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WesternSFA
The Immorality Engine
by George Mann
Tor, $24.99, 347pp
Release Date: September 27, 2011

This is the third book in the Newbury & Hobbes Investigation series following 2008's The Affinity Bridge and 2009's The Osiris Ritual. While events in the previous books are mentioned, this book can be read and enjoyed without having read the previous novels.

Set in an alternative, steampunk Victorian England, we follow Sir Maurice Newbury, a gentleman "investigator for the Crown” and his assistant Miss Veronica Hobbes who, unbeknownst to him, is an agent of an evil Queen Victoria who is kept alive by an ingenious steampunk contraption.

Newbury is called upon to investigate how a seemingly dead burglar, Edwin Sykes, is still committing crimes, an investigation that becomes more complicated when a second Edwin Sykes shows up, also dead. The trail leads to a hospital where Veronica’s sister is being treated and that is just the tip of the iceberg. Throw in ancient secret societies, a search for immortality and a plot to overthrow the Queen and things have just begun.

The action is non-stop, the characters engaging and the steam punk setting is fascinating. I will be looking for the first two books in the series and looking forward to future novels. Recommended ~~ Stephanie L Bannon

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