The Aylesford Skull by James P. Blaylock
I love steampunk. It’s fun, has that historical element that I enjoy and yet is firmly grounded in fantasy. Who better to highlight as my first review on this site, than one of the grandfathers of steampunk, James P. Blaylock. We had the pleasure of interviewing Jim on the podcast back on Episode 6 and what a great guy, in addition to being an awesome author. I had just finished The Aylesford Skull and thoroughly enjoyed it. In fact, it’s one of my fave books of 2013, so it’s the perfect choice for my review here.
What an absolutely delightful book from one of the founding fathers of the steampunk genre! With appropriately steampunkish props, St. Ives is back with a new mystery to solve. One that becomes more personal than he’d like. And that’s all I’m saying about the plot, so as not to invoke spoilers.
Blaylock’s writing is elegant. It is reminiscent of the Victorian era, but appeals to modern readers and never becomes stuffy. With touches of humor that actually made me laugh out loud, he has created characters that are rich, complex and easy to fall in love with. Even his supporting cast soon has you rooting for them. The story is fast-paced and the mystery elements work well. Indeed the book itself is a very fast read, which kept me turning those pages.
Overall, the novel is excellent and entertaining and I highly recommend it!
Read on for more and for links!