Sunday, June 3, 2012

Burton & Swinburne: Book 3 ~ Expedition to the Mountains of the Moon

Author: Mark Hodder

Summary: It is 1863, but not the one it should be. Time has veered wildly off course, and now the first moves are being made that will lead to a devastating world war and the fall of the British Empire.
The prime minister, Lord Palmerston, believes that by using the three Eyes of Naga - black diamonds possessing unique properties - he'll be able to manipulate events and avoid the war. He already has two of the stones, but the third is hidden somewhere in the Mountains of the Moon, the fabled source of the Nile.
Palmerston sends Sir Richard Francis Burton to recover it. For the Kin's agent, it's a chance to redeem himself after his previous failed attempt to find the source of the great river. That occasion had led to betrayal by his partner, John Hanning Speke. Now Speke is leading a rival expedition on behalf of the Germans, and it seems that the battle between the former friends my ignite the very war that Palmerston is trying to avoid!
My Review: I've liked these books better and better, but with Expedition to the Mountains of the Moon, I wasn't entirely pleased with it. I mean, the graphic detail isn't something I enjoyed. I did like how Hodder was still throwing in time travel and still explaining things that happened back in book one. He's description and fun characters keep you reading till the end.
Characters: I find it amazing, I've never read the work of an author who thoroughly doesn't think twice about offing his characters. I mean you just read along, slack-jawed as one by one they "leave" the plot-line. But still, beyond that, they are all just as fun to read about, the good and the bad and those hovering in between.
Plot: I must say, some aspects where a bit predictable. I don't mean everything, but by now you should be very familiar with how Hodder is think and where he wants everything to go. I'm not saying the end itself but certain aspects were no surprise to me. I actually was a bit miffed when he decided to "dispose" of a certain character, but I of course I knew that was going to happen since the beginning of this story arc. Now just impatiently awaiting his next few books.
Disclaimers: I really believe these books have gotten more violent as they've gone along. I wouldn't say they've gotten worse in any other areas, but definitely with the gore. With it's setting in a wild Africa and the back and forth due to time travel, we experience firsthand the terrors of war with Hodder's vivid description. Truly not for the faint of heart. The profanity is still hovering where it always is and sensual wise, it's relatively tame. And as a side note, we're still mentioning Darwin here and there. And there was mention of one gay relationship but nothing intense.
Favorite Character: Swinburne
Favorite Quote:
“The four stern engines have gone wonky. I think it's something to do with the doo-dah forcing the thingamajig to bang against the wotsitsname. There's not much poetry in engineering, is there?”
~ Algernon Swinburne
Recommended: Adult
Over-all Rating: ★★★★☆
~ Darkitty

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