Jane's Reviews > The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack

The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack by Mark Hodder
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Jan 30, 12

Read from January 26 to 29, 2012

I'm not very familiar with the fantasy genre. I have recently plowed through a lot of Terry Pratchett and, of course, have read LOTR. So I was pleasantly surprised at finding another story I enjoyed very much from that genre. The first in a trilogy (the other 2 are on hold at my library as we speak) about Sir Richard Burton and Algernon Swinburne in an alternate London to the one we always thought we knew. It's 1840 and Queen Victoria has been assassinated and from there we are plunged into a London wallowing in squalor (Hodder's descriptions are sometimes extremely disgusting). There are flying machines, parakeets who deliver messages in their own abusive way, werewolves abducting young chimney sweeps, and a cast of 1000's. We meet an entirely unrecognizable Darwin, an associate of Burtons - John Henry Speke, Florence Nightingale as we've never imagained her and Oscar Wilde - a very eloquent and erudite newspaper boy. And Spring Heeled Jack attacking young girls and warning Burton not to get involved but Burton has no idea what Jack is talking about. Great fun - a little graphic but still fun. Consider being asked when buying a train ticket whether you want traditional or atmospheric ---
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