Reading Level: Adult
Genre: Science Fiction/Historical Fantasy
Length: 400 pages
Release Date: June 19, 2012
Stand Alone or Series: Stand Alone
Source: Audiobook from Audible.com
Rating: 3/5 stars
“Brendan Doyle, a specialist in the work of the early-nineteenth century poet William Ashbless, reluctantly accepts an invitation from a millionaire to act as a guide to time-travelling tourists. But while attending a lecture given by Samuel Taylor Coleridge in 1810, he becomes marooned in Regency London, where dark and dangerous forces know about the gates in time. Caught up in the intrigue between rival bands of beggars, pursued by Egyptian sorcerers, befriended by Coleridge, Doyle somehow survives. And learns more about the mysterious Ashbless than he could ever have imagined possible.”
I have had this on my to be read shelf forever, it ended up being an okay read. It really wasn’t what I was expecting. This book is supposed to be one of the main books that started the steampunk genre and it really doesn’t have that much steampunk at all in it. It is more about time travel, Dickinson era London, literature, and the preservation of Egyptian supremacy.
This may have been better if I hadn’t listened to it on audiobook. The book switches POV a lot and the narrator of the audiobook didn’t really pause between POV changes. So it would take me a few sentences before I had figured out that we had switched characters; it made the book very confusing to follow at points.
I have also heard this called a YA book…it is absolutely not a YA read. The main character is a middle aged man and there are topics of torture, abuse, and rape. Although nothing gets too explicit, this does seem more geared toward adults.
Some parts of this book were very slow…part of that is because there are just too many different character points of view we read from. There is a lot in here that didn’t actually seem to add much to the plot.
Like all time travel stories things get a bit twisted and turned, and there are places where things don’t quite match up or make sense. There is some interesting irony in this book, especially towards the end and I enjoyed that quite a bit.
There were a few times when I almost stopped listening to this audiobook because I just could not pay attention to what was going on, it was just boring and not all that engaging.
Overall parts of this were okay but most of it was boring. There are some interesting twists and turns that the book takes which were enjoyable. I didn’t really enjoy the characters all that much; there were just too many of them and the story switched between all their POVs too abruptly. If you are really into time travel stories you might enjoy this book. Otherwise I would look elsewhere. This is not a steampunk read.
This book goes towards the following reading challenges:
– Mount TBR Reading Challenge
– You Read How Many Books? Reading Challenge
– Flights of Fantasy Reading Challenge
– Audiobook Reading Challenge