The Constantine Affliction

( 3 )

Overview


1864. London is a city in transition. The Constantine Affliction–a strange malady that kills some of its victims and physically transforms others into the opposite sex–has spread scandal and upheaval throughout society. Scientific marvels and disasters, such as clockwork courtesans, the alchemical fires of Whitechapel, electric carriages, and acidic monsters lurking in the Thames, have forever altered the face of the city.

Pembroke “Pimm” Hanover is an aristocrat with an ...

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The Constantine Affliction

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Overview


1864. London is a city in transition. The Constantine Affliction–a strange malady that kills some of its victims and physically transforms others into the opposite sex–has spread scandal and upheaval throughout society. Scientific marvels and disasters, such as clockwork courtesans, the alchemical fires of Whitechapel, electric carriages, and acidic monsters lurking in the Thames, have forever altered the face of the city.

Pembroke “Pimm” Hanover is an aristocrat with an interest in criminology, who uses his keen powers of observation to assist the police or private individuals–at least when he’s sober enough to do so. Ellie Skyler, who hides her gender behind the byline “E. Skye,” is an intrepid journalist driven by both passion and necessity to uncover the truth, no matter where it hides.

When Pimm and Skye stumble onto a dark plot that links the city’s most notorious criminal overlord with the Queen’s new consort, famed scientist Sir Bertram Oswald, they soon find the forces of both high and low society arrayed against them. Can they save the city from the arcane machinations of one of history’s most monsters–and uncover the shocking origin of . . . THE CONSTANTINE AFFLICTION.

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Editorial Reviews

Publishers Weekly
It’s 19th-century London. The aurora anglais illuminates the night sky, alchemical fires eternally rage through Whitechapel, and men, fearing the sexually transmitted Constantine Affliction—a disease that either kills its victims or transforms them into the opposite sex—increasingly patronize brothels staffed by clockwork prostitutes. When a serial killer targets the remaining human sex workers, their boss, Abel Value, blackmails aristocrat and amateur sleuth Pembroke “Pimm” Halliday into finding the culprit. Pimm investigates, accompanied by his wife, Winifred “Freddy” Halliday, a sufferer of the Constantine Affliction; investigative journalist Eleanor Irene Skyler; and Adam, an undead scientist who seeks to create a lover from metal and corpses. They uncover a melodramatically nefarious and implausible plot that threatens the entire world. Despite some stock characterizations and illogical world-building, Payton’s promising debut is a fast-paced and entertaining addition to the steampunk genre. Agent: Ginger Clark, Curtis Brown Agency. (Aug.)
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781597805001
  • Publisher: Night Shade Books
  • Publication date: 8/13/2013
  • Pages: 288
  • Sales rank: 789,861
  • Product dimensions: 6.00 (w) x 8.90 (h) x 1.10 (d)

Meet the Author


T. Aaron Payton lives in Northern California, where he haunts the darker sections of libraries and bookstores and indulges his love for antiques.
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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 3 )
Rating Distribution

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(2)

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Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews
  • Posted August 20, 2012

    more from this reviewer

    Offering up an interesting mix of genres (with an abrupt change

    Offering up an interesting mix of genres (with an abrupt change of
    course in the last act), The Constantine Affliction is a fun, engaging,
    imaginative read that manages to succeed despite the relative blandness
    of its main character. That's not to say Pimm isn't an interesting
    character on his own, but he lacks the quirks and personality traits
    that make the other characters leap off the page. T. Aaron Payton,
    better known as T.A. Pratt, has put together a story here that is equal
    parts thriller, mystery, horror, comedy, and adventure. At the heart of
    it lies the aforementioned Pimm (an aristocrat who likes to play
    detective - when not drowning his sorrows), the far more engaging
    Winifred (his best friend turned spouse - thanks to the gender-changing
    Constantinopolitan Affliction), and the rather remarkable Syke
    (investigative reporter and feminist heroine - for whom the glass is
    always half-full). Facing off against the unlikely trio of heroes is an
    even unlikelier trio of villains in Abel Value (criminal overlord), Sir
    Bertram Oswald (the Queen's consort), and Mr. Adams (cousin to
    Frankenstein's monster). Throw in some clockwork courtesans and some
    extra-dimensional monsters, set against the backdrop of a London under
    siege from darkness and disease, and you have yourself one heck of a
    tale. There is an awful lot going on here, but Payton manages to keep
    it all on track, all the while building towards a pair of key
    revelations that quite cleverly connect the dots between the mixed
    genres. At times chilling, amusing, and altogether fascinating, this is
    the kind of book where you just have to give yourself permission to
    settle in and enjoy the ride. It is paced exceptionally well, so much so
    that you never begrudge Payton the opportunity to explore a few bizarre
    tangents - and of those there are aplenty! Perhap's Skye's intimate
    investigation of the clockwork courtesans goes into a bit too much
    detail, but it is fascinating, and it does help to justify some plot
    elements further on. Similarly, Mr. Adam's researches into
    life-after-death may be a bit too grotesque for some readers, but you'll
    come away believing in the possibility for romance with a disembodied
    brain. Where the story faltered a bit, for me, was in the Lovecraftian
    insanity of the final act. It almost seemed as if, having so deftly
    handled so many genres already, Payton simply couldn't resist the urge
    to go all the way with his monstrous finale. He manages it well, and the
    strength of his characters keeps it from becoming too fantastic, but it
    was so far removed from what I was expecting that I struggled a bit to
    keep my disbelief willingly suspended. It does give Winifred a chance to
    shine, and does allow for a fitting resolution to the character of Mr.
    Adams, but it also cast Pimm a bit further out of the limelight.
    All-in-all, this was a thoroughly enjoyable read, with enough plot lines
    to fill a trilogy of novels. Hopefully Payton will give us more
    adventures in his alternate London, and if he can follow through on
    Pimm's seeming revival at the end of the story, he may just be a
    protagonist worthy of both his wife and his girlfriend.

    3 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted December 23, 2012

    It's a really fun and unique read, I would definitely recommend

    It's a really fun and unique read, I would definitely recommend it! 

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Posted September 7, 2012

    Loved it

    I was engrossed the whole way through.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
Sort by: Showing all of 3 Customer Reviews

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