Thursday, 4 September 2014

The Death Collector

Justin Richards
(Faber & Faber)

What starts as an ordinary pick-pocketing incident in Victorian London unites three teens against a madman. Eddie is the pickpocket; George is an assistant at the British Museum; Elizabeth has a nose for trouble—and all of them are being hunted by Augustus Lorimore. Lorimore is a sinister factory owner, a villain bent on reanimating the dead, both humans and dinosaurs—and one of each is already terrorizing the streets of London. It’s up to Eddie, George, and Elizabeth to stop Lorimore’s monsters . . . or die trying.

Justin Richards is the creative director on the BBC Books Doctor Who line for which he has written a number of novels - including a fun little steampunk 9th Doctor Novel called 'The Clockwise Man'. This though is one of his own and the opening of a trilogy.

The death Collector is a Victorian set steampunk romp complete with dinosaurs and zombies. It opens with an attack on the British Museum which brings, through a series of unlikely events, clock repairer George Archer together with vicar's daughter and frustrated thespian Elizabeth Oldfield, pickpocket Eddie Hopkins and head of the museums Department of Unclassified Artefacts, Sir William Protheroe in a mad dash to discover the secret of a burned diary and to stop a quite loopy engineer and his cronies from engineering psychotic cyborg zombies and dinosaurs.

Truthfully it's a little too hectic to be entirely enjoyable. It never really sits still for longer than a page or two before their all off and running again in order to evade capture. It's exhausting.

Richards definitely has the chops, I've really enjoyed some of his others and this one was a bit of fun but I really think it needed to relax a bit and take a breather now and again.