Neither thumbs up nor thumbs down for Infernal Devices by K. W. Jeter. Science fiction.
I like that Jeter writes with authentic Victorian diction, and does it well. Unfortunately, however, I found neither character nor world nor plot particularly attractive, and so while there is nothing really wrong with this book (and indeed it is plenty full of incident) I found it mostly useful as a soporific. Your mileage may vary.
“Intoxication was, in fact, a possibility. With discretion sufficient to avoid offending Creff, I inhaled deeply, endeavouring to detect the fumes signalling a lapse in his conduct. Episodes of indulgence produced unfortunate fancies in him; only a few months before I had been compelled to exert a good deal of diplomacy on the wife of the shopkeeper several doors over. Creff had been discovered in the alleyway, on his knees before a bemused shop-cat. Stale beer had convinced him the cat was the Recording Angel, and he had been attempting to bribe it with small confectionery lozenges, the erasure of certain regretted sins being the object of his negotiations. Mrs Draywaite had been mollified only by my hastily concocted explanation that a congenital weakness in Creff’s knees produced such involuntary genuflections without warning.”
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