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The Red Plague Affair: Bannon and Clare: Book Two [Kindle Edition]

Lilith Saintcrow
3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)

Print List Price: £7.99
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Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
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Book Description

The service of Britannia is not for the faint of heart - or conscience . . .



After defeating a clockwork army bent upon regicide, the sorceress Emma Bannon and genius detective Archibald Clare have come to respect each other's skills, despite the fact that magic and logic are usually opposing forces.



So when the Queen asks Emma to track down a missing doctor who holds the key to a deadly new weapon, Archibald's deductive talent may be just what she needs to find the man, before his destructive discovery sets the entire capital city ablaze . . .



The game is afoot. And the Red Plague rises.


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Product Description

Book Description

Sorcery, seduction and deduction in a series that's perfect for fans of Sherlock Holmes, steampunk or Gail Carriger's Parasol Protectorate series.

From the Back Cover

The service of Britannia is not for the faint of heart - or conscience . . .

After defeating a clockwork army bent upon regicide, the sorceress Emma Bannon and genius detective Archibald Clare have come to respect each other's skills, despite the fact that magic and logic are usually opposing forces.

So when the Queen asks Emma to track down a missing doctor who holds the key to a deadly new weapon, Archibald's deductive talent may be just what she needs to find the man, before his destructive discovery sets the entire capital city ablaze . . .

The game is afoot. And the Red Plague rises.

Praise for this series:

'Unlike so much current pseudo-steampunk this isn't just fantasy with cogs stuck on. A really good read.' ­­- SFX

'Rockets through a Britain-that-wasn't with magic and industrial mayhem with a firm nod to Holmes.' - Patricia Briggs


Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 1037 KB
  • Print Length: 337 pages
  • Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0356500934
  • Publisher: Orbit (21 May 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B009SQ0188
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Word Wise: Not Enabled
  • Enhanced Typesetting: Enabled
  • Average Customer Review: 3.4 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (8 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #200,621 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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Customer Reviews

3.4 out of 5 stars
3.4 out of 5 stars
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A letdown after the Iron Wyrm Affair 3 Jun. 2013
By Manly Reading TOP 1000 REVIEWER
Format:Paperback
The essential problem with the book is that it lacks a suitable villain: a plague bacillus simply will not do, and Dr Vance - while presented as Clare's nemesis - is as much a friend as a foe, here. But I get ahead of myself.

Book One of the Bannon & Clare series was a steampunk Victorian romp from start to finish, gradually building up the "alt-history" component so that what began as the standard foggy London of Sherlock Holmes (or at least, just a few years before that) had by the end of the book morphed into a fantastic world of polished brass clockwork, deadly magic, and science that never was. Building on that would have been a challenge indeed, and I cannot but feel that the author just squibbed it.

Emma Bannon is a Sorceress Prime, and Archibald Clare a Mentath: each is a unique individual, for all that Ms Bannon is the hero and Mr Clare the sidekick. Their relationship is slowly developing, set as it is a few years after Vol 1, but the book could have been set mere days later for all the change that really appears to have gone on. Our team is still great fun to read about, constantly sparring with each other, mostly verbally, but the adventure they get this around, as I said, lacks a villain. Instead, the book appears to merely be setting up Ms Bannon's eventual disillusionment with the Crown she has sworn herself to serve, with the entire plot of the book supporting this need.

I mean, really, yet another twist of the hero questioning their motives and whether or not they have wasted their life? And even worse, an entire book just to set it up? Its not quite as bad as Naomi Novik's Tongues of Serpents for very little really happening, but it seems this is very much a middle book in an open-ended series. It's a shame: Iron Wyrm was great fun from start to finish, whereas this is largely scene setting, for all there are a few evocative moments here and there.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Format:Kindle Edition
The Red Plague Affair is a slightly weaker book in my opinion, than The Iron Wyrm Affair which I managed to read last year.

The weakness lies in an oversaturation of the details and much less effort spent on character development. The world-building is beautifully done, and I do like Archibald Clare - the mentath working with the sorceress Emma Bannon.

The problem is, despite the presumed attraction and sympathy for each other, they do not really fit together as a couple, and there is no attempt to develop their relationship in some kind of romance.

Emma is an overpowering, harsh and pretty violent, self-sacrificing, bitter and cold woman, although on the inside she does get hurt a lot. There are no sparks of humour to soften her character and otherwise very dry, tense dialogues, and the reader really struggles to feel for her, because she doesn't let us do it.

Despite my misgivings about Emma, I can't fault the plot. It's a very intriguing puzzle and a race against time, while The Red Plague sweeps through Londinium and spreads through the rest of the world.

Emma has to make very radical moves, gain an enemy in Britannia - an ancient force ruling the country, and lose few dear to her people, just to stop the deadly illness. Her relationships with Mikal becomes very strange as well, as a part of his nature comes into the light while she is falling to the illness herself.

Overall, this is a very interesting read, but not one of Lily's best. That's all I can say.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Steampunk Germ Warfare 5 July 2013
By Dr B
Format:Paperback|Verified Purchase
It was nice to return to the alternative world of Bannon and Clare. However, I did struggle somewhat to get to grips with how much time had passed since the first story. I think that this was because I found it difficult to reconcile the amount Clare seemed to have aged in just a couple of years, given that he was only in his mid 30s.

I did not enjoy this quite as much as the first book. While I can comprehend another reviewer's comments about a plague not making a very good "baddie", this was not the real problem for me, perhaps because I recall a Doctor Who series in the 60s when the threat the Doctor faced was a fungus in the London Underground! There are also synergies with Edgar Allan Poe's "Masque of the Red Death".

What I missed was the depth of characterisation of the four lead characters, who just did not seem so rich in this book. For me, this was regrettable because I was looking forward to getting to know them better. On the other hand, I did enjoy learning some more about the sorcerers of this world. Nevertheless, I would happily read another Bannon and Clare tale if one becomes available.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Wonderful Steampunk world 23 May 2013
By Marleen
Format:Paperback
I received my copy from Orbit through Nudge

Archibald Clare is a Mentath, a genius detective with exceptional powers of observation and deduction. Emma Bannon is his opposite in every way. She is a Prime sorceress who has only gotten more powerful after the events in The Iron Wyrm Affair. According to established wisdom these two polar opposites shouldn't be able to work together, after all magic and logic are opposing forces. In practice though Bannon and Clare form a talented and successful team when it comes to investigating crimes against the Empire.

When Queen Victrix instructs Emma to find and return a missing doctor in possession of a deadly new weapon, she turns to Clare for assistance. And it isn't long before they discover that this new weapon is powerful enough to bring death and destruction not just to Londinium but to the whole world. And with no known cure, not even our heroes are immune to the poison that is about to be released. Because once the red plague has been unleashed upon the capital, nobody, regardless of their rank or position will be able to escape its deadly power.

And so we find ourselves back in what is the steampunk version of Victorian England. Imaginative and well developed this world is both very recognisable and completely alien. Lilith Saintcrow makes clever use of historical facts and figures, both fictional and real, although she changes them enough to ensure that the reader never forgets that they are inhabiting an alternate universe.

Archibald Clare is strongly based on Sherlock Holmes, something which is emphasized with sentences such as:

"It is elementary, sir.
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