Once I realized this was really a detective/thriller with the brass parts shined up, I enjoyed The Affinity Bridge more than I had been. There was alm...moreOnce I realized this was really a detective/thriller with the brass parts shined up, I enjoyed The Affinity Bridge more than I had been. There was almost no supernatural element to this story, and what little there was was referred to in exposition.
What I liked:
The opening scene in India was done well.
I thought some of the characters' emotional calculus was interesting, especially Newbury's addiction problems. The romantic tension seemed predictable, although the reveal in the final pages promised a more complex relationship to come.
What didn't work for me:
In terms of setting, some of the technical aspects of dirigibles, wind-up automatons, and biology were wrong enough to throw me out of the story in a few places; the characters used modern, anachronistic dialog and seemed much of the time to be modern people dressed up in Victorian clothes. The cultural issues of class and gender seemed greatly flattened; and I was curious about the cultural differences between the historical Queen Victoria and the one presented in this book.
I wished Mr. Mann had spent more time with details when the characters weren't fighting biological horrors.
It seemed that there were two or three places where the good guys and the villains made stupid decisions in order to keep the plot going.
Finally, the edition that I read had three or four unfortunate copy-editing mistakes that seemed to reverse what the author really wanted to write.
This was kind of like a science-lite Girl Genius, kind of like The Avengers, and kind of like a Cyberman episode of Dr. Who rolled up into one and given a Watson and Holmes veneer. If you want a thriller with horror and light romance elements to read at the beach and don't mind a Steampunk-ish setting, chose this book. (less)
I wish Just My Type was more about the typefaces and less about their creators. I want to know what went into the typefaces' designs, I don't need to know about the designers' sex-lives.
I wish the book had been a little more linear in its history, as it seemed to jump around -- this made it hard to follow the development of the typefaces.
It was too bad that the examples of type face given were in black and white -- the sample that had originally excited me was in color. It's ironic that the web provided a better example of good typeface design than a printed book.
I enjoyed this reference very much. I picked it up thinking it would focus only on Egypt and the Near East and was pleasantly surprised to find it als...moreI enjoyed this reference very much. I picked it up thinking it would focus only on Egypt and the Near East and was pleasantly surprised to find it also covered the Americas, Asia and Northern Europe. I did find one printing error, but otherwise the articles were informative without being overwhelming. They made good use of maps and pictures of artifacts to give an introductory taste of the civilizations being surveyed. A good starting point for further reading.(less)