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The Affinity Bridge (Newbury and Hobbes #1)

3.56  ·  Rating Details ·  4,931 Ratings  ·  668 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)
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Megan Baxter
Aug 29, 2013 Megan Baxter rated it liked it
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Note: The rest of this review has been withdrawn due to the changes in Goodreads policy and enforcement.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
Dan Schwent
Jul 06, 2009 Dan Schwent rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: steampunk
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
Jan 12, 2010 Amanda rated it it was ok
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Tim Hicks
Jun 11, 2012 Tim Hicks rated it it was ok
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
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
Aug 06, 2009 Jeffrey rated it really liked it  ·  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
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 convivial curmudgeon
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
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
Oct 03, 2013 Al rated it did not like it
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
Dec 23, 2014 Stacia rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: europe, 2015
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.
Jun 07, 2012 Lee rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: fiction
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
Aug 21, 2008 edifanob rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: my-books, 2009-reads
"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
Tim Chaplin
Feb 06, 2011 Tim Chaplin rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
May 11, 2010 David rated it really liked it
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
Aug 03, 2010 Katie rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2010, historical, 2000s
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
Jul 02, 2013 Ian rated it it was ok
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
Aug 30, 2012 Christine rated it it was ok
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
Aug 02, 2011 Peggy rated it really liked it
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
Oct 02, 2010 Grace rated it it was amazing
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
ᴥ Irena ᴥ
At first I thought I liked it less because I was comparing it to The Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences series, which is definitely not fair. After reading the four books published by the time I am writing this (second take), I now know this series is way darker, albeit slower in the beginning. So, I wasn't sure how to rate it at first.

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
Alex Jahnke
Jan 16, 2009 Alex Jahnke rated it it was amazing
Shelves: steampunk
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.
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.
Nov 09, 2014 Bart rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: 2014-read
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.
This British sci-fi tale invites you to visit a Victorian London that would baffle and astonish Sherlock Holmes. In this Jules Verne�worthy realm, Queen's agent Sir Maurice Newbury and his fetching assistant, Miss Veronica Hobbes, are charged with thwarting miscreants who use science and the supernatural to achieve their ends. In The Affinity Bridge, Newbury and Hobbes must confront mysteries involving a crashed airship, a missing automaton pilot, a glowing serial killer, and a zombie pla
Gav Reads
Nov 23, 2012 Gav Reads rated it really liked it
There are a few things going on with The Affinity Bridge. It’s a page-turner, a detective story, it features Queen Victoria, it has spies, and it’s steampunk to name but a few of them. It’s quite a pot that George Mann is throwing ideas into.

It could be a mess and a bad pastiche of steampunk-Colan-Doyle-style as it does draw heavily from the idea of gentlemen detectives and the troubles of the upper-classes. But Mann has made it work. I was totally absorbed into his creation.

Simply he’s put his
CJ - It's only a Paper Moon
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
Oct 03, 2015 Dan rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: zombies
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
May 22, 2012 Tony rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: novels
This first entry in a steampunk mystery series introduces the dynamic (and sure to become romantic) duo of Sir Maurice Newbury and Miss Veronica Hobbes. The former is a well-traveled special agent of Queen Victoria (who is being kept alive by a sinister steampunky medical contraption) with a specialization in the occult, and a cover career as anthropologist at the British Museum. The latter is his fetching new assistant, who has very modern sensibilities about the capabilities of her gender, and ...more
Nov 02, 2009 Josh rated it it was ok
Shelves: fiction
I Picked up The Affinity Bridge by George Mann because I was looking for a fun steampunk adventure, and that's exactly what it is. The novel follows the adventures of Sir Maurice Newbury and his assistant Miss Veronica Hobbes. The novel begins in medias res. Newbury is helping his friend, Sir Charles Bainbridge Chief Inspector of Scotland Yard, investigate a series of murders that seem to have been committed by a ghostly policeman. He's also getting adjusted to working with his new assistant, Ho ...more
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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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“The sun was a watery, baleful eye that glared down at the Thames through a bruised eyelid of rain clouds” 2 likes
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