Publication Date: November 6th, 2012
Publisher: PYR Books
Page Count: 280 pages
Source: Publisher for Review
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An alternate 1895... a world where Charles Babbage and Ada Lovelace perfected the Difference engine. Where steam and tesla-powered computers are everywhere. Where automatons powered by human souls venture out into the sprawling London streets. Where the Ministry, a secretive government agency, seeks to control everything in the name of the Queen.When I first saw this one in the PYR catalog I knew I had to get my hands on it! Not only is the cover seriously creepy, but it was pitched as being a great read for fans of Doctor Who and Sherlock Holmes which immediately sold me. I'm definitely not a Sherlock fan, but after reading this one I think I should be. The characters are fantastic, the writing is descriptive, and the story is captivating and exciting! If you haven't considered reading The Lazarus Machine yet, you should definitely change that decision because this book is awesome!
It is in this claustrophobic, paranoid city that seventeen-year-old Sebastian Tweed and his conman father struggle to eke out a living.
But all is not well...
A murderous, masked gang has moved into London, spreading terror through the criminal ranks as they take over the underworld. as the gang carves up more and more of the city, a single name comes to be uttered in fearful whispers.
When Tweed’s father is kidnapped by Moriarty, he is forced to team up with information broker Octavia Nightingale to track him down. But he soon realizes that his father’s disappearance is just a tiny piece of a political conspiracy that could destroy the British Empire and plunge the world into a horrific war.
The characters are all really well crafted, and I easily fell in love with them. Tweed is hilariously smart, almost to a fault and his inability to understand people's feelings can definitely get him in trouble sometimes. Thankfully, he has Nightingale to give him some helpful pointers time after time. Their relationship is just so... Doctor Who and his companion? Holmes and Watson? Very appropriately hysterical while still managing to get things done. They work well together and after such a short time they know each other well enough to accomplish any task.
The story is incredibly fast, but the descriptive language keeps everything well-paced. It's not overly descriptive, either. I didn't find myself flipping pages or getting bored with illustrative paragraphs like I tend to do when authors give way more description than action, and the plot is so fast-paced I'd find time going by so quickly while I was reading, and I managed to finish the entire book in just a couple sittings, once I finally had time to actually sit down and just READ it. I can definitely see the Sherlockian elements and I loved the historical references and details about Tesla and Babbage.
Overall, I completely adored The Lazarus Machine. It was dark, eerie, twisty, turny, humorous, and just a little bit weird! I totally understand the pitch to Whovians and Sherlockians alike and I'm seriously going to have to pick up some of the original Doyle novels. The plot is super fast paced, and at just shy of 300 pages you could easily finish this one in a sitting. If you're a fan of mysteries, science fiction, and witty dialogue you'll definitely want to pick up a copy of The Lazarus Machine!