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The Affinity Bridge (Newbury and Hobbes #1)

3.55 of 5 stars 3.55  ·  rating details  ·  4,408 ratings  ·  608 reviews
Welcome to the bizarre and dangerous world of Victorian London, a city teetering on the edge of revolution. Its people are ushering in a new era of technology, dazzled each day by new inventions. Airships soar in the skies over the city, whilst ground trains rumble through the streets and clockwork automatons are programmed to carry out menial tasks in the offices of lawye ...more
Hardcover, 350 pages
Published 2008 by Snowbooks
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Community Reviews

(showing 1-30 of 3,000)
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Dan Schwent
Sir Maurice Newbury and his assistant Veronica Hobbes investigate an airship crash in Victorian London. Why were all the victims lashed to their seats? Where was the pilot? And why is the Queen so intent on Newbury and Hobbes finding out what happened? The trail leads them to the airship manufacturers who also happen to make automatons. Can Newbury and Hobbes solve the mystery before the mysterious glowing policeman takes them?

The Affinity Bridge is a fast-moving steampunk mystery. Once it gets
Tim Hicks
Meh. This reads as if it was written to fulfill a contract obligation, or because "we need a steampunk novel".

Too many formulaic components - and this may be a problem with the genre rather than this particular author - and too many chunks of boilerplate text.

Every time characters of the opposite sex enter the room, it's tea time. Every time two men come together, it's time for some brandy, sometimes with a pipe. Yawn.

Implausible hero. Makes Batman look like a wimp. The more he got hurt/maime
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Aug 16, 2009 Jeffrey rated it 4 of 5 stars  ·  review of another edition
Recommends it for: Sci fi historical mystery fans
If this book is Steampunk, then I want to read more of them. Maurice Newbury is a Crown Agent, an investigator of both crimes and the occult for the crown in this delightfully vigorous mystery set in a reworked victorian England full of both elements of science fiction and horror.

Revenants (zombie like human creatures, who are victims of a plague from India) are roaming London killing people, but other people are dying by some mysterious means, found strangled. There are odd sightings of a glowi
While in some ways original, this novel combines a number of themes which seem oddly prevalent in recent publications: zombies (The Forest of Hands and Teeth, World War Z An Oral History of the Zombie War, Patient Zero A Joe Ledger Novel, Breathers A Zombie's Lament, Pride and Prejudice and Zombies), automata (The Invention of Hugo Cabret, The Alchemy Of Stone), airships (The Wizard Hunters, Clementine, New Amsterdam,Airborn) in a vaguely steampunkish setting ( Larklight A Rousing Tale of Dauntl ...more
Paulette Jaxton
If you're really, really desperate to read something in the Steampunk genre and the only thing you can find is this book, by all means read it. However, please don't think this is what the genre is all about.

My biggest complaint with Mr. Mann's book is that the characters, from the atypical Victorian female protagonist down to the lowliest soon to be victim Bobbie, are inconsistent. One minute they are all proper and speaking in a quaint variation of period English and the next minute they might
A zombie plague! Mysterious clockwork automata! Airship crashes! What more could Crown Investigator Sir Maurice Newbury and his capable assistant Miss Veronica Hobbes ask for?

(Maybe... an editor?) The story was... solid, I suppose, but I felt no connection whatsoever to the characters, and there was only one part of the mystery that even mildly surprised me. The prose was functional but not clever, and the dialogue seemed to waver confusedly between Victorian and modern (neither of which I would
colleen the fabulous fabulaphile
This wasn't a bad little story. It moved along at a fair pace, it had some interesting characterizations - and I love anachronistic female characters - and the mystery wasn't entirely obvious, though it was hardly surprising, either.

I figured it out the first time Veronica visited her sister, and I was kind of annoyed that she didn't.

I was going to bump this up to a 3 1/2 stars, but then came the part with the impossibly unstoppable man.

Ok - here be some spoilers


So, our hero gets himself inju
I enjoyed it. I guess reading steampunk is my version of fluffy reading. It has all the usual steampunk elements, likeable main characters, & a few gross (to me) zombie-type scenes. I'm not much of a reader of series books, but I could see myself picking up & enjoying the next book in the series at some point. Relatively entertaining fluff.
I get it, I get it. Steampunk is "in." Zombies are "in." Speculation about androids is "in." But do we really need to put them all in one book? Mann does nothing but attempt to cater to the masses in this mess of genre-fiction. Bland writing and flat dialogue round out a cast of indistinguishable characters. Even the cheesiest (but still fun) genre series (think Dresden Files, Anita Blake, etc.) at least have characters with some spunk and differentiation--and if you're writing what you're hopin ...more
3.5 stars – another reviewer stated that this was a pretty simple, straightforward book and I agree. Nonetheless, it was very enjoyable and I recommend it for a fun, easy read.

It’s a Sherlock Holmes, Victorian setting adventure with a Steampunk aspect – the story is predictable and the characters are stock but it’s still very well done. The author knew his genre and worked within it in a creative way. This is one of the better examples of this type of work.

If you enjoy Sherlock Holmes (especial
Tim Chaplin
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
"Welcome to the bizarre and dangerous world of Victorian London, a city teetering on the edge of revolution. Its people are ushering in a new era of technology, dazzled each day by new inventions. Airships soar in the skies over the city, whilst ground trains rumble through the streets and clockwork automatons are programmed to carry out menial tasks in the offices of lawyers, policemen and journalists. But beneath this shiny veneer of progress lurks a sinister side. For this is also a world whe ...more
Set in an alternative Victorian London populated with mysterious scientists, brass automatons, airships and zombies, this book was very silly but also very entertaining.

At times it seems as though Mann has a few too many subplots on the go at once and that certain aspects are being ignored for too long. However, he handles them all skilfully and eventually they become so impressively interwoven and dependent upon one another that I was willing to forgive their seemingly disparate nature because
The Affinity Bridge brainstorming session #19

Author enters and finds himself on one of two adjacent stages. The only furnishings on his stage are two chairs. In one of the chairs sits O'Bare, a large, hairy man. Author goes and sits on the free chair.
Author: Uh, hello.
O'Bare: Hello there! I'm O'Bare.
Author: That's a peculiar name.
O'Bare: Meh, it's needed for a pun at the end of this sketch.
Author: Oh, okay. Why are there two stages here?
O'Bare: Well that one over there is Stage Right.
Author: And
Apologies to my dear friend (, but I could not manage to finish this. It's not because it's a pastiche. Those are great. The writing itself bothered me. The author repeats passages of exposition almost word-for-word: p. 21 "After the last of the thieves turned up dead, the 'glowing bobby' was never seen again"; p. 39 "Once they were dead, the 'glowing bobby' disappeared, never to be seen again." The setting and dialogue are not very believable either, and ...more
As I sat down to write this review, I found myself wondering what first drew me to this book. Was it my keen interest in the steampunk genre? Was it a familiarity with the previous works of the author? Perhaps it was due to a glowing review I had read? Alas, it was none of these reasons. I first picked this novel up because I thought the front cover was kind of cool. Not the most informed or sensible way to make such a choice but, thankfully, it paid dividends.
The Affinity Bridge is an entry in
This story had all the right ingredients, but something went wrong when it was all assembled together and tasted really bland.

So it has all the right plot elements and the characters and adventure and steampunk inventions are there, but the writing quality seemed kind of low. If I were told this was a story written by a middle schooler for a contest, then I'd say this is quite well done. But upon looking up the author, I had some other thoughts cross my mind about the prose...but since I'm not a
Damn you, George Mann! Zombies & steampunk in the same book, and he makes me like it. The man has some kind of infenal powers. The inaugural adventures of Sir Maurice Newbury and Veronica Hobbes is an excellent introduction to the series. A series of murders in Whitechapel may or may not have supernatural origins, so Newbury is called in to investigate. In the middle of this case, the Queen calls him to the scene of a mysterious airship crash which has taken the life of a Dutch cousin. Thing ...more
Steampunk is all the rage right now. And Mann did not leave me disappointed at all with his take on it. Introducing Newbury (the detective) and Miss Hobbes (his assistant), this book delves into a world where airships float gracefully through the sky, where zombies stalk the dark street corners, where automatons appear to the be the new frontier.

I loved this book. That is not an exaggeration in the least. Mann definitely knows what he's doing. He has great character development and the plot-line
⊱ Irena ⊰
I am not sure how to rate this book. I expected something like The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences, but those characters are stronger than Newbury and Victoria. Or at least I liked them more. And the pace is much slower. Nevertheless, it isn't a boring story. Far from it. Just a bit slower.
There are two cases which are not connected at first. I don't think it's a spoiler to say they are. The first: someone is killing poor people and there are rumours that it's a ghost of a murdered policema
Sometimes you read a book and quickly fall in love with the world it creates. This was one of those times.

Sir Maurice Newbury works for Queen Victoria to solve mysteries that have a supernatural link to them. With his new assistant Veronica Hobbes, here he is summoned to the site of an airship crash. This is a steampunk novel, set in a Victorian London where steam technology has advanced much further than it did in our history. Newbury and Hobbes also have to deal with a series of murders commi
Alex Jahnke
Just great! Some would call the book full of cliché, but that's what I want from a steampunk book: Murders in foggy streets, mad automatons, airships and fighting Gentlemen.
Written in a fast pace The Affinity Bridge was perfect entertainment. I'm really looking forward to more adventures of the two detectives.
Megan Baxter
The epilogue to this book almost caused me to bump this up to a four-star review. Almost. But given that the vast majority of it had me quite comfortably rating it as a 3, I'm going to stay with that. But the ending is just interesting enough to convince to to pick up another.

Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement. You can read why I came to this decision here.

In the meantime, you can read the entire review at Smorgasbook
Bill Tillman
A totally delightful tale of Victorian England, with the Jules Verne twist of steampunk. I found the sub plots a pure delight adding scope to the tale. A must read for steampunk, fantasy, and Sherlock Holmes lovers.
Good action packed mystery, reminiscent of Sherlock Holmes, but set in a steampunk version of the Victorian era. The story is not always very believable, but I had some fun with it.

3,5 stars.
Nomadic SA Chick's Book Reviews

Welcome to Victorian London, with a modern twist. While a series of grisly murders are happening all over the city, Sir Maurice Newbury and his new assistant, Veronica Hobbes investigate the strange and mysterious crashing of an airship.

This book took me forever to get through, and I'm questioning how much I really enjoy Steampunk. The last several books I've read in the genre seem to have left me disappointed, and The Affinity Bridge is no different.
Paul Weimer
The year is 1901.

A strange zombie plague threatens the low class areas of London. Zeppelins fill the skies, piloted by mechanical men. Queen Victoria, with medical help, is still on the British Throne. A mysterious, glowing policeman has been strangling people.

Welcome to the world of George Mann's The Affinity Bridge.

In this Victorian AH Steampunk world, meet Sir Maurice Newbury and his assistant Miss Veronica Hobbes. Agents of the Crown, its their job to deal with enemies and threats to Engla
Charlotte (Buried in Books)
My first foray into Steampunk was through The Parasol Protectorate and I love those books. The Affinity Bridge is the first in a series of books by George Mann and is an altogether more serious affair. In a way it takes itself far too seriously and would have benefited from a touch of humour (a la Gail Carriger).

Sir Maurice Newbury and Miss Veronica Hobbes, Investigators of the Crown - by day they work at the British Museum, by night (or when they feel like it) helping Scotland Yard with all man
CJ - So, you wanna play with magic?
Honestly, I really don't know how to review this book. This book for me was more along the lines of a 3.7 and that's because the action picked up somewhere after the 120 page mark.

The writing was a bit laborious to get through and the POV that George Mann decided to take was a bit of a headache. The characters, even with all of their backstory, seemed a bit 2-d and cardboard with the only really promise every thirty pages or so only to be bogged down by superfluous description.

I bought this book
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George Mann is an author and editor, primarily in genre fiction. He was born in Darlington, County Durham in 1978.
A former editor of Outland, Mann is the author of The Human Abstract, and more recently The Affinity Bridge and The Osiris Ritual in his Newbury and Hobbes detective series, set in an alternate Britain, and Ghosts of Manhattan, set in the same universe some decades later.
He wrote the T
More about George Mann...

Other Books in the Series

Newbury and Hobbes (5 books)
  • The Osiris Ritual (Newbury and Hobbes, #2)
  • The Immorality Engine (Newbury and Hobbes, #3)
  • The Executioner's Heart (Newbury and Hobbes, #4)
  • The Revenant Express (Newbury and Hobbes, #5)

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