Sci-Fi – Fiction Book Review: The Strange Affair of the Spring Heeled Jack

The Strange Affair of the Spring Heeled Jack by Mark Hodder

After his former partner tries to commit suicide and then disappears, Sir Richard Francis Burton receives an amazing position as a detective for the government. His first job is to investigate the legendary Spring Heeled Jack, with whom Burton had a recent run-in, and to investigate sightings of what seem to be werewolves in London. Poet and thrill-seeker Algernon Swinburne joins Burton in his investigation, which leads them to the heart of a dark and vast conspiracy.

The Strange Affair of the Spring Heeled Jack is first in a creative steampunk series. Set in an alternate London in 1841, steam technology is more advanced than it should be and eugenicists have altered animals to make them more useful to society. Humorous altered biology and technology add a fun and light-hearted element to an otherwise dark and sometimes ominous setting.

While it took a few chapters for me to really get into the story, once I was there I was hooked. There’s a mash-up of several genres, woven together in a complex and surprising way. With colorful and eccentric characters, an engaging plot, and creative technology, steampunk fans won’t want to miss this. This is an impressive debut – full of mystery, adventure, danger and suspense.

3 thoughts on “Sci-Fi – Fiction Book Review: The Strange Affair of the Spring Heeled Jack”

  1. Great review. I picked this up a few months ago but somehow never got around to reading it. This is going right near the top of my “to be read” pile. “Mystery, adventure, danger and suspense”, what else could a reader ask for? I am definitely overdue to give steampunk a try and this series along with George Martin’s ‘Newbury & Hobbes’ series seem like the perfect places to start.

  2. I read one of the Newbury & Hobbes novels, that was great too. I highly recommend Andrew Mayer’s Society of Steam novels as well, if you’re interested in Steampunk.

  3. Oops! I meant George Mann’s Newbury & Hobbes’ series. I guess I had George Martin on the brain as I posted right before settling in to watch the season premier of Game of Thrones. (Which was great.) Thanks for the tip regarding the Society of Steam novels. I just added them to my Wish List.

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