Book Review: The Affinity Bridge: A Newbury & Hobbes Investigation by George Mann

The Affinity Bridge: A Newbury & Hobbes Investigation
George Mann
Tor Books, 2009
ISBN 0765323206
Hardcover

The Affinity Bridge is a mystery set in a steampunk version of Victorian London.  Airships, steam-driven cabs, and clockwork automatons are transforming society.  Queen Victoria is kept alive on a primitive life-support system.  London is experiencing a plague that transforms its victims into zombies.  But some things never change.  Crimes are still being committed and it is up to Agent of the Queen, Sir Maurice Newbury and new assistant Miss Veronica Hobbes to solve them.

In this particular adventure, Newbury and Hobbes’ first, the Crown calls on them to solve the mystery of a airship crash and its missing pilot.  At the same time, they are attempting to track down a mysterious glowing policeman accused of a series of strangulations.

Pros

1.  Zombies!
2. The ending of the book is one long action-packed chase. Very exciting.
3. The two mysteries are wrapped up nicely by the end of the book. There is a subplot, involving a third mystery, that is obviously left unsolved for a future book.

Cons

1. The author spends the entire book telling me how I should react and feel about the characters and events that   occur, instead of SHOWING me.
2. The pacing of the book is somewhat uneven. The end of the book was very exciting. The first half of the book drags. Nothing really happens for long sections of the book.

Conclusion

Very uneven.  I’m hoping that as the series progresses that the author loses his death grip on his characters and trusts his audience to figure out the meaning and motivations of his characters without the author’s constant omnipotent presence.

Reviewed by Jennifer Hancock, April 2010.

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