The first of Mann's "Neo-Victorian" steampunk series, The Affinity Bridge was a mostly fun, mostly enjoyable read. It certainly a very read fast for me - the pace is breakneck throughout the story and it is a fairly simply told novel. Thus, the pages and mysteries fly by with ease and I was quickly caught up in the steam-powered world of Sir Maurice Newbury, a supposed academic, and his indomitable assistant Miss Veronica Hobbes. Told in the brisk, dry typically British tone one would expect, the atmosphere of the novel is appropriate and accurate - though skewed to fit a steam-powered society at the turn of the century. Tellingly, Queen Victoria herself, the symbol of the Empire, is entwined with steam machines, utterly dependent upon them for air, unable to live without them. The Affinity Bridge also reads just as if the reader had dropped into Newbury's Museum office one day; mentions of past missions and dangers are referenced numerous times throughout the pages. Such mysterious unexplained statements reinforce the idea of Sir Maurice as a dab hand at espionage, and also subtly allude to the his hidden status as Crown Investigator.The rest is here, so click here to read it!