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Beneath London

(Narbondo #9)

3.74  ·  Rating details ·  141 ratings  ·  25 reviews
The collapse of the Victoria Embankment uncovers a passage to an unknown realm beneath the city. Langdon St. Ives sets out to explore it, not knowing that a brilliant and wealthy psychopathic murderer is working to keep the underworld’s secrets hidden for reasons of his own. 

St. Ives and his stalwart friends investigate a string of ghastly crimes: the gruesome death of a w
Paperback, 432 pages
Published June 9th 2015 by Titan Books (first published May 5th 2015)
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Seregil of Rhiminee
Jun 08, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Originally published at Risingshadow.

James P. Blaylock's Beneath London is a charmingly old-fashioned adventure story about Langdon St. Ives and his adventures. It's part of the Langdon St. Ives series of novels and stories about a scientist and explorer called Langdon St. Ives and his friends and nemeses.

Before I write more about this novel and its contents, I'll mention that I'm a bit ashamed to admit that Beneath London is the first novel that I've ever read by James P. Blaylock. I've been aw
Jul 15, 2015 rated it it was amazing
originally posted at:

What better way to kick off the story with focusing on a dark and mysterious setting? In the prologue a mysterious person is revealed in a dark and damp place with terrifying green eyes. When I think back to the old horror movies this is often how they started, this introduction directly set my moods right. After this introduction you learn that there has been an unexplainable collapse on the Victoria Embankment which has "paved" the
Jun 17, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This was a little less hokey than his past novels, though I enjoyed those immensely too. Lots of adventure and suspense. Violent, but not directly violent, though I don't want to explain what this means so that I don't give away spoilers. I guess I would say violence occurred quite a bit but you either only saw the aftermath or it wasn't described in detail. I felt like this book went forwards quite a bit in really developing the characters. ...more
Violette Malan
Apr 27, 2016 rated it it was amazing
A thoroughly lovely book, subtle yet captivating. One of the things I enjoyed most was how closely Blaylock recreates the tone, syntax and general flavour of a Victorian novel. You'd be ready to bet it was written at least 100 years ago. ...more
Trish Graboske
Jul 29, 2015 rated it really liked it
James Blaylock has read his Sherlock Holmes and his P.G. Wodehouse, among others, and I like his writing style. This is another horror cozy in the Langdon St. Ives series.
Jul 04, 2018 rated it it was ok
"Beneath London" is rather a bland title, but then, by James P. Blaylock's standards, the novel is a dull effort. Not bad, mind you — just ordinary.

I'm a big fan of Blaylock, who was coming off a very fine novel in "The Aylesford Skull," an unexpected third Langdon St. Ives novel after a long gap. Blaylock, considered one of the founding fathers of steampunk, had sprinkled in a number of St. Ives novellas in very pricey collections, in recent years. Somebody must have wanted to strike while the
Blodeuedd Finland
Jun 15, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: steampunk
I did assume it would take place more beneath London, I mean that is the name of the book. But it mostly took place above ground. Which sort of was a shame, cos the underworld seems really strange with toadstools that eat people.

Steampunk wise, yes it was an alternative Victorian England, but it was more gadgetwise it was steampunk. A few here and there, and witches too, oh and those weird toadstools.

It is a series, but I thought it worked well in its own. Sure there was talk about other charact
Robert Harkess
Jul 15, 2016 rated it it was ok
I consumed this as an audiobook.
I'll start by applauding the author for getting the dialect/dialog of the characters so obviously orrect for the period, but have to say at time is felt as though the author's research was a little 'in our face'.
Secondly, very nearly deleted the book twice, absolutely infuriated by the abject stupidity of the characters. Never, even in Scooby Doo, or the worst b-movie horror, have I seen so many supposedly highly intelligent people make such absurdly bad decisions
Octavia Cade
Jun 27, 2016 rated it liked it
Shelves: steampunk
This is the first book I've read in this series, so I'm quite sure I'm not getting all the subtleties of it, but it was an easy, enjoyable read. Rather too stuffed full with characters, perhaps, in that they were all rather thinly drawn. It says on the cover "A Tale of Langdon St. Ives" and I must say he was the most cipher-like of the lot, nearly entirely devoid of personality.

That being said, there were some lovely creepy images in here, the severed heads being kept alive by fungi the chief o
Kat  Hooper
Nov 09, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
review coming soon at ...more
Oct 05, 2017 rated it liked it
Good adventure, but there are so many characters and they divide into so many parties that it's very confusing to keep track of who and where everyone is. ...more
Sep 27, 2019 rated it liked it
A decent story, not sure what was steampunk about it though. Where it didn’t work was with the characters. I can only imagine that they are introduced and fleshed out in earlier works, because here they are just names. Aside from the hero and his cohort, there seemed to be dozens of villainous characters who were just indistinguishable ‘baddies’.
Dave Butler
Mar 11, 2017 rated it really liked it
An enjoyable romp through and beneath London with the usual colorful cast of characters and some steampunky props.
Rebecca Stevenson
I just could not get into this.
Jun 18, 2015 rated it really liked it
Last week I found myself stuck betwixt the horns of the trickiest dilemma.

I really, REALLY, don’t like jumping into a series on the third or fourth book. I’m always worried that I will miss out on the subtle nuances of the characters, and in doing so, I will fail the author. I’m constantly concerned that any review I write will ultimately be a dis-service to the contents of said novel. I have politely declined requests whenever I spotted that the book in question was part of an on-going series i
Feb 04, 2016 rated it really liked it
Shelves: steampunk-read
If you wanted to concoct the perfect recipe for a fun Steampunk fantasy Adventure, then James P. Blaylock is definitely the chef you need. The list of ingredients is astounding and probably the most eclectic I have seen in a while. This book is a brilliant collection of everything that could possibly appeal to a steampunk fiction enthusiast, hollow earth themes, supernatural elements, gothic horror influences, murder, mystery, science, mad professors, nefarious schemes, swash buckling heroes, d ...more
Patrick Hayes
Jul 31, 2015 rated it liked it
I was sent a copy of this book to review for a website. I'm a big fan of the Steampunk genre and have been desperately looking for a good book in that genre. I was very happy to see that this was written by one of the writers credited with creating the genre.

The first third of the novel sets up the characters, their relationships, and the conflicts. This was very tedious to read. There's more description in this portion than there is action. I'm not keen on this type of writing, but this is typi
Lissa Notreallywolf
Mar 25, 2016 rated it liked it
Part of this book feel familiar, cave in of a London church which drag people into subterranean worlds. Stroud, or Gaiman perhaps? Regardless, the characters are delightful and I cared about their fates, as is typical of Blaylock's work. He's often somewhat sentimental, because his characters have strong bonds between them, which seem rational. I was a little surprised to find that Clara had never spoken to Finn before her abduction, midbook. It made me wonder why he loved her and then I remembe ...more
Colin Mitchell
Aug 06, 2015 rated it liked it
Langdon St Ives and his wife Alice and friends pursue the evil Klingheimer underground beneath Victorian London. Klingheimer and Dr Peavy have been conducting experiments on the unfortunates of an asylum and threaten Langdon. A good tale of the Steam Punk genre. My big gripe is that the edition I read was published and printed in England but they had failed to correct the American spelling Gray, color, honor etc.
Sep 03, 2015 rated it liked it
Blaylock is such an oddball writer, I like reading his stuff but for most of this series he's so far off the rails that it feels like a broken roller coaster. This one's a bit more centered but does include the horror trope, let's split up, what can go wrong? Nice mixture of chthonic organic horror and offbeat 1800's tech. It can be read as a standalone. ...more
Jun 09, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: science-fiction
Continuing from where The Aylesford Skull left off, Langdon St. Ives and gang thwart an evil man that is using a London hospital as a front for experiments with life-extending vampiric fungi discovered deep beneath London. Blaylock is at the top of his form here, with excellent prose, memorable characters, and a thrilling plot. Lots of fun, in a gruesome way.
Caroline Ingvaldsen
Jul 07, 2015 rated it really liked it
Latest in the adventures of Langdon St. Ives, Victorian adventurer and explorer of the paranormal, a grisly and grotesque tale leavened with intriguing plot and likable characters.
Ruth Feathers
Dec 05, 2015 rated it really liked it
Weird. But that's why I like Blaylock's version of London. ...more
Mar 06, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Blaylock comes through once again and delivers another fast paced and suspense filled steam punk tale featuring his protagonist, Langdon St. Ives. Very well done!
Barry Hill
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Jul 30, 2015
Katie W
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Nov 09, 2016
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Jul 03, 2017
rated it it was amazing
Jan 09, 2017
betty Chandler
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Feb 17, 2020
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James Paul Blaylock is an American fantasy author. He is noted for his distinctive style. He writes in a humorous way: His characters never walk, they clump along, or when someone complains (in a flying machine) that flight is impossible, the other characters agree and show him why he's right.

He was born in Long Beach, California; studied English at California State University, Fullerton, receivin

Other books in the series

Narbondo (1 - 10 of 11 books)
  • The Digging Leviathan (Narbondo, #1)
  • Homunculus (Narbondo, #2)
  • Lord Kelvin's Machine (Narbondo, #3)
  • The Ebb Tide (Narbondo, #4)
  • The Affair of the Chalk Cliffs (Narbondo, #5)
  • Zeuglodon (Narbondo, #6)
  • The Aylesford Skull (Narbondo, #7)
  • The Adventure of the Ring of Stones (Narbondo, #8)
  • River's Edge (Narbondo, #10)
  • The Gobblin' Society  (Narbondo, #11)

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