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Lord Kelvin's Machine (Narbondo, #3)
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Lord Kelvin's Machine

(Narbondo #3)

3.47  ·  Rating details ·  392 ratings  ·  32 reviews
Determined to avert the doom of his beloved wife, scientist and detective Langdon St. Ives sees his only hope for doing so in Lord Kelvin's time machine, but the diabolical Dr. Ignacio Narbondo has other plans for the invention. Reprint. AB.
Paperback, 244 pages
Published August 1st 1992 by Ace (first published 1992)
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Average rating 3.47  · 
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 ·  392 ratings  ·  32 reviews

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Dec 13, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: fantasy, memory
At first I tried to tell myself it was just me. I was reading under adverse conditions -- on a ferry, going to meet a friend I knew was upset, tired from work -- I probably just missed something. You know, that little explanation or aside that would make the action comprehensible. I went back and reread the first chapter. Nope, still didn't make sense. Well, you know, there are those authors who like to throw you into the story en medias res and then give you the backstory as they go along. That ...more
Jayaprakash Satyamurthy
Episodic and disjointed. I'll give this novel some benefit of doubt because it's actually a sequel to a previous Blaylock novel, Homunculus. I hope the earlier novel does a better job of establishing the characters, because a sense of characterisation is entirely absent here. Instead we are thrown headlong into three loosely connected Victorian-era science fantasy/adventure tales written in a rather weak attempt at period prose, including a middle section that is narrated in first person by one ...more
Dec 17, 2008 rated it did not like it
Shelves: science-fantasy
I found an old copy of this at a book sale. This is a sequel to another book I can never find called "Homunculus."

I can't put my finger on it, but for some reason I'm attracted by steampunk. I like the ideas of anachronistic technology, and Victorian romanticism, I guess. However, I've never found a good steampunk adventure story, ever. (Although Moorcock's "Nomad of Time Trilogy" isn't that bad).

There are interesting concepts in this book, but Blaylock's writing is so awful, I'm not sure how he
Kat  Hooper
Nov 09, 2014 rated it liked it
Shelves: audiobook
3.5 stars. Originally posted at Fantasy Literature.

James P. Blaylock returns to Victorian England in another steampunk adventure with scientist Langdon St. Ives and his nemesis, Dr. Ignacio Narbondo. Lord Kelvin’s Machine contains three related stories which each feature a fictional infernal device created by inventor Lord Kelvin. I listened to the excellent audio version which was produced by Audible Studios, is just over 8 hours long, and is narrated by
Mar 10, 2010 rated it it was ok
Shelves: sci-fi, steampunk
The tagline for this book -- "do unto others before they do unto you... with a time machine!" -- should really have given me some warning as to the quality, but I was too excited by the title to notice. Langdon St. Ives is a scientist to wants to get hold of the titular machine before the dastardly Ignacio Narbondo to save his wife.

Written in a faux-Victorian style, and set in the 19th century, this book completely failed to interest me. It was okay, but the style wasn't authentic enough to feel
Apr 11, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: abandoned
I read a good third of this book before abandoning it - I'd thought it was a time travel book. Thought it was quite sluggish, and I didn't really care what happened to the characters. Definitely time to give up, if you're not involved that far in to a book.
David Schwan
OK novel, but gets a bit tedious in places. This book gives a great deal of backstory to the villain Narbondo. The book is really three stories all connected by a common theme--Lord Kelvin's Machine. The machine was built to save the world from disaster and shows up in various guises throughout the three stories.
Jun 29, 2008 rated it it was ok
Just the kind of time travel book I don't like. Took far too long to get to anything truly interesting, and then just confused and not-clever-enough-by-half about the inevitable paradox-foo.

I was warned that aside from those specifically recommended, this author's books were inconsistent at best. This one is not specifically recommended.
Apr 03, 2011 rated it liked it
Strangely disjoined but generally enjoyable, this is James Blaylock on cruise control. I suspect he wrote this one in a hurry.
Jeff Waltersdorf
May 24, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Rollicking steampunk adventure! Gentleman scientist and adventurer Langdon St. Ives and his stalwart companions attempt to foil the nefarious machinations of the evil Dr. Ignacio Narbondo. They must sabotage the fantastical machine of Lord Kelvin, who used the secret equations of James Clerk Maxwell to build a machine that could harness the powers of magnetism.

I'm not usually one to jump into the middle of a series, but I haven't been able to lay my hands on the first two volumes yet, and I keep
Marc Ruvolo
May 09, 2017 rated it liked it
Quick and entertaining read. Not as wonderful The Last Coin, or All the Bells on Earth, but still good fun.
 Reading Reindeer
Reviewing for Hearts on Fire Reviews;

I found this entry in James Blaylock’s Langdon St. Eves series, set in Victorian London and throughout England, and seriously Steampunk, to be much more gritty than either “Homunculus” or “The Aylesford Skull.” Now granted, in the latter, the evil mastermind hunchback Ignatius Narbondo did kidnap St. Ives’ son; but still, St. Ives maintained his composure for much (if certainly not all) of the time, and so did the reader. In “Lord Kelvin’s Machine,” Narbondo
Monique Snyman
Lord Kelvin’s Machine by James P. Blaylock was originally published in 1992 and now republished by Titan Books, so let me just point out one thing… Look at that fantastic cover! Funny enough, even though it’s a modernised cover, it kind of fits the book perfectly. Okay, but enough about the look, let’s talk about the book. Once again we have Professor Langdon St. Ives battling against the bad doctor and this time there are a lot more at stake. Gripping, this book is a little different to Homuncu ...more
Steve Chaput
Aug 07, 2012 rated it liked it
I have to admit that 'steam punk' is not my thing, but I have to acknowledge a good writer and a good book. This novel introduces James P. Blaylock's hero, Professor Langdon St. Ives, as well as his nemesis Dr. Ignacio Narbondo, in a literal race against time. Having lost his love at the hand of Narbondo, St. Ives and his companions seek to change the past to rescue her from her fate.

As is typical in this genre, we see here an alternate world where many of the technological and scientific discov
Fantasy Literature
Jul 13, 2013 rated it liked it
James P. Blaylock returns to Victorian England in another steampunk adventure with scientist Langdon St. Ives and his nemesis, Dr. Ignacio Narbondo. Lord Kelvin’s Machine contains three related stories which each feature a fictional infernal device created by inventor Lord Kelvin. I listened to the excellent audio version which was produced by Audible Studios, is just over 8 hours long, and is narrated by Nigel Carrington.

In the prologue of Lord Kelvin’s Machine, Dr. Narbondo murders Langdon St.
Ben. Newland
Aug 11, 2010 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2010-reads
I read this as part of my immersion course in steampunk. It's really a collection of three novellas featuring the same main characters. I enjoyed them all, but particularly liked the middle one which is written in the first person of a servant of the main character. The third story has a neat time travel sketch, well done, and depicts the main character loosing his mind pretty convincingly. Solidly in the 19th century British mode of steampunk with only minor departures from history into odd sci ...more
Garry Geer
Oct 17, 2014 rated it really liked it
This is one of the first, if not the first Steampunk novel. The characters themselves are not terribly well-developed but the era, the situations, and the impact of the technology itself is.
Blaylock approaches time travel in a finally nuanced, layered approach that touches the heart of what it means to try to change the past.

Dec 18, 2016 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Somewhat entertaining, but I have no great desire to read further in the series. The characters are paper thin- the villains have a bit more substance but more from an accumulation of grotesque tics than any real character or motivation. When St Ives watches his wife Alice get shot in the head I can't say I care much because I've never met her and know nothing about her.
Oct 15, 2013 rated it really liked it
I liked this one but I got a little less emotionally attached to the hero, since it wasn't from his point of view this time. Therefore, it was a little more confusing but I think it was supposed to be. If it were from the hero's point of view, we wouldn't have as much suspense.
Sep 10, 2010 marked it as to-read
Shelves: sf-fantasy
*note to self. Copy from A.
Feb 25, 2016 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Beautifully done. The time travel was well-explained and realistic. The only problem I had with the book was that some plot points seemed really unnecessary and a lot like fillers for more pages...
Jan 10, 2009 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: science-fiction
Almost a Conan Doyle Pastiche but not well handled. Some nice ideas though.
Bruno Silva
Dec 24, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: sf
Boa leitura um pouco exagerada por vezes, sobre a busca incessante de um homem em descobrir o propósito de uma máquina e conseguir salvar a sua amada.
Jul 24, 2013 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Nope not for me. steampunk: Yes. interesting and well written: no.
Feb 16, 2012 rated it liked it
Liked this somewhat more than author's Homunculus.
Dec 22, 2015 rated it liked it
Not bad, it took a few chapters for this book to pick up the pace. I think it was a bit better then Homonuclus, maybe because it wasn't so weird.
Michael Antoniewicz
rated it really liked it
Jun 14, 2019
rated it liked it
Jul 28, 2008
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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)
  • 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)
  • Beneath London (Narbondo, #9)
  • River's Edge (Narbondo, #10)
  • The Gobblin' Society  (Narbondo, #11)

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