You may remember my review of Gideon Smith’s first adventure and maybe even recall that I finished it by looking forward hopefully to future books – well, here is the next one at last. And it is as rollicking a ride as the first (thank goodness)!
As the first book closed we saw Gideon launched as the new hero of the Empire, Mr Aloysius Bent allergic to his favourite swearwords, Rowena Fanshawe (Belle of the Airways) in possession of the Yellow Rose (renamed the Skylady III) and Maria the titular Mechanical Girl stolen away by the dastardly Louis Cockayne (along with the newly titular Brass Dragon). Phew….How do you follow on from that? Well, David Barnett decided that the very next scene would be of Charles Darwin, with his trousers round his ankles, being attacked by a Pteranodon. Like you do…
The previous book was jam-packed with characters, both real and the author’s own creation, and adventure and this one continues at the same pace. We swiftly move to the other side of the Atlantic where the story takes on the feel of a steampunk spaghetti western with a side-order of Fu Manchu – as before there are a lot of familiar elements but they are once again blended with both the weird and the wonderful. As far as the Western angle goes I get the feeling that David Barnett has been watching an awful lot of Deadwood, interspersed with Robocop and a touch of Back to the Future III.
I’m not going to give away too much of the plot (there is so much it would take ages!) but it suffices to say that it all ended up making perfect sense. A warped kind of sense, but sense all the same. And obviously we end up with hints of Godzilla vs. Falco the Luck Dragon because, well, what else could you do?