The Aylesford Skull
by James P. Blaylock
Paperback: 400 pages
Publisher: Titan Books (January 15, 2013)
(Barry’s score 5 out of 5 stars)
It is the summer of 1883 and Professor Langdon St. Ives – brilliant but eccentric scientist and explorer – is at home in Aylesford with his family. However, a few miles to the north a steam launch has been taken by pirates above Egypt Bay; the crew murdered and pitched overboard. In Aylesford itself a grave is opened and possibly robbed of the skull. The suspected grave robber, the infamous Dr. Ignacio Narbondo, is an old nemesis of Langdon St. Ives.
When Dr. Narbondo returns to kidnap his four-year-old son Eddie and then vanishes into the night, St. Ives and his factotum Hasbro race to London in pursuit…
The first new steampunk novel in over twenty years from one of the genre’s founding fathers!
I haven’t read any of the Langdon St. Ives novels, although I’ve had them on my reading list. Needless to say, I was thrilled when Titan Books offered me a review copy of The Aylesford Skull. Expect to see this title about mid-month and expect to be blown away by a brilliant story.
While the story is part of a series, I had no problems with what I would call a stand-alone story. The story has a quick pace and the characters are fleshed out well (even the secondary characters). The 44 chapters are short and the book is hard to put down. Some of the chapters have that old movie serial cliff-hanger feel.
Airships, pirates, magic, I was hooked from page one and hated to see the adventure end. I loved the cliff-hanger chapters that forced you to come back for more. All in all it is an excellent book and I enjoyed every minute of it.
I give it a 5 out of 5 stars and I highly recommend it.
Disclosure of Material Connection: I received this book free from Titan Books. I was not required to write a positive review. The opinions I have expressed are my own. I am disclosing this in accordance with the Federal Trade Commission’s 16 CFR, Part 255 : “Guides Concerning the Use of Endorsements and Testimonials in Advertising.”
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