vrijdag 27 oktober 2017

The Martian Ambassador - Alan K. Baker

A Blackwood and Harrington tale set in the "Victorian sci-fi" age, this is the first of a series of books by Alan K. Baker detailing the investigators pair.

I picked it up last year at Boekenfestijn (basically, a large hall selling overstocks for a few euro a book) because of the bit of unusual setting as that isn`t a quite common era for fantasy nor sci-fi novels.

From the back of the book:

Welcome to London, 1899

It has been six years since the discovery of intelligent life on Mars, and relations between the two worlds are rapidly developing.  Everything seems to be going swimmingly, until Lunan R'ondd, Martian Ambassador to the Court of Saint James's, dies while attending a banquet.  The discovery of strange, microscopic larvae in his breathing apparatus leads Queen Victoria to suspect that he may have been the victim of a bizarre assassination.

The Martian Parliament agrees, and they are not pleased.  No Martian has ever died in such suspicious circumstances while on Earth.  Enter Thomas Blackwood, Special Investigator for her Majesty's Bureau of Clandestine Affairs.  Along with Lady Sophia Harrington, Blackwood is charged with the task of solving the mystery of Ambassador R'ondd's death, before the Martians take matters into their own hands, possibly igniting an interplanetary war in the process!

A book combining elements of Sherlock Holmes and Doctor Watson, draing inspiration from the John Carter and Jack the Ripper stories, and blending in the fantasy and folklore elements of Britain, this was quite an enjoyable read.  It`s different from the most fantasy and sci-fi novels I have devoured, and it was a happy change of plate, even though I won`t claim this is the best book ever or such things.

It was just what it needed to be: a light, enjoyable read for when using public transportation daily...

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