Shelley's Reviews > The Iron Wyrm Affair

The Iron Wyrm Affair by Lilith Saintcrow
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's review
Oct 20, 2011

liked it
bookshelves: 2012-releases, new-series, publishers-arc
Read from July 31 to August 04, 2012

*Genre* Alternative History, Steampunk, Urban Fantasy
*Rating* 3.0

*First Thoughts*

The Iron Wyrm Affair is the first book in a new series called Bannon and Clare. Emma Bannon is a forensic (Prima) sorceress who is employed by the crown of Britannia to look into nefarious activities and protect the Queen from anyone that attempts to harm her or the country in any way. Dr. Archibald Clare is an unregistered Mentath, or one who is used to using his brain to calculate all sorts of equations and try to guess their ultimate outcome.

Bannon and Clare are tasked by the crown, after Bannon rescues Clare from attackers, to find out why so many Mentath's have been killed off, and their bodies mutilated. It also seems that there are those who want nothing more than to bring about the absolute destruction of Britannia by unleashing forces of evil, including dragons, against the crown.

I would say that this story is a cross between Sherlock Holmes, Steampunk, and Alternative History with a little mystery tossed in to keep readers interested in the story. I would also say that I'm reserving judgment towards this series after having read this authors Dante Valentine series and found it kind of amusing and depressing when it went in so many different directions.

Saintcrow has a tendency of writing bizarre and often strange settings that leaves readers scratching their heads trying to figure out what she is talking about. If you've read her YA series, and read my reviews, you know that I was totally appalled at the way that series ended with little or no answers given to readers of the series.

This story is supposedly set during the time of Queen Victrix and most of the story takes place in the city of Londinium. The story is told in an alternating POV by chapters. I really had a complaint against the whole alternating POV's that Saintcrow uses. You get to the point where Bannon is fighting for her life, only to be taken to Clare's point of view in a totally different setting. We don't get to see what happens to Bannon when she's fighting for her life. We only knows that she wears tons of jewelry that keeps her dark powers. We also know that she goes through a ton of dresses in her battles against the evil that intends to destroy Victrix.

There is also a back story that isn't fully explained that left me perplexed and wanting more information. If you are going to use a background story, the least you could do is fully explain the reason behind it, and why there is so much unease between Bannon and her shield protector Mikal.

If you are looking for a romantic connection between Emma Bannon and Dr. Archibald Clare, don't bother. They are from two different worlds, and Clare isn't the kind of male character that is going to blurber his way through any sort of relationship with someone as powerful and set in her ways as Bannon is. There is an undertow between Bannon and another character that I won't spoil.

In the end, this story is actually interesting once you get passed the world building and the build up to the reason behind all the Mentath's being killed off. You also get a very unique and extraordinary character in Emma Bannon who doesn't take crap from anyone. Her powers are actually pretty amazing, whereas Clare isn't a push over when it comes to getting his hands dirty and protecting the crown.

Next in series: The Red Plague Affair releases TBA.

Expected publication: August 7th 2012 by Orbit - Thank you Orbit for providing me a hard copy of this book in lieu of an honest review.
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Reading Progress

08/03/2012 page 52
16.1% "Chapter 8"
08/03/2012 page 100
30.96% "Chapter 15"
08/04/2012 page 202
62.54% "Chapter 27"
12/25/2016 marked as: read

Comments (showing 1-12 of 12) (12 new)

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message 1: by AH (new) - rated it 2 stars

AH How are you finding it? I tried to get into it and got about halfway and set it aside.

Shelley I'm actually just thinking about starting it. I probably will attempt to write (2) reviews first.

message 3: by AH (new) - rated it 2 stars

AH I'm at about page 180 or so and I am seriously thinking of DNF-ing it. A lot of clever dialogue, some intrigue, a few neat contraptions, but nothing much happens.

Shelley I haven't DNF'd a book yet, and really don't want to start now. Just trying to get as many books read as I can before I restart school next month.

message 5: by AH (new) - rated it 2 stars

AH I'm taking a short break. I found a YA book that's a fast read.

Shelley I just read Obsidian and Onyx back to back. I'm thinking I need a break from the YA for a day, or two.

message 7: by AH (new) - rated it 2 stars

AH You liked it more than I did. I really thought I wouldn't finish it and I love steampunk. I'm glad I got to the end, it really picked up when the mechanical spider thing started wreaking havoc. I see you were scratching your head too.

Shelley I was scratching my head more than a cat with fleas! LOL.

Cat Russell  (Addicted2Heroines) I'm surprised I've made it to pg 100 so far. I wonder why the author chose not to explain the majority of the terms she is using?
I'm having a giveaway for this, but now that I've started reading it I want to apologize and take the giveaway down LOL!

message 10: by AH (new) - rated it 2 stars

AH Cat, I had to put it down and read something else. I did pick it up again, skimmed about 100 pages then the last 100 pages or so are exciting if you can make it that far.

Shelley Cat, you're absolutely right! In the Dante Valetine series, I think she had a glossary telling what was what. I wonder if it was edited out, or she just choose to leave it out?

message 12: by AH (new) - rated it 2 stars

AH She did have a glossary of classes of sorcerers and the author Q &A at the end of the book explained some more stuff. Maybe the world she created was a little too ambitious?

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