Excerpt from opening paragraph:
“The Home Office telegraphy department always smelled of tea. The source was one packet of Lipton’s at the back of Nathaniel Stapleton’s desk drawer. Before the widespread use of the electric telegraph, the office had been a broom cupboard. Thaniel had heard more than once that its failure to expand was a sign of the Home Secretary’s continuing mistrust of naval inventions, but even if that wasn’t the case, the department budget had never stretched to the replacement of the original carpet, which liked to keep the ghosts of old smells…”
Tea! The opening sentence has tea! Books and tea are two of my favorite things. Stir in a delicious mystery featuring a lonely Japanese immigrant who specializes in amazing machines; an interfering female Oxford physicist and you’ve got an amazing steampunk adventure. Everyone seems to be hiding something as the sweeping narrative blends fantastic and historic events to create a compelling journey for readers.
Oh, and there’s a mechanical octopus. How could you NOT want to read about a mechanical Octopus?
Four stars out of five.
Brain candy, but we all deserve it occasionally.