SciFi Book Review: The Lazarus Machine

The Lazarus Machine by Paul Crilley

An alternate 1895… . A world where Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace perfected the Difference Engine. Where steam and Tesla-powered computers are everywhere. Where automatons powered by human souls venture out into the sprawling London streets. Where the Ministry, a secretive government agency, seeks to control everything in the name of the Queen.

It is in this claustrophobic, paranoid city that seventeen-year-old Sebastian Tweed and his conman father struggle to eke out a living. But all is not well. A murderous, masked gang has moved into London, spreading terror through the criminal ranks as it takes over the underworld. As the gang carves up more and more of the city, a single name comes to be uttered in fearful whispers. Professor Moriarty.

When Tweed’s father is kidnapped by Moriarty, Tweed is forced to team up with information broker Octavia Nightingale to track him down. But he soon realizes that his father’s disappearance is just a tiny piece of a political conspiracy that could destroy the British Empire and plunge the world into a horrific war.

Sebastian Tweed was raised to value logic over emotion, but struggles to maintain a balance. And though he and his father are con men, Sebastian would rather make an honest living and tries to make the best of his situation. Both Tweed and Nightingale are brilliant young minds. Octavia is just as driven, and they have a great chemistry.

Crilley’s steampunk version of 1895 London is fun and thrilling. A clever and complex plot, intriguing characters, and an inspired setting made The Lazarus Machine exciting and unpredictable. Packed with mystery, humor, adventure, and cool gadgets – this is an impressive start to a new series. I certainly look forward to more in the Tweed and Nightingale Adventures. This fast-paced steampunk novel is not to be missed.

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