent way to spend a lunch hour.
I need to talk about the cover. I had seen this book here and there on the blogosphere, Kindle, etc. but had passed it by because of the cover. The covers for Maiden Voyage of the Rio Grande and Sky Pirates Over London have airships and look steampunkish. I found these covers very attractive and that is why, in part, that I read them. Now I understand you can’t slap an airship on every book, especially if there is no airship in the story, but this cover looks cartoony to me and makes me think of the circus and clowns, two things I generally avoid in real life and in reading. So, there you have my little confession. I was passing up a fine book because I was judging it by it’s cover.
Narration: Wayne Farrell is an excellent voice for James Wainwright, capturing both his fascination of mechanized gadgets and his condescension of evening attire and the finer points of gentlemanly behavior.
What I Liked: The steampunk English setting; Wainwright in general (can I snoop through his lab?); the ending was good and satisfying.
What I Disliked: The cover (sorry! but true).
What Others Think: