In this world, science took the place of magic. Meanwhile, the transition from the era of steam to the epoch of Sublime Electricity is already underway. But magic hasn't simply disappeared without a trace. It still exists, concealed in the blood of the illustrious. Detective constable Leopold Orso of the metropolitan police counts himself among their number. He was bestowed a talent that allows him to bring others' fears to life.
Leopold didn't go looking for trouble. All he really wanted was to gain access to his rightful inheritance. But, his peaceful life came to an end when a box from his grandmother's estate caught the interest of a mysterious cabal of conspirators, police, and bloodthirsty malefics. His new enemies have an arsenal of six-barreled machine guns, backpack flamethrowers, and hordes of hellspawn. He may escape with his life, but it won't be easy!
©2016 Pavel Kornev; English translation copyright 2016 by Andrew Schmitt (P)2017 Tantor
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3 out of 5 stars
By AudioBook Reviewer on 17-08-17

there is a lot of potential here

The Illustrious by Pavel Kornev is the first book in a series called The Sublime Electricity. In a world where science and magic are at odds and steam power is giving way to electricity, Detective Leopold Orso is one of the few who retains magical abilities. He has the talent to make other people feel their greatest fear. Broke and desperate to get his rightful inheritance, Orso is thrown into a mess of enemies both human and supernatural. He must figure out a way to survive while attempting to preserve his reputation and remain solvent.

This is a novel in which it takes a while to fully understand what is going on and that made is a difficult one for me. There is no description of the magic system and it was really unclear what it was and how it was it fit into the changing steam to electricity world. There are a lot of meandering story lines at intersect, which can be hard to follow. Orso’s character is a typical down-on-his-luck detective that is that is smarter than his superiors despite was they think. There are a lot of different characters that Orso interacts with, but he is really the center of the story. When there is action, it’s fast-paced and exciting and Orso’s conversations with various characters are entertaining. But overall, it felt a little slow. In general, there is a lot of potential here, but with a little clarification of the world around Orso would go a long way in making the story clearer. There are a lot of hanging threads in the story for the next novel to continue with and it did not feel complete at the end.

The narration by Neil Hellegers was good. Sometimes it was hard to distinguish the characters, but the narration and the characters were distinct from each other. His characterization of Orso was really well done, however. The production quality was also good. I would recommend this novel to people who really like steam punk detective novels and are willing to submerge themselves in a novel without complete understanding of the background of the magic system.

Audiobook was provided for review by the narrator.

Please find this complete review and many others at my review blog

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4 of 5 people found this review helpful

2 out of 5 stars
By Sheri on 04-01-18

I love good steampunk - but - this story no spark

What disappointed you about The Illustrious?

The writing was overly descriptive and the action didn't seem connected to the story. I never figured out what the story was really about... other than a few plot lines that were "chapter" stories. It could have been good... but the idea just .. pardon the pun... but it ran out of steam....

The writing was too heavy and just didn't give us a good story.

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0 of 1 people found this review helpful

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