- Series: A Burton & Swinburne Adventure (Book 4)
- Paperback: 395 pages
- Publisher: Pyr (July 9, 2013)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1616147776
- ISBN-13: 978-1616147778
- Product Dimensions: 6 x 1 x 9 inches
- Shipping Weight: 15.2 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 26 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #875,513 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Secret of Abdu El Yezdi: A Burton & Swinburne Adventure Paperback – July 9, 2013
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"Serious literary fun as Mark Hodder vaults to the front of the new steampunk writers pack. Elaborately researched and name-checked, The Secret of Abdu El Yezdi races Victorian explorer Sir Richard Burton through a diabolically baffling maze of historical possibilities - plus there's corsets and airships. Hard to imagine any lover of alternate British empires not being thoroughly amazed and entertained."
—K. W. Jeter, author of Infernal Devices and Fiendish Schemes
"Set in a universe that parallels the one depicted in the previous [Burton & Swinburne] trilogy, this outing leaves the door open for exploring a new dimension as Hodder develops more adventures. Steampunk aficionados and series fans should enjoy this."
About the Author
Mark Hodder is the author of A Red Sun Also Rises and the Burton & Swinburne novels The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack, The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man, and Expedition to the Mountains of the Moon. A former BBC writer, editor, journalist, and web producer, Mark left London, England, for Valencia, Spain, to de-stress and write novels. He has a degree in cultural studies and loves British history, good food, cutting-edge gadgets, Tom Waits, and a vast assortment of oddities. He's the creator and caretaker of the Blakiana website celebrating Sexton Blake, the most written-about fictional detective in English publishing history. Visit him at markhodder.blogspot.com, www.facebook.com/ burtonandswinburne, and on Twitter @TheDissuader.
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The year is 1859 and Richard Francis Burton, recovering from his trip to discover the source of the Nile, gets caught up in several mysterious events that seem very much to revolve around him. Several important technological figures have disappeared and several of Burton's close friends claim they have been visited by Abdu El Yezdi in their dreams and who has been pulling strings behind the scenes to make England a technologically advanced society. Familiar faces old and new appear at the most opportune times to help Burton as he comes face to face with the most menacing of foes. It is not long before Burton realizes all is not as it seems and becomes fully embroiled in events that will once again change the course of history whether he can stop the worst from happening or not.
The thing I love about reading a Burton & Swinburne adventure is the meticulousness of detail. Even the smallest bits of information may take on vast importance by the end of the story. Not only that, but the book is itself a contained collection of events that are still connected to the greater whole of the series. Every book thus far has added a delicious layer of intrigue and depth to the world Hodder has been building since the first outing (The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack). I would argue that in some way this latest offering is something akin to the first book in that we are at once forced to discover the characters and the setting in a new way, but not without totally losing all that has come before. It is for this reason, I believe, that we are actually treated (and I do mean treated for the man has a beguiling way with words) to a brief disclaimer at the start of the text. With just as much fun and adventure as fans expect from Hodder's star duo, The Secret of Abdu El Yezdi also gives even more to contemplate and consider. Another rollicking adventure by a tremendously gifted author.
Tipping his hat to classic literature, Hodder uses some familiar plot strains, but instead of weakening the overall book, it adds to it's soundness. As with the previous books, he has created an amazingly detailed alternate universe which is fully believable. Keeping the reader guessing as to how it will all tie together, the Secret of Adu el Yezdi is a fantastic addition to this series.
I'm glad I didn't.
Mark Hodder once again takes us on this wild tale of Burton and Swineburne. He manages at once to get us a little more lost, a little more confused, and yet still answers some of the questions we've had throughout the series.
Things get more chaotic however, as Sir Richard Francis Burton is once again faced with the fallout of Spring Heeled Jack's appearance and then death. This time the answers aren't as easily gotten and perhaps Sir Richard just should have left well enough alone the first go.
Time is all kinds of screwed up and I can't wait to see what happens next.
I have greatly enjoyed the Barton and Swinbourne series. Incredibly imaginative. Very well written. Excellent pacing. I voted only 4 stars because this suffers a bit from the same issues as the third volume: confusion. Without giving anything away, the novel will throw the reader for a loop initially. However, once on course, it is a wild ride (as you would expect)
I also take issue with some of the loose threads that hang out in the narrative. Again I shall let you find them yourselves instead of spoiling anything.
You could read any of these novels individually and they would stand alone but the whole series are worth the read.
I'm wondering now if Hodder will continue on with this series and if so where he'll take it from here.
I really hope that he does.
One of my favorite things about Hodder as an author is that he brings a fresh perspective to old things both within his stories and in his storytelling itself. He has an interesting take on the genre without the feeling that he's trying to do so. Quite refreshing! It is almost like he's the first author to rewrite history or grip with the intricacies of time.
Four books into the series, and I find myself greatly awaiting the next!