The Fall of the Gas-Lit Empire
- The Complete Series
- Narrated by: Gemma Whelan
- Length: 29 hrs and 16 mins
- Unabridged Audiobook
- Release date: 08-02-18
- Language: English
- Publisher: Audible Studios
Elizabeth Barnabus lives a double life - as herself and as her brother, the private detective. She is trying to solve the mystery of a disappearing aristocrat and a hoard of arcane machines. In her way stand the rogues, freaks and self-proclaimed alchemists of a travelling circus. But when she comes up against an agent of the all-powerful Patent Office, her life and the course of history will begin to change. And not necessarily for the better....
Witnessing the brutal hanging of someone very close to her, Elizabeth resolves to throw the Bullet Catcher's Handbook into the fire and forget her past. If only it were that easy! There is a new charitable organisation in town, run by some highly respectable women. But something doesn't feel right to Elizabeth. Perhaps it is time for her fictional brother to come out of retirement for one last case? Her unstoppable curiosity leads her to a dark world of body snatching, unseemly experimentation, politics and scandal. Never was it harder for a woman in a man's world....
You'd have to be mad to steal from the feared International Patent Office. But that's what Elizabeth Barnabus is about to try. A onetime enemy from the circus has persuaded her to attempt a heist that will be the ultimate conjuring trick. Hidden in the vaults of the Patent Court in London lie secrets that could shake the very pillars of the Gas-Lit Empire. All that stands in Elizabeth's way are the agents of the Patent Office, a Duke's private army and the mysterious Custodian of Marvels.
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Customer ReviewsMost Helpful
By Andrew on 23-02-18
Steampunk Adventuress rights wrongs
An alternate world/steam punk trilogy where the luddite revolt suceeded in putting measures in place to limit technology.
The story follows a determined female protagonist/adventurist as she seeks to earn a living as an investigator while avoiding her creditors and sleazy aristocrats.
The mysteries at the heart of the stores are more pulp than Sherlockian, but well written for all that. The world presented is interesting , the characters likeable in the main, and the story moves along in a nice style.
The books do use a few well-used tropes, but in the main these do not overwhelm the enjoyment.
While taking some predictable swipes at the old-fashioned male dominated society, they're not insightful (nor are they meant to be) and are used to support the story.
The balance lends itself to a enjoyable story that works well, and while not looking to ask any deep questions this is fine as this is clearly intended to be an entertaining adventure yarn rather than challenging or groundbreaking scifi...and in the main it succeeds in this.
Despite the tropes, it is never stodgy and holds the interest to the end.
Gemma Whelans performance is good. Her voice suits the range of characters and story, and never becomes dull. Your attention is kept throughout and characters are (in the main) clearly distinguishable.
Overall, this is a decent trilogy, and particularly good value if you're getting all 3 books for a single credit.
22 of 23 people found this review helpful
By Andrew on 02-04-18
Enjoyable steam punk world - a bit repetitive
I liked the premise of these stories. The steam punk world was well illustrated; the somewhat sinister and all powerful Patent Office always lurking darkly in the background, the circus and travelling world, life on the water, the contrasting royalists and the republicans.
The back story and world building that Rod Duncan puts into these stories really is excellent - it all feels very real and believable. Familiar yet also alien.
However - I did find it tiresome that despite the lack of CCTV and modern communications - our heroine, Elizabeth was ALWAYS being recognised and spotted by either the law (or what passes for the law) or unsavoury types. Constantly and repeatedly - it makes up too much of the the theme of the stories for me. Additionally I guess these books are what are usually described as "young adult" as they also seem a little prissy (or maybe that's just Elizabeth). That said, the Republic (which is where Elizabeth lives) is a somewhat prissy place in terms of culture and the demeanour of it's residents.
Gemma Whelan's narration was top notch and adds greatly to some enjoyable listening.
5 of 5 people found this review helpful