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Wednesday, February 19, 2014

The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack by Mark Hodder

Genre: Steampunk

Setting: an alternate version of nineteenth century England.

First Sentence: "By God! He's killed himself!"

FYI: some adult language, some minor references to Sadism.

Victorian England was the center of technological progress during the last half of the nineteenth century.  But the England described by Hodder in his novel, is not the England we know from history.  The author describes fantastic forms of mechanized technology, unique types of motorized vehicles, and strange applications of genetic science.

For years, there had been reports of a strange creature accosting young women.  This creature was called Spring Heeled Jack.  These stories had been passed off as myths.  Then, our  main character, Richard Francis Burton, became a victim of Spring Heeled Jack.

Burton, a noted adventurer was appointed as a special agent for the government.  His orders were to seek out Spring Heeled Jack and end his attacks.

Burton's investigations uncover strange goings on in London.  Spring Heeled Jack seemed to be connected with weird experiments being performed by some of England's greatest scientific minds. 

Just as Burton gets close to solving the mystery, the author changes our point of view.   Seeing the story from a different perspective reveals Spring Heeled Jack's motivations to us.

The novel ends with a rousing battle.  Jack, the scientists, and  some of their creations versus Burton and the constables of Scotland Yard.

Who is Spring Heeled Jack?  Why is he making his attacks?  How has his appearances changed the world?

This novel was a fun read.  Not only did it have a creative plot, but the book itself had a unique look.  The outside cover and the chapter headings evoked the Victorian/Steampunk nature of the novel.

I liked this book, it was a good read.

Here are links to the books in the series.


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