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The Revenant Express
Newbury and Hobbes - Book VI
George Mann

Titan Books
12 February 2019/ ISBN 9781781160060

Reviewed by Rachel Hyde 


When Veronica Hobbes is called to the scene of a crime, it starts off a chain of events that ends in her needing a new heart. Told in alternate chapters, we get to discover why a corpse that appears to be turning into a plant culminates in Veronica’s troubles, while Sir Maurice Newbury and Amelia race to St Petersburg to see Fabergé. This would be easier if the train wasn’t filled with dangerous adversaries…

I do enjoy a good steampunk yarn, and this series consistently delivers the goods. The author has made enough changes to the world of 1902 to make it more than just a historical novel with some extra additions, and he certainly knows how to keep the pages turning. This is another pacy, exciting story that has the reader wondering on the one hand what happened to Veronica to entail her needing a new heart, and on the other seeing Newbury and Amelia squaring up to revenants and a mad cultist. Having the two threads run concurrently works better than I might have anticipated and adds even more to the story. The only alloy in all this is that we are treated to a tantalizing description of what to expect in St Petersburg and given a tiny taste before the action returns to London. As all the other books have dealt with this location and fights with zombies aren’t exactly new (although even this gets a fresh twist in these books) I would have loved to have spent longer in a different place. The book ends with a short story with an open end and also a new development with the characters (no, not romance), so it looks as though the author has not run out of steam yet, pardon the pun. Whatever happens in future books, I hope some of it takes place in the original and intriguing sounding St Petersburg.

Reviewers Note: Some gory moments

UK Reviewer: Rachel Hyde's work can be found in The Bead Magazine, Making Jewellery and
Reviewed 2019