Title: The Bookman
Series: The Bookman Histories #1
Published: 7 Jan 2010 by Angry Robot
Length: 416 pages
Warnings: violence 13+
Other info: The others in this series are called Camera Obscura and The Great Game.
Summary : A masked terrorist has brought London to its knees -- there are bombs inside books, and nobody knows which ones. On the day of the launch of the first expedition to Mars, by giant cannon, he outdoes himself with an audacious attack. For young poet Orphan, trapped in the screaming audience, it seems his destiny is entwined with that of the shadowy terrorist, but how? Like a steam-powered take on V for Vendetta, rich with satire and slashed through with automatons, giant lizards, pirates, airships and wild adventure, The Bookman is the first of a series. File under: Steampunk, Serial killer, Alternate Victorian London, Exploding Book, Historical Crime
Review: Orphan is a lizard boy, living in London. One night, his girlfriend Lucy is killed by a bomb, planted by the Bookman. Understandably, Orphan is upset, and therefore he sets out on a quest to find the truth. said quest takes him pretty much everywhere, and he ends up learning a lot more than he thought he would along the way.
The blurb does give quite a lot of where he goes on this quest away, which isn’t something I really like. But still, it was a fun ride, seeing what he’d learn on each of the stops. Something new happens at pretty much every turn, so there’s always something you want to find out.
Orphan was very different from how I had expected when I read the blurb, looked at the cover, and decided to read this. This is because no-where gave the hint about his being a lizard boy. It was an interesting facet of his character, which I got used to quicker than I thought I would.
I love the mix of characters in this. There are real-life (well, dead now) authors, actors and other people, and yet some rather prominent figures, such as the Prime Minister and a police inspector, are well-known fictional characters, in this case, James Moriarty and Irene Adler. Oh, and the royalty are also lizards. Points for that.
I really liked Orphan, but I never felt that close to him for some reason. Maybe it’s his being a lizard, or being male. I don’t know.
At the beginning of each chapter is a relevant quote from all sorts of literature. There’s some from poems, some from short stories, and some from essays(I think). These were an interesting addition, which added a little something to each chapter.
Overall: Strength 4 tea to a good mix of all kinds of things, rolled into adventure in an alternative Victorian age.