Review – The Whitechapel Gambit May 27, 2012Posted by thehypermonkey in 4.5 stars, Steampunk.
Tags: "book review", books, fantasy, marcin wrona, reading, steampunk, the whiechapel gambit
Title: The Whitechapel Gambit
Author: Marcin Wrona
Publisher: Marcin Wrona
Publish date: April 24, 2012
Available at: Amazon
When the Haversham sun grinds to a halt before dawn, Daniel (or David) Squeak expects that he and his fellow sunwell workers are in for an awful day. What he doesn’t expect is that a furious foreman will be the very least of his problems. One gear turns another, and Squeak finds himself injured, sacked from the only work he’s ever known, and afraid for his very life.
The mysterious Sir Nicholas offers Squeak a way out of his predicament, but this knight is no saint. As Sir Nicholas slides around the pawns and bishops of a decades-old plot, it’s Squeak who finds himself in motion: from sunwell to manor, from soot-stained Haversham to wealthy Rawlish, and even to the deadly jungles of the surface.
Workhouse lads are resourceful. Everybody knows that. But the bloody alleys of Haversham are not nearly as dangerous as the glittering avenues of King’s Court.
I received a free copy of this book for an honest review.
This Steampunk adventure was true to its genre. It didn’t just have token automatons inserted into the plot as background. They were an integral part of the story. That’s one of the things I found so delightful about this story.
Another thing I found so wonderful about this story was the alternating viewpoints of young Squeak to older Sir Daniel, who are one and the same. You can see his growth and progression from a workhouse lad to a young man of quality. Through it all he remains loyal to those he loves and to those he holds in esteem.
The whole cast of characters were colorful and full of life. From his childhood friend, Bing to Sir Nicholas, his mentor. They were all vividly portrayed. Even the Robins, who served as police in their society, were a blast of fresh air.
The action in the story was non-stop. It was one tumble down a winding path down another. That was a definite page-turner to say the least.
Another page-turner was the way the society and the world in which they lived in worked. I would say the world building wasn’t as polished as it could have been but you definitely got the feeling of a grimy, soot-stained underworld teeming with life.
I would have liked there to have been more attention paid to the upper surface tribes, but I still got a sense of who they were and what they were about. I still got enough of an understanding so that I wasn’t totally left unsatisfied.
When I was done with the book, I was left a bit bereft at the thought that this might just be a stand-alone. I would have loved to continue on with the adventures of Squeak and his companions!