Series: Bannon & Clare #3
Published by Orbit on May 1, 2013
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The service of Britannia is not for the faint of heart--or conscience...
Emma Bannon, Sorceress Prime in service to Queen Victrix, has a mission: to find the doctor who has created a powerful new weapon. Her friend, the mentath Archibald Clare, is only too happy to help. It will distract him from pursuing his nemesis, and besides, Clare is not as young as he used to be. A spot of Miss Bannon's excellent hospitality and her diverting company may be just what he needs.
Unfortunately, their quarry is a fanatic, and his poisonous discovery is just as dangerous to Britannia as to Her enemies. Now a single man has set Londinium ablaze, and Clare finds himself in the middle of distressing excitement, racing against time and theory to find a cure. Miss Bannon, of course, has troubles of her own, for the Queen's Consort Alberich is ill, and Her Majesty unhappy with Bannon's loyal service. And there is stillno reliable way to find a hansom when one needs it most...
The game is afoot. And the Red Plague rises.
The Red Plague Affair is the third in the Bannon and Clare series, and it picks up some time after the first book. Usually sequels tend to pick up right after the previous one left off, but in this case each book is an individual “case” so the gap between the two is just fine.
Emma Bannon, a sorceress prime, has been given a task by Queen Victrix: she is to find the doctor who has created a new weapon. Archibald Clare is recruited to help her again, and while he’s focused on finding his arch-nemesis that works out in their favour. After all, he has an idea of what is going on and has some valuable insights to offer.
I’m a huge fan of the steampunk genre, and I will cheerfully read anything set in a Victorian time (especially when you combine the two) so this series is one that I really do enjoy a lot. Unfortunately, this book just wasn’t as good as the first was for me. They find the weapon, which is a disease being spread through the air, and Clare and friends get ill. But by “friends” I don’t mean Bannon and her people–they are safe due to the heart that Bannon carries within her. Even the Queen’s consort becomes ill. Clare and his nemesis race to find a cure before the disease kills them as well and it almost succeeds.
Actually, it would have if it wasn’t for Bannon stepping in. And this is where I have issues. She saves him far too easily and without any repercussions so far. Maybe in the next book this will change, but for now it’s too easy and too rushed. The nemesis escapes with the cure leaving nothing for Clare, and while the information on how to create more is there it’s still not enough.
But, you know what? It’s still a fun book to read, and the way it ties in with Sherlock and murder mysteries, the steampunk and the Victorian element all come together to create a fantastically fun book that is vastly entertaining.