Friday, December 23, 2011

Expedition to the Mountains of the Moon-Mark Hodder

Expedition to the Mountains of the Moon

Mark Hodder

PYR, Jan 24 2012, $16.00

ISBN 9781616145354

In 1863 British Empire Prime Minister Lord Palmerston wants to prevent the seemingly inevitable world war that will devastate western civilization. He possesses two of the three Eyes of Naga black diamonds and seeks the last one because he believes the gems will give him the power to stop the war from occurring. He assigns King’s Agent Sir Richard Francis Burton to retrieve the third gem; rumored to be buried in the Mountains of the Moon.

Burton relishes the assignment as he remains upset and angry over his failed mission last year to find the source of the Nile which is somewhere in the Mountains of the Moon due to the betrayal of his partner John Hanning Speke. While Burton and his sidekick poet Algernon Swinburne begin their exploration, the Kaiser sends Speke to obtain the third Naga diamond.

With a nod to Jules Verne’s Five Weeks in a Balloon but in an alternative historical Victorian era, Expedition to the Mountains of the Moon is an exciting cross the African continent race. The fast-paced story line focuses mostly on the quirky British pair though the audience does obtain some insight into Speke. Readers will enjoy the convergence of time-stream dissonance with steampunk innovation as Burton and Swinburne conduct the amazing race in their latest expedition (see The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man and The Strange Affair of Spring Heeled Jack).

Harriet Klausner

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