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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars It's Good, But Not GREAT.
I love steampunk. There is no doubt about that. If there is a book with the word 'Steampunk' on the front I will buy it, regardless of the story.
The circumstances were similar for 'The Affinity Bridge'. I saw it in my local Waterstones and bought it expecting a tale of, what the blurb described, robots and zombie fighting goodness.

Yes, it had all of it...
Published on 4 Mar 2011 by L. E. Jones

versus
9 of 9 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars By-The-Numbers and not as 'steampunk' as it thinks it is...
Recipe for a steampunk novel: You will need:

1 victorian London - present.
A variety of steam-driven machines - present.
Several improbably capable clockwork automata - present.
Lots and lots of airships - check.

But:

1 involving 'ripping yarn' of a plot - missing
several interesting characters - absent
plenty of...
Published on 3 Dec 2011 by J. D. Burnell


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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars The Affinity Bridge, 30 Nov 2009
By 
K. S. Hilton "Kirk Hilton" (Manchester, UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Affinity Bridge (Paperback)
I really wanted to like this novel. There are currently only few good steampunk novels and "The Affinity Bridge" is perhaps one of the better known titles. But dear, oh dear it's a kitchen sink of a novel with so many ideas thrown into the mix, none of which are fully formed before the next new steampunk idea/cliche is thrown in. I could have accepted that short coming if that was the only short coming but I'm afraid, dear reader, the biggest problem with this novel is the dialogue. I know it's an alternative history novel but the language used just doesn't ring true, and as a result the characters are unbelievable and 2D. After 100 pages I had to give up on it, I threw it across the bedroom (perhaps it would have got better but life's too short to tolerate poor novels) I've now turned to Baxter's Time Ships - a much better written book.
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11 of 13 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Don't judge a book by its cover :), 1 Dec 2009
By 
J. Aylard "Leeds bookworm" (Leeds bookworm) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Affinity Bridge (Paperback)
I, like many of the other reviewers was drawn in by the books interesting cover and exciting blurb. The story itself is not bad but the writing is hideous, the plot is poorly paced and the characters are flat.If your stuck in an airport where all the shops are closed then this book might be worth a read, otherwise don't do it !
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A Ripping Yarn, 10 Mar 2012
This review is from: The Affinity Bridge (Paperback)
After reading and not enjoying The Necropolis Railway (see my separate review), I was hoping The Affinity Bridge would help confirm everything I had hoped the Steampunk genre would be. It did. And some. From the off I was totally into the characters of Newbury, Bainbridge and Hobbes (unlike Jim Stringer). The Affinity Bridge was one of my quickest reads, simply because I was unable to put it down. This morning I took deliver of the next two in the Newbury & Hobbes Investigation series - I'm looking forward to getting stuck into these ASAP.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Promising Start, 24 Aug 2011
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This review is from: The Affinity Bridge (Paperback)
As I sat down to write this review, I found myself wondering what first drew me to this book. Was it my keen interest in the steampunk genre? Was it a familiarity with the previous works of the author? Perhaps it was due to a glowing review I had read? Alas, it was none of these reasons. I first picked this novel up because I think the front cover was kind of cool. Not the most informed or sensible way to make such a choice but, thankfully, it paid dividends.
The Affinity Bridge is an entry in the increasingly popular steampunk genre. It's 1901 London has airships, brass automata, a plethora of steam-driven inventions and an entrenched Queen Victoria, kept alive by numerous contraptions in a life-preserving chair.
Our lead character comes in the form of Sir Maurice Newbury. Whilst officially an authority on paleontology, working out of the national museum, he also happens to be a highly skilled expert on the occult and an agent to Her Majesty the Queen. Newbury has a flavour of Sherlock Holmes about him, even sharing the same opium vice as Conan Doyle's famed detective. Yet Mann's character does seem to make at least some effort to fit into the polite society of the time. Aiding him in his many endeavours is Miss Veronica Hobbes, a strong-willed and socially progressive young woman whose keen mind and determination make her the perfect companion for Newbury. There is a great deal of respect between them, as well as poorly-concealed romantic interest.
Completing the trio of principal characters is Sir Charles Bainbridge. Not only is he Newbury's best friend, but also Chief Inspector of Scotland Yard and another of Her Majesty's agents. He represents a more grounded and traditionally Victorian character in contrast to his friend's brilliant, but slight unstable, mind.
The story begins with them both looking into a series of attacks seemingly linked to sightings of a phantom policeman. However, Newbury's attentions are soon diverted elsewhere when he is commanded to investigate an airship crash on behalf of the Queen. Soon, he and Miss Hobbes find themselves dealing transport magnates, crazed inventors, dastardly machines and a revenant plague that is sweeping through the slums of London.
Whilst the investigation element to the story is not particularly complex, it still succeeds in holding your attention. You quickly find yourself caring for the characters (particularly Newbury and Hobbes) and the story has a pace that, whilst not incredibly fast, is steady and consistent. The action scenes are of particular note, and that are clearly a strength of Mann's. He expertly brings you right into the very centre of the action and these moments certainly have a cinematic quality to them.
Whilst the world in which these characters inhabit feels slightly small, its quirky take on a technologically advanced 'steampunk' society is thoroughly enjoyable and certainly has one hopeful of further adventures in which the scope can be broadened.
Most importantly, for me personally, is the fact that, in spite of a few flaws, this book was just damn good fun. It reflects an author who seems to have had an extremely positive experience in the creation of this novel.
I'd recommend this book to fans of adventures, murder mysteries or just those curious about the steampunk genre.
All-in-all, an entertaining read that shows great promise for the future.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Clockwork and steam, 7 Jun 2009
By 
E. A Solinas "ea_solinas" (MD USA) - See all my reviews
(HALL OF FAME REVIEWER)    (TOP 500 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Affinity Bridge (Hardcover)
It's a pretty brilliant idea for a novel -- an special agent of Queen Victoria, sent out to deal with weird and supernatural threats.

And the concept fits in seamlessly in George Mann's first novel "The Affinity Bridge," which reads like Arthur Conan Doyle decided to write a thriller set in a steampunk fantasy world. It's an engaging story written in a slow-moving but detailed style, and Mann keeps things interesting by peppering his story with all sorts of strange twists -- airships, clockwork robots, and zombie plagues. The only flaw is the underwritten leads.

While investigating a string of strangulations in the Whitechapel area, Sir Maurice Newbury is called away by the ailing Queen Victoria -- an airship has crashed in Finsbury Park.

With the help with his assistant Veronica Hobbes, Newbury soon discovers that the airship may have crashed and burned because it was being piloted by an automaton -- a clockwork robot that is mysteriously absent from the wreckage. They start investigating the manufacturers of both the automaton and the airship, Chapman and Villiers, but haven't got much more than a bad vibe from Chapman and a creepy history from Villiers.

Unfortunately the two cases -- strangulation and airship -- intertwine when a potential informant is strangled in Whitechapel. Newbury and Hobbes investigate further, but Whitechapel is full of more dangers than just the strangler, since there are also zombielike flesh-eating plague victims wandering around the place. And when a badly wounded Newbury is attacked by a pair of lethal automatons, he discovers the horrifying facts behind their creation.

Steam-powered carriages, clockwork robots, airships and the occasional mad scientist with a giant sewing machine -- while the Victorian London of "Affinity Bridge" isn't radically different from our own, George Mann adds all sorts of weird little details into his story. And those steampunkian items aren't just surface flash to make the whole book cooler and more fantastical -- the complex, winding mystery hinges on some of these fictional inventions.

To match his story, Mann also writes in a sort of modern-Victorian style -- richly detailed, atmospheric and full of mannered interactions. But he also spins up some fast-paced, bloody action scenes and grotesque fights (particularly with the "zombies" and automatons), as well as a climactic chase through the airshipyards. The secret of why the automatons are malfunctioning is a shocker, and Mann evokes just the right amount of horror from it.

And as a mystery writer, Mann does an excellent job winding together different mysteries in a plausible manner, even if the bad guy's identity is quite clear early on in the book (though not necessarily the how and why). And there are substantial plot threads left hanging -- especially in the epilogue -- hinting at future stories.

The biggest problem is the characterizations, which never feel entirely fleshed out -- okay, Maurice is a Holmesian genius with a weakness for laudanum and a rather murky history that seems to be made up as it goes along. Hobbes is a smart, capable woman who can do her own investigations. Although they are fairly likable characters, neither one is really expanded beyond their basic outlines -- especially since we hear hardly anything about their daily lives, their pasts, their families, et cetera.

"The Affinity Bridge" suffers from underwritten lead characters, but has a solid mystery plot and a richly-imagined steampunk world. If he can flesh them out a little, the next Newbury and Hobbes book is sure to be a pure delight.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dire..., 11 Feb 2011
This review is from: The Affinity Bridge (Paperback)
The concept of theis book was quite promising, but the execution appalling. The author has no ear for dialogue, and no idea of when enough is enough. Where was the editor in all this? I certainly will never bother with this writer again.
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7 of 9 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Badly written, 23 Mar 2009
By 
R. S. Loch "rsloch" (the wilds of Oxfordshire) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Affinity Bridge (Paperback)
The Affinity Bridge is a curious book, it has all the elements of a great read, interesting characters, and setting, with a story that has a lot going for it, but it is mediocre.

The book has one main problem, the author's writing style, which spoils what could have been an interesting and enjoyable read. Either Mann has to get a good editor, or someone else to flesh out his stories.

In summary, a good story, badly written.
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2 of 3 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars A pedestrian pastiche of a steampunk mystery, 31 May 2009
By 
MarkK (Phoenix, AZ, USA) - See all my reviews
(TOP 1000 REVIEWER)   
This review is from: The Affinity Bridge (Paperback)
Fog-enshrouded Victorian London is hardly a safe city in this steampunk thriller. A 'revenant plague' runs rampant through the East End, turning the infected into decaying cannibals. A mysterious glowing policeman is strangling people to death. And an airship carrying fifty passengers crashes, yet the clockwork automaton piloting it has vanished without a trace. To solve these crimes Scotland Yard turns to Sir Maurice Newberry, anthropologist turned Crown investigator. With the aid of his assistant Veronica Hobbes he apples his intellect (and the occasional fist) towards untangling these mysteries and defeating the Empire's enemies.

George Mann's novel is a mystery that evokes the atmospherics of a familiar setting refreshed by its steampunk elements. Yet the book is hampered by pedestrian writing that turns it into little more than a pastiche of familiar elements. The plot itself is primarily a rush of events, with character development implied rather than undertaken. The main protagonist comes across as a pale imitation of Sherlock Homes (must every Victorian detective be an opium addict?), while his relationship with his assistant seems to be little more than a Victorian derivative of the Mulder-Scully dynamic. It all makes for a book that, while an entertaining read, is not one that has much to distinguish it beyond the many other works in the field.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Fun and fast moving, 11 May 2014
By 
Mr A J Stevens "ts" (Orpington, Kent United Kingdom) - See all my reviews
This review is from: The Affinity Bridge (Paperback)
A quick fun easy read. Nice concepts and enjoyable characters - a great introduction to the series. Looking forward to the next one.
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4.0 out of 5 stars New to this Genre (me not the author), 30 Dec 2013
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This review is from: The Affinity Bridge (Paperback)
As a newcomer to "steampunk" i bought this after considering various series available. I like the slightly altered view of Victorian England, and particularly Queen Victorias part in thr proceedings.Overall a good read, looking forward to the next
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The Affinity Bridge
The Affinity Bridge by George Mann (Paperback - 1 Sep 2008)
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