Today’s book is the ninth book in a series that is not a steampunk series, yet I think it qualifies for inclusion here. The trick is that the series is about time travel and in this one the travel is to a steampunk Victorian England. The result is a lighthearted steampunk James Bond-style adventure using what Publisher’s Weekly called “Charles-Babbage-meets-Maxwell-Smart technologia”. Whether the much-loved late Kage Baker would have explored the steampunk world more, we will never know, but at least we have this.

Official description:

Recently returned from war, young Edward Anton Bell-Fairfax is grateful to be taken under the wing of the Gentleman’s Speculative Society. At the Society, Edward soon learns that a secret world flourishes beneath the surface of London’s society, a world of wondrous and terrible inventions and devices used to tip the balance of power in a long-running game of high-stakes intrigue. Through his intensive training Edward Anton Bell-Fairfax, unwanted and lonely boy, becomes Edward Anton Bell-Fairfax, Victorian super-assassin, fleeing across the Turkish countryside in steam-powered coaches and honing his fighting skills against clockwork opponents.

As Edward travels across Europe with a team of companions, all disguised as gentleman dandies on tour, he learns more about himself and the curious abilities he is gradually developing. He begins to wonder if there isn’t more going on than simple international intrigue, and if he and his companions are maybe part of a political and economic game stretching through the centuries. But, in the end, is it a game he can bring himself to play?

Edward Anton Bell-Fairfax, the idealistic assassin. Perhaps the most dangerous man alive.

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