Customer Reviews for

The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack (Burton and Swinburne Series #1)

Average Rating 4
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Most Helpful Favorable Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

The Curious Case of Spring Heeled Jack is a fun read, very well

The Curious Case of Spring Heeled Jack is a fun read, very well written and researched. Not knowing the Spring Heeled Jack legend I was completely confused at the beginning of the book, but Mr. Hodder does a great job of stringing the reader along until things start to...
The Curious Case of Spring Heeled Jack is a fun read, very well written and researched. Not knowing the Spring Heeled Jack legend I was completely confused at the beginning of the book, but Mr. Hodder does a great job of stringing the reader along until things start to become clear. The author does a masterful job of weaving the events in such a way to make them seem confused and random until nearly 3/4 of the way through the book, at which point he begins to let the story unravel and ties up all the loose ends, well almost all of them, he has to leave room for sequels. Overall a well written and very enjoyable mystery novel.

posted by UncleHammy on July 8, 2012

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Most Helpful Critical Review

2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

Not Everyone is Gonna Like It The premise of this title is an i

Not Everyone is Gonna Like It

The premise of this title is an interesting one: Sir Burton is hired by Buckingham Palace to investigate the mysterious figure, Spring Heeled Jack who's actually a time-traveler that messed up big time which caused Victorian England to bec...
Not Everyone is Gonna Like It

The premise of this title is an interesting one: Sir Burton is hired by Buckingham Palace to investigate the mysterious figure, Spring Heeled Jack who's actually a time-traveler that messed up big time which caused Victorian England to become steampunk England. The highlight for me was the tragic character of Spring Heeled Jack and his journey through time and all the fascinating paradoxes that comes with time travel. Everything else was a bit lack luster. The author goes into overkill detail of each invention or London's layout. This book will appeal to die hard fans of Steampunk fiction.

posted by J3v0n on April 14, 2012

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  • Posted July 8, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    The Curious Case of Spring Heeled Jack is a fun read, very well

    The Curious Case of Spring Heeled Jack is a fun read, very well written and researched. Not knowing the Spring Heeled Jack legend I was completely confused at the beginning of the book, but Mr. Hodder does a great job of stringing the reader along until things start to become clear. The author does a masterful job of weaving the events in such a way to make them seem confused and random until nearly 3/4 of the way through the book, at which point he begins to let the story unravel and ties up all the loose ends, well almost all of them, he has to leave room for sequels. Overall a well written and very enjoyable mystery novel.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted April 14, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Not Everyone is Gonna Like It The premise of this title is an i

    Not Everyone is Gonna Like It

    The premise of this title is an interesting one: Sir Burton is hired by Buckingham Palace to investigate the mysterious figure, Spring Heeled Jack who's actually a time-traveler that messed up big time which caused Victorian England to become steampunk England. The highlight for me was the tragic character of Spring Heeled Jack and his journey through time and all the fascinating paradoxes that comes with time travel. Everything else was a bit lack luster. The author goes into overkill detail of each invention or London's layout. This book will appeal to die hard fans of Steampunk fiction.

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2010

    New Pasts for the Old World

    I came across this book because I was interested in fictional uses of the historical figure Richard F. Burton. I also enjoy time travel fiction to a certain extent. The combination of two of my interests made this a great read. The imagination displayed by the author went well beyond what was needed but the book is better for it. No sense stopping at the improbable or surreal when the absurd is within reach. Hodder's knowledge of Victorian London is excellent and he made his vision of London even more interesting and remarkable than the real city. It's a place I'd like to see more of as well as other parts of the world in this alternate history. My only niggle is that like other authors (William Harrison, Philip Jose Farmer, Iliya Troyanov, Win Blevins, etc) who've used Burton in a prose setting he becomes more an idealized heroic verson of the authors themselves than a strict historical portrayal. Still I can't wait for the next one.

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted September 5, 2010

    more from this reviewer

    This is a fascinating tongue in cheek alternate historical thriller

    By 1861, Britain is radically changing due to technology; enhanced by the eugenicists creating specialized beasts to do the labor. Four groups emerge to challenge the power structure. The Libertines demand no laws insisting government impedes creativity; the Rakes agree with no government interference as they are anarchists demanding the use of magic fueled by sex and drugs to create a super human, the Engineers use technology to transform the world into a marvelously polluted realm in their image; and finally the Eugenicists create specialized beasts of burden.

    British Prime Minister Lord Pamerston hires Sir Richard Burton, just back from the Nile expedition, to serve as the "King's Spy". His first investigation is to look into the reported sexual assaults by an apparent apparition Spring-Heeled Jack. At the same time Algernon Charles Swinbourne is doing an inquiry of his own. Meanwhile apparently hybrid canine-humans are kidnapping chimney sweeps while terrorizing the East End. Richard also plans to learn what happened to his injured former friend, John Speke, who vanished.

    This is a fascinating tongue in cheek alternate historical thriller that grips the reader throughout. The story line pays homage to Dickens and Wells in a setting in which the moral fiber that kept the sun from setting on the Empire is waning from the extremes demanding the establishment of their Eden regardless of the cost to others. As the threads converge into a great twist, readers will want to join Burton and Swinbourne discovering the truth of Mark Hodder's Victorian England.

    Harriet Klausner

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 23, 2013

    Amazing book

    I truely recommend this to anyone who is big into syfy. I dont eant to reveal the story but it is a good brain twister and can cause you to image whats haooeing as you read

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 10, 2013

    Not a big fan

    Not a big fan

    0 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 23, 2012

    I Also Recommend:

    I was disappointed with this. The premise and the characters so

    I was disappointed with this. The premise and the characters sounded interesting, but the story couldn't seem to live up to expectations. I do like the characterization of Richard F. Burton, and I could see how he might grow on a reader as a lead in a series. And although Swineburne, as a Libertine and follower of de Sade, may have been intended as the more interesting character, I found him tiring and, surprisingly, flat. It is an imaginative story, and I did develop some sympathy for the title character, but this one just didn't do it for me. I am a fan of historical science fiction and time travel, and expected to really enjoy this, but I can't strongly recommend it. Maybe I'm just still too much in love with Felix Palma's superb The Map of Time and am (unfairly) comparing everything else to it.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted February 22, 2012

    My choice for best of the year

    Mark Hodder's first Burton and Swineburne is an ingenious blending of history, victorian folklore and crazy gonzo streampunk wildness. His London and his greater world is a place much changed by a minor tweek in history and he proples it with wonderfully flawed and brillantly human characters both big and small in many ways. His use of the explorer and former british soldier Sir Richard Francis Burton and masochistic poet Algernon Swineburne as agents of the King begs readers or at least it had me looking up the real men and situations that inperiled thrm in the novel. Fans of steampunk, pulp adventure, alternatr history and the works of Bernard Cornwall.

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  • Posted November 11, 2011

    more from this reviewer

    Sherlock Holmes and Jules Verne all in one book

    I really enjoyed this book I had bought the second in the series not realizing there was a first one so I went on line and bought the ebook right off and started reading. The descriptions of the places in England were spot on and I could just imagine the changes that were caused by the guy that went back in time. If you like historical referenced books that have a little twist, a what if, you will also enjoy this.

    0 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted May 13, 2013

    Then read Between Man and Beast

    Read and enjoy this set of three books. When done consider reading Between Man and Beast. There are tie ins.

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    Posted June 18, 2012

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