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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Worthy Addition to the Newbury & Hobbes Series
Following on from his first two hugely enjoyable Newbury & Hobbes Investigations (The Affinity Bridge and The Osiris Ritual), George Man bring us his latest offering in his steampunk-flavoured series; The Immorality Engine.
Once again focusing on the exploits of occult expert, and agent to the crown, Maurice Newbury alongside his assistant, Miss Veronica Hobbes, we...
Published on 23 Jun 2011 by Mr. D. Kerr

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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mann is capable of much better than this.
Sadly this book just didn't live up to the promise of the previous two, lacking the evocative descriptions of 19th century London and concentrating on all-out action. It's also not been properly proof-read, or the author doesn't know the difference between "flaunt" and "flout", rendering the motives of several parties nonsensical (why punish someone for flaunting, rather...
Published on 17 Aug 2011 by S. Hartwell


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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A Worthy Addition to the Newbury & Hobbes Series, 23 Jun 2011
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This review is from: The Immorality Engine (Hardcover)
Following on from his first two hugely enjoyable Newbury & Hobbes Investigations (The Affinity Bridge and The Osiris Ritual), George Man bring us his latest offering in his steampunk-flavoured series; The Immorality Engine.
Once again focusing on the exploits of occult expert, and agent to the crown, Maurice Newbury alongside his assistant, Miss Veronica Hobbes, we find Sir Maurice at a new low. He is despondent and introverted, hiding away in a seedy opium den, slave to his desire for the drug. He has been consumed by addiction, his duties as Her Majesty's agent as much neglected as his own welfare. However, all is not lost: enter Miss Hobbes and Sir Charles Bainbridge, Chief Inspector of Scotland Yard and best friend to Newbury. The pair have come to rescue Newbury from his self-destructive anaesthesia and give him purpose once more. Thus, they bait him with the prospect of a tantalising new case: a series of robberies are being committed. Ordinary in of itself, were it not the fact that the perpetrator continues to ply his trade after his own death, his corpse residing in the police mortuary.
With this intriguing basis for a story in place, Mann goes on to lead us through a tale of mad doctors, crazed cults, sickly prophets and clandestine societies, all of which is injected with his usual, boundless energy. Action sequences crackle with electricity, visceral scenes burn with bloody horror, characters radiate with a sense of truth and the pace steams through every chapter with a focused vision of what shape the story will eventually take.
The cast are also granted more room for development than in previous instalments, much to their credit, and the relationship between Newbury and Miss Hobbes is afforded some much deserved exploration, which helps to shed more light and their thoughts and feelings, and on the kind people they truly are.
The villains are also tremendously enjoyable and it feels as though Mann had as much fun writing them as he did from writing his heroes and heroines. Their motivations add depth and colour to the world in which they exist, broadening the story's scope. It also aids in revealing the true nature and motives of one of the key players in Mann's universe.
I really can't recommend this book enough. I enjoyed every page as it whisked me through the story at break-neck speed as I found myself hungry for the next revelation the story would bring. There is an all-encompassing sense of advancement, of progress, that pushes the characters further and enriches them with new-found depth. You find yourself constantly fascinated and wishing for more.
George Mann has managed to create a work that he should be immensely proud of. It bursts with an enthusiasm that can not fail to pull you in and hold you in its thrall. He is unquestionably one of the most prominent and talented writers in the steampunk genre and I greatly anticipate more from this extraordinarily talented writer.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Steampunk alive and kicking, 2 Oct 2012
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This review is from: The Immorality Engine (Paperback)
Finished reading this on Saturday, on the train back from the British Fantasy Society Convention. One of the panels asked if Steampunk was on the way out - if this is anything to go by, the answer is a resounding no. This is the third volume in a series. Newbury and Hobbes are an interesting pair - a Sherlockian dilettante and his capable female assistant. The love affair between them is a little obvious, but the author has built it up over the three books and it works well enough. The plot itself is a little wild and woolly, but it's fun and fast-paced. I enjoyed it; I will be interested to see if the author thinks he can take the sequence any further.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Mann is capable of much better than this., 17 Aug 2011
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S. Hartwell (England) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Immorality Engine (Paperback)
Sadly this book just didn't live up to the promise of the previous two, lacking the evocative descriptions of 19th century London and concentrating on all-out action. It's also not been properly proof-read, or the author doesn't know the difference between "flaunt" and "flout", rendering the motives of several parties nonsensical (why punish someone for flaunting, rather than flouting, the rules?). While it somewhat develops the relationships between the main players, it's lightweight and reads like a rushed job.

On the positive side, as well as the technological staples and 19th century sensibilities of the genre, there is an amusing touch in the form of be-suited, bowler-hatted knights of a Masonic society. However, the truth surrounding Amelia's death was far too predictable from very early in the book. For some reason, I hear Dame Judi Dench's voice speaking all of Queen Victoria's lines!

Hopefully the next volume will have more substance and more atmosphere and a return to the style of the first two books rather than reading like a 350-page formulaic roleplay-spinoff action novel, otherwise I won't be bothering beyond book 4.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Five Stars, 27 Jun 2014
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good easy read had me glued to my kindle
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5.0 out of 5 stars Brilliant, 6 May 2014
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SJ Coombs (UK) - See all my reviews
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This review is from: The Immorality Engine (Paperback)
Love Mann's Steampunk Newbury and Hobbes series. This is excellent. Well written and well plotted. The stench of Steampunk Victoriana oozes out of the bindings.
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2.0 out of 5 stars Couldn't be botheredness?, 2 Jan 2014
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Liked the first two, this was a total waste of time. The author seemed not to be bothered writing it. It is all a cliché of characters, endless action with scant evocative descriptions which are at the core of a well written alt hist/adventure/steampunk story. The only parts I got interested in were those with, albeit brief, descriptions of inner feelings (the opium addiction for example); but there were too few and more than once I was tempted to skip pages. Female character is not convinving and Newbury is still roughly sketched. Pity.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Best to date, 30 Dec 2013
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This review is from: The Immorality Engine (Paperback)
Well done the author with this the 3rd installment of Newbury and Hobbes adventures in an alternate Victorian England. In my mind the strongest story so far, and very enjoyable.
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4.0 out of 5 stars A great read., 9 Mar 2013
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Thoroughly enjoyable read, easily as good as the previous two books. Can't wait for a fourth instalment. The fascinating world of Newbury & Hobbes isn't done yet.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Knights of the Cogged Table, 22 Aug 2012
This review is from: The Immorality Engine (Paperback)
Victorian steampunk action mystery thriller stuff. It's not unusual for me to come in on book 3 of a series, but for once I felt like I was being given enough information not to feel left out. Newbury and Hobbes are a truly symbiotic crime-fighting team, and I look forward to reading their further adventures.

In an alternate England where Queen Victoria is a vicious cyborg clinging to life, and outlandish experiments are performed by men in goggles in mental hospitals, Newbury is has succumbed to drug addiction, spending much of the adventure fighting off withdrawal symptoms for opium. The frank depiction of his illness gives a dark note to what could otherwise have been very uncomplicated gung-ho Victorian adventure. Really enjoyed this book, and while I can't see that there's a fourth volume yet on the shelves, I shall certainly go back and investigate the first two.
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4.0 out of 5 stars Steam Punk Was Never Lovelier, 23 Jan 2012
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This review is from: The Immorality Engine (Paperback)
Another blinder from George Mann. Steam punk meets bys own in this the third and possibly final story in his Newberry and Hobbes stories (though I hope not!) has the al but Terminator-esq Queen Victoria scheming to create a successor and Hobbes sister in peril as her visions come to the attention of people in high places. A great read, well written and a worthy continuation to the trilogy. Recommended. More please!
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The Immorality Engine
The Immorality Engine by George Mann (Paperback - 1 Jun 2011)
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