Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Book Review and Giveaway: THE AYLESFORD SKULL

Author: James P. Blaylock
Publisher: Titan Books
Pub Date: January 15, 2013

It is the summer of 1883 and Professor Langdon St. Ives - brilliant but eccentric scientist and explorer - is at home in Aylesford with his family. However, a few miles to the north a steam launch has been taken by pirates above Egypt Bay; the crew murdered and pitched overboard. In Aylesford itself a grave is opened and possibly robbed of the skull. The suspected grave robber, the infamous Dr. Ignacio Narbondo, is an old nemesis of Langdon St. Ives.

When Dr. Narbondo returns to kidnap his four-year-old son Eddie and then vanishes into the night, St. Ives and his factotum Hasbro race to London in pursuit...

The first new steampunk novel in over twenty years from one of the genre's founding fathers!
(summary from Goodreads)

Though I haven't read any of Blaylock's previous Langdon St. Ives novels, I didn't find it a problem getting into this one. What really drew me in was St. Ives' evil nemesis, Dr. Ignacio Narbondo, who plans to get revenge on St. Ives by kidnaping his son. He is a fascinatingly twisted character. 

I also loved the character of St. Ives' wife Alice. She was a no-nonsense, practical woman who knew what she wanted and didn't let anything stand in her way.

The story reminded me of Sherlock Holmes with a dash of ghosts, necromancy, and airships. At times, I felt like it dragged by following too many characters, but the adventure and snappy ending made up for it. All in all, a pleasant read.

Want to win a copy of The Aylesford Skull? Well you're in luck, because I've got an extra one! Leave me a note in the comments and I will enter you to win it. I'll pick the winner on Friday, March 29. And sorry, my pals overseas, only people from Canada or the U.S. are eligible.

Happy Wednesday, friends!


  1. i love steampunk! and the bad dr sounds delightfully dastardly!
    ps, glad to see italian job in your movie list. another great flick!

  2. I'd be game to win this. My daughter is really into steampunk as well, so we could share. :)

  3. Steampunk is awesome and this sounds like a great book :)