Read Unnatural History by Jonathan Green Online

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Action and adventure in a new Age of Steam!In two scant months the nation, and all her colonies, will celebrate 160 years of Queen Victoria's glorious reign. But all is not well at the heart of the empire. It begins with a break-in at the Natural History Museum. A night watchman is murdered. An eminent Professor of Evolutionary Biology goes missing. Then a catastrophic OveAction and adventure in a new Age of Steam!In two scant months the nation, and all her colonies, will celebrate 160 years of Queen Victoria's glorious reign. But all is not well at the heart of the empire. It begins with a break-in at the Natural History Museum. A night watchman is murdered. An eminent Professor of Evolutionary Biology goes missing. Then a catastrophic Overground rail-crash unleashes the dinosaurs of London Zoo. But how are all these events connected? Is it really the work of crazed revolutionaries? Or are there yet more sinister forces at work? Enter Ulysses Quicksilver - dandy, rogue and agent of the throne. It is up to this dashing soldier of fortune to solve the mystery and uncover the truth before London degenerates into primitive madness and a villainous mastermind brings about the unthinkable. The downfall of the British empire!...

Title : Unnatural History
Author :
Rating :
ISBN : 9781849970037
Format Type : ebook
Number of Pages : 379 Pages
Status : Available For Download
Last checked : 21 Minutes ago!

Unnatural History Reviews

  • CAW
    2018-11-06 22:52

    A cross between James Bond and Spiderman with dinosaurs, this should be awesome, right? That's...about as far as this book gets. The setting is cardboard, the characters interchangeable with their archetypes and the dinosaurs don't even hang around for more than a couple of chapters.The "hero" is an arrogant sod called Ulysses Quicksilver (stop groaning, I like my pulps) with an inexplicable Spider Sense, ability to magic his bloodstone-topped swordcane into his hand even when clinging to the underside of a helicopter dirigible and the power to dissolve any threat that occurs around a scene break, at one point causing the poor villan, Kane (described as a reactionary-revoloutionary-Bolsheivik-anarchist, presumably because the inexplicable Victorian Stasis doesn't allow him to be a Commie Nazi), to have a perfectly good gun and airborne bullet blinked out of existence. Someone should tell Mr.Green that killing the tiny seedlings of tension he'd sown makes for a boring read.I finished because I thought he couldn't possibly make the promised explosions and mutated lizardmen boring. He did. To his credit, though, the indestructable Mr.Quicksilver, Gentleman Adventurer, does occasionally limp a bit and is even mentioned in passing to have contracted dyssentry from messing about in sewers, though how he bypassed septicaemia and potential gangrene from having open wounds in the same environment is hastily bypassed.The most disturbing thing, however, is that the supervillans' nefarious plot is ('ware spoilers here, guys) to make a better life for the poor and disenfranchised of the Empire. This is mentioned often enough that one starts to question whether the author actually thinks this is the sort of cause that usually attracts batshit insane terrorists. I was minorly creeped out...not helped by the fact the "heroes" tote around a Magical Negro Neandertal who acts like a friendly gorrilla and gets generally treated like dirt despite saving the heroes' lives a few times...or the fact that the villainess' chief crime in Ulysses' opinion appears to be that she was once a low-class prostitute, causing him to call her a bitch to her face. So much for "gentleman". (This is the only woman in the story, by the way.) Possibly - I hope this is the case - this is due to Green being a writer of crapsack-world Warhammer 40K novels, in which case Glory To The Empress! since he's used to writing opression as a favoured way of life. It does however mean he's never looked up steampunk (a movement about reclaimation of the power of craft and machines by the people) and instead gone "steampunk...that's worship of Victoriana and imperialist ideals, right?" It may be noted that he's also never looked up difference engines, Neandertals, aeronautics, dirigibles, megolasaurs, velociraptors, reins, hydrogen, British Swearing, quantum theory, DNA, russet...Saved from the Single Star of Doom because the dinosaurs at least existed and because I have read a book that was worse.

  • Andrew
    2018-11-17 04:57

    I never know how to start these sorts of reviews.... Anyway this book was a free download (I suspect to encourage readers to get in to the series of loosely connected books - now that they first 6 of them have been collected together in to two omnibus editions. But what of the book - well I will have to admit that some of the plot devices were a little easy to spot including the big reveal at at the end - but to be honest this book is not about ground breaking story lines or award winning dialogue.No this was about caricature players (both villains and heroes), breakneck set pieces and massive amounts of a steampunk from a London about to celebrate 160 years of Queen Victorias reign. The results are a fast paced race through the city to decipher what is going on and to stop one catastrophe happening on the back of another. As usual it is hard to describe the book without going in to the storyline - but what I can say is that every plot device is used to great effect. In fact so much so that certain events immediately played out in my mind like scenes from a film in fact the chase through the city is very reminiscent of the Venice chase in the League of Extra Ordinary Gentlemen film. However rather than feeling cheated or bored with what could essentially be repeats I didnt care as I was too deeply wrapped up in what was happening on the page - so if you like your action fast, your characters not necessarily two dimensional but certainly playing to a certain stereotype then you cannot go wrong with this book. I for one will be looking for others in the series to follow what Ulysses Quicksliver gets up to next.

  • ᴥ Irena ᴥ
    2018-11-15 02:39

    Although there aren't any surprises in the book (I mean, you can see the truth right away) and the ending is a bit cartoonish, I like this book. It's the end of the twentieth century and Queen Victoria is still alive. There aren't clear black and white sides in this story. On one side you have outdated Magna Britannia, its agents, aristocracy, and on the other "the more shameful aspects of Imperial life had continued to deteriorate. At this time London's slums were darker, dirtier and more over-crowded than even the visionary Charles Dickens could have imagined in his most despairing hour, its streets filled with the dissolute and the destitute, the gin-sodden inheritors of the darkest days of the Empire". Of course, there are those who wish to change things, so a simple break-in and a murder in the museum become much more.

  • edifanob
    2018-11-02 01:40

    First of all I like to quote some sentences from the blurb:"Pax Britannia is an exciting new science fiction series, set on an alternative Earth where the British Empire still reigns""Action and adventure in a new Age of Steam!"And to be honest the story contains action, adventure and steam.we follow the first adventure of Ulysses Quicksilver which mostly take place in an alternative London. There is an Overground instead of the Underground. The zoo of London harbours dinosaurs. There are colonies on Moon and Mars. Charles Babbage's differential machine is in use. Airships reign the air.And it's the year of Queen Victoria's 160th birthday.who remained me a bit of Indiana Jones. Don't expect philosophical thoughts.The whole book is an enjoyable read and has a good flow. For me as an non native English speaker it was not difficult to read.I will definitely read the next volumes. Two mor are available.For detailed information please look at:http://www.abaddonbooks.com/So if you like partially incredible adventures - think of Indiana Jones - and a world full of steam then give it a try.

  • Abhinav
    2018-11-08 01:53

    You can read the full review over at my blog:http://sonsofcorax.wordpress.com/2014...Steampunk isn’t exactly something that I’ve had much of an experience with. I can remember a few random examples here and there, nothing substantive. In fact, I think I’ve only read five steampunk novels to date, one in 2012, two in 2013 and two this year. Very, very slim pickings indeed here. As a genre, Steampunk doesn’t fascinate me all that much, not as much as straight-up science fiction (usually space opera at that) or epic fantasy, so that is perhaps one of the reasons why I haven’t explored the genre further and kind of what I am attempting to do with my “25 Series To Read in 2014” challenge. Then again, if more books are like Jonathan Green’s Unnatural History, then I’m willing to go further. Unnatural History presents a steampunk-ified Victorian London where Queen Victoria is indeed still alive and is approaching her 160th birthday. The action centers on hero-adventurerer Ulysses Quicksilver of the Quicksilver who is noted the world over for his many adventures. His return after a particularly long adventure, one in which he was presumed dead, sparks off a new adventure entirely for him and he has to stop his nemesis Jago Kane from perpetrating yet another atrocity against the empire that he loves and is sworn to protect, Magna Britannia.The premise of this novel is that Queen Victoria is approaching her 160th birthday and that she now rules over Magna Britannia, an alternate historical version of the British Empire that now stretches to the moon itself and covers most of the globe as well. Among the Queen’s many loyal servants is Ulysses Quicksilver, a hero and adventurer of great renown who works for the government. Presumed dead for a significant span of time during his last adventure, Ulysses returns unexpectedly and is almost immediately presented with an assignment to investigate the disappearance of an eminent professor of evolutionary biology and the murder of a nightwatchman at the professor’s place of work. Of course, it all spirals down into a conspiracy of massive proportions intended to bring down Magna Britannia and all that stands between Magna Britannia and its doom is Ulysses himself and his trusted butler Nimrod.First of all, Unnatural History is an extremely fun and fast-paced action-adventure, the kind that I really do enjoy reading. Ulysses himself is quite the dashing hero, sometimes a cliche, but often a true well-realized character as well. He is smart and cunning, proficient in his line of work and also honest to a fault. Jonathan Green has characterized him well indeed, presenting just the kind of hero and protagonist that a story like this needed, in just the right amounts all the time. There are some moments where I was less than convinced by what Ulysses did, but such moments were rare indeed in the novel. His interactions with the people around him, especially Nimrod and his own younger brother Bartholomew, are what define him in the end and I liked seeing that side of him. He can be a real hard-ass at times but there’s definitely a softer side to him.In short, there are a lot of sides to a character like Ulysses and he made this novel a most fun read.The other characters, such as Nimrod and Bartholomew, or Genevieve Galapagos (daughter of the missing Professor) or Jago Kane (Ulysses’ nemesis of old) and Uriah Wormwood (a senior minister of Queen Victoria’s Magna Britannia) are all pretty decent as well. I loved Nimrod and Jago the best, although the latter was often a cliche, as was Genevieve, at least well into the first half of the book that is. There’s a right mix of characters here, whether the execution is well-handled or not, and I gotta say that they all do lighten up the story quite a bit, especially towards the final third by when Ulysses has been frustrated by his enemies again and again and has progressed little in his mission for Queen and country.

  • George Wilhite
    2018-11-06 00:04

    I am rating this four stars based on its originality within the sreampunk genre and in the context that it is escapist entertainment. It isn't four stars stakced up against a more literary writer in terms of the writing but it does what is does very well--keeps you reading, entertained, and wanting to read more of the series.

  • Andrew Lawston
    2018-10-22 05:07

    Unnatural History is the first book in the steampunk-flavoured alternative history series Pax Britannia. Author Jonathan Green has crafted a vision of contemporary Britain where Queen Victoria still reigns over a British Empire that covers a quarter of the world.The police are staffed largely with automata, airships crowd the skies, and London Zoo's Challenger Enclosure is stuffed full of dinosaurs. Against this backdrop, dandy adventurer Ulysses Quicksilver is engaged to investigate an apparently routine break-in at the Natural History Museum.With de-evolved apemen and fanatical revolutionaries facing off against Neanderthals and men with swordsticks, Quicksilver's investigations escalate quickly.The pace is quick, and the action exciting. Quicksilver is not a bulletproof hero, and gets thoroughly smashed up on a number of occasions. His principal ability appears to be his sheer dogged tenacity to get the job done even when battered to a pulp.Unnatural History is also interesting in that it encourages the readers to side with the agent of a British regime that is, by any standards, pretty dodgy. Quicksilver is fighting for a British Empire replete with social division and mass poverty that dwarfs even the Britain we know. The revolutionaries often seem to have a bit of a point, and it's a tribute to Green's writing that you're still rooting for the elitist Quicksilver to trounce the filthy little commies.If I had a gripe, it would be that I really am sick of seeing airships crowd the skies of alternative history novels. It's something that should have passed through cliche, beyond self-parody and into "just don't" territory about twenty years ago.But here at least the inevitable airship actually does something, and drives the story forward, rather than being lazy writer shorthand for an alternate history.This is an effortlessly entertaining pulpy read, and seems to be pretty much perenially free on Amazon Kindle. Do take a look, chaps.

  • Olethros
    2018-10-25 03:59

    -Si se compra el concepto, hasta entretenida. Pero hay que comprarlo.-Género. Ciencia-Ficción.Lo que nos cuenta. Ulysses Quicksilver reaparece tras mucho tiempo para, primero, evitar que su hermano se haga con la fortuna familiar y, segundo, enfrentar unos misteriosos eventos que amenazan con hacer tambalear los cimientos del Imperio Británico, líder de la geopolítica mundial a finales del siglo XX merced a su avanzada tecnología. Primer libro de la serie Pax Britannia.¿Quiere saber más de este libro, sin spoilers? Visite:http://librosdeolethros.blogspot.com....

  • Oliver
    2018-11-04 23:43

    A bit dull, really. Also, anyone who uses the old 'rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated' line should be punched in the mouth.

  • Jenn
    2018-11-13 21:43

    Dinosaurs, sewer chases, zeppelins, robo-cops..it was awesome.

  • Nordburgler
    2018-10-17 23:41

    got bored too quickly. stopped reading

  • barry lindfield
    2018-10-25 23:52

    Tv series in waitingIt is crying out to be made in to a tv series. Fast paced great action with a compelling hero. With enough twist and turns to keep you wanting more.

  • Polly
    2018-11-14 20:45

    I have no idea why this was on my kindle. At least it was short.

  • Philip Chaston
    2018-10-20 05:00

    Marginal steampunk, with Darwinian overtones. Lots of action, with stock characters

  • Eric
    2018-10-21 03:50

    What the hell is wrong with all you goodreaders?? This book is awesome. I'm disappointed to see it with anything less than a five star average.First of all, let me say that I love Abaddon books. I loved them before I'd ever read anything they'd published, hoping beyond hope that they wouldn't let me down. Now that I've finished Unnatural History, the first in the Pax Britannia series, I'm incredibly happy. To give you some background, let me copy a blurb from Abaddon's own website to give you an idea of what this little gem of a publisher is all about:This isn't Harry Potter. Most of our books are violent, and they're all pretty dark. The good guys don't always win, and the bad guys don't always get their just desserts. We're not going to weigh you down with eight hundred pages of description and cosmology either; our stories are slick, pacy and stylish. We want to take you back to the good old days of pulp fiction, when vampire stories weren't all about the endless torment of your lost humanity and fantasy stories didn't run for fifteen volumes.Buckle up. It's going to get rough. These guys love good old fashioned pulpy genre fiction, and Unnatural History delivers in spades. It's Indiana Jones meets Sherlock Holmes in a modern day steampunk London. The story is tight, short, and a freakin' blast. I'm not gonna get bogged down with narrative dynamics here, this is simply the definition of fun reading.Every great cliche you can think of is here, including the mustached/scar faced villain, the fantastic names (almost approaching James Bond cheesiness, but in a fucking GREAT way), the ever loyal chauffeur/partner in crime, the color by numbers plot twists, etc etc. I loved it all.Here's the best part, though: Unnatural History is completely self-aware. Its author, Jonathan Green, intentionally dips as deeply as possible into the bottomless well of pulpy deliciousness. There are a few passages here that were perfect, good enough to make me laugh out loud in my room by myself.For example, in the midst of the novel's climax, our mystery villain feels the need to lay out his entire plan (for numerous paragraphs) to Ulysses Quicksilver, our hero. When the bad guy is finished, Quicksilver raises a proverbial finger and fires this salvo:" 'By jingo! Finally I see what all this has been about,' Ulysses declared.'Of course, I have just told you what it is all about you idiot!' (mystery villain) exclaimed. " (294)Yes, author Jonathan Green is well aware that he's writing pulp, and finally someone is proud of it. All of Abaddon books is aware of it and proud of it. This is a marvelous genre worthy of authors who enjoy the world, the language, and the tools it takes to put together a good old thrilling yarn. Think it's easy? Watch Indiana Jones 4 again for a nice cinder block to the head reminder that it's really not.To be fair, it took my a little while to get into the swing of the novel's fun. At first, I thought it was just middle of the road fluff. After a few chapters, however, I felt myself get pulled in. It's just fun, and you can tell the author is having a great time writing it, as well.Even as candy goes, it's not perfect. The action scenes can be a little unwieldy, but it's all good. Enjoy the trip. It's steampunk with scallywags, dinosaurs, dirigibles, neanderthals, automatons, femme fatales, spidey-sense, and self-aware jokes. What are you waiting for?Jonathan Green, well done sir. Bully for you! Bully!

  • Uwe Taechl
    2018-10-17 03:39

    German Edition:Inhalt:Der 160. Geburtstag Queen Victorias steht bevor, das Empire ist zum Magna Britannia angewachsen und hat sich auf andere Planeten des Sonnensystems ausgedehnt. Der London Zoo beherbergt inzwischen auch eine stattliche Anzahl nachgezüchteter Dinosaurier und im Zeichen ihrer Majestät darf Abenteurer, Detektiv und Lebemann Ulysses Lucian Quicksilver ermitteln.Er taucht für tot erklärt gerade noch rechtzeitig wieder auf, um zusammen mit seinem stoischen Hausdiener Nimrod den Tod eines Wissenschaftlers, der sich mit Evolutionsforschung beschäftigt, zu untersuchen, da die überaus unfähige Polizei in Form von Inspector Allardyce keine wirkliche Hilfe ist. Der Anfang eines riesigen Umsturzplans wartet auf sie und ihre Auftraggeberin, Lady Amelia Quicksilver, die Tochter des Wissenschaftlers.Setting und Stil:Der Roman spielt kurz vor dem Jahrtausendwechsel in einer Steampunk-Welt, die Jonathan Green mit vielen schönen Details angereichert hat. Hinzu kommt noch der Dinosaurieranteil, der sich spannend in die Handlung einfügt. Die technischen Errungenschaften sind ziemlich weit fortgeschritten und während der Regentschaft Queen Victorias hat sich ihr Reich gut nachvollziehbar auf den heutigen Stand weiterentwickelt.Das Buch liest sich sehr gut, die Steampunk-Elemente fügen sich gut in die Handlung ein und es geht nicht zu theoretisch zu.Charaktere:Ulysses Lucian Quicksilver ist eine sehr gelungene Mischung aus allen möglichen Heldencharakteren, man kann sich einfach nicht seinem Charme und Können entziehen. Natürlich muss der Held auch gehörig einstecken und ohne seinen Diener Nimrod wäre er ziemlich aufgeschmissen. Ein Paar, dem man gerne beim Ermitteln zusieht.Die Seite der Bösewichte ist diesmal durch so viele Personen vertreten, dass es schon fast unfair ist, Ulysses gegen sie antreten zu lassen. Sie sind eine wirkliche Herausforderung und stellen dies nicht nur einmal unter Beweis.Die Charaktere leben, sind vielschichtig und ich konnte mich gut mit ihnen identifizieren. Überraschungen gab es reichlich und werden so schnell in Pax Britannica nicht ausgehen.Geschichte:Es geht um nichts Geringeres als Königin und Vaterland. Die Zukunft Magna Britannias steht auf den Spiel und nur ein Mann steht gegen das Böse. Ein besseres Setup kann es kaum geben. Geschickt spielt Jonathan Green mit unseren Erwartungen, führt uns in die Irre und setzt die Höhepunkte genau richtig. Eine sehr schöne Geschichte, die man auch gerne mehrmals lesen kann.Fazit:Jonathan Green ist mit Unnatural History der Steampunk-Sprung ans Ende des 20. Jahrhunderts perfekt gelungen. Er schafft es Neues und Altes unter einen Buchdeckel zu stecken und daraus einen spannenden, fesselnden und überraschenden Fantasy-Roman zu formen. Ich hatte sehr viel Spaß beim Lesen und hoffe, dass die weiteren Teile ebenfalls auf Deutsch veröffentlicht werden. Ulysses Lucian Quicksilber ist ein heldenhafter Romanheld, der sich ohne Probleme in die Phalanx seiner Vorbilder einreiht. Ein Buch für Steampunk- und Fantasyfans, die es lieben, sich überraschen zu lassen.

  • Jessy
    2018-11-10 03:56

    The writing kind of drags... Which is weird for me to say, because I LIKE long fiction and epic reads where it takes forever for anything to happen. Its very much a work of modern Victorian Gothic. The style has been EXCELLENTLY duplicated, perhaps to the point that it almost doesn't stand apart on its own.Ulysses Quicksilver is Sherlock Holmes. Not just a Sherlockian figure, he is basically a duplicate of Holmes. He has his mannerisms, his speech patterns, his attitude... He says "the game is on" or "the game is afoot" four times though out the book. The man even returns from a presumed death. His butler Nimrod is ill-named, and a clear Watson stand-in: a well-groomed man of a lower class that serves as a moral guide to the detective figure. Genevieve Galapagos is a clear Irene Adler, the hidden femme-fatale that the good detective falls for. Its like Sherlock Holmes fanfic that has had the names replaced (except if it were fanfic, it would be a lot gayer).That said, I think this has a lot of potential. The mystery was well executed. What makes this book stand apart is the fascinating world that it takes place in, but that's also the biggest frustration. The world is epic and intriguing and yet we learn nothing about how or why it works the way it does. HOW has Victorian come to live long enough to rule for over 150 years (the book provides an explanation for this, but not until the last few chapters and then not as thoroughly as I would like. She's mostly mechanical, but it doesn't exactly explain what she looks like, what mechanical parts she does and does not have, etc. etc)? How do dinosaurs and robots exist in the same time period? How is it that evolution occurs in some situations, but not in others? I really LIKE this world, because its interesting, but it doesn't serve a lot of PURPOSE in this story. I hate frivolous changes in steampunk for the sake of something shiny. In alternative history, every change that is made needs to have a REASON, and I couldn't find a single purpose for the dinosaurs.

  • Matti Karjalainen
    2018-11-06 23:07

    Jonathan Greenin "Unnatural History" (Abaddon, 2007) aloittaa Pax Britannian, vaihtoehtohistorialliselle 1990-luvulle sijoittuvan steampunk-kirjasarjan.Ulysses Quicksilver on eräänlainen hallituksen salainen asiamies, joka saa tehtäväkseen selvittää Lontoon luonnonhistoriallisessa museossa sattunutta murtoa, jonka seurauksena myös yövartija on saanut surmansa. Vaatimattomalta vaikuttava rikos käynnistää toiminnantäyteisen seikkailun, jossa on mukana pommeja räjäytteleviä terroristeja, Lontoon kaduilla rynnistäviä dinosauruksia, 160-vuotias kuningatar, tappavaa lastia mukanaan kuljettavia ilmalaiva, parikin hullua tiedemiestä, frakkiin sonnustautuva neandertalilainen, konstaapeleina toimivia automatoneita, käänteistä evoluutiota toteuttavia rohtoja ja muita päätähuimaavia aineksia.Lontoon Tower räjähtää, pteradactylit asuttavat Tower Bridgea ja kannibalit muuttuvat tahdottomiksi ihmisapinoiksi ennen kuin jonkinlaiseksi James Bondin ja Hämähäkkimiehen välimuodoksi osoittautuva Quicksilver on pelastanut imperiumin varmalta tuholta (juonipaljastus, joka ei varmaan yllättänyt ketään). Vähempikin olisi epäilemättä riittänyt, mutta antaa mennä kun on kerran vauhtiin päästy - ja maalaillaan lukijan silmien eteen vielä kaksintaistelu huimaa vaihtua kiitävän "maanylisen" junan katolla!Green viljelee jonkin verran intertekstuaalisia viittauksia muun muassa Fritz Langin elokuviin tai Arthur Conan Doylen romaaneihin, mutta ei tee sitä yhtä taitaen kuin vaikkapa kollegansa Kim Newman maanmainiossa Anno Draculassaan.Lopputulos on viihdyttävä, joskin auttamattoman kliseinen ja monessa mielessä täysin älyvapaa romaani. En usko palaavani kirjan pariin enää uudestaan, mutta todennäköisesti jatkan sarjan lukemista vielä jatkossakin.

  • Tony
    2018-10-29 22:42

    This is a Steampunk novel. If you are confused by all the genre and sub-genre talk and have no idea what speculative fiction is don't panic. It doesn't really matter as knowing a genre can sometimes be a bad thing. I spent years avoiding Steampunk books because I read Jeter and did not enjoy his work. I'd heard that Jeter was one of the best Steampunk authors so I assumed I disliked the whole genre. When asked on Twitter the other day by @gavreads it actually sounded really silly that I avoided a whole sub-genre because of one book. It is silly and no different from judging people without getting to know them. This is no longer an issue thanks to the writing of Mr Green.This is a fun book set in the heart of the British Empire. Only technology is still based on Victorian and Edwardian ideals and Queen Victoria is still alive (kinda) in 1996. Ulysses Quicksilver is on first appearances a dandy and a fop. To those that know him he is a gentleman adventurer. What most people don't realise is that he is a crown agent risking life and limb in defence of the realm. A flair for dramatic entrances and making improbable escapes from peril obviously draws comparisons with James Bond, but the characters are very different.The adventure starts with what appears to be a burglary at the Natural History museum. From there things get stranger as the plot thickens. The manservant Nimrod is a great straight man character that could easily be Alfred from Batman. The plot is fairly simple and gradually reveals itself in a timely manner. There is no shocking end, but there are a few surprises to keep you on your toes.Overall this is a fun and interesting read that will make you smile think about how things could have been in modern London. I will be reading the next book at some point, but I don't feel compelled to buy it today.If you watch TV detective shows set in the past this will be right up your alley.

  • Gabriella Gricius
    2018-11-14 21:57

    Why Read: This was a NetGalley read that I picked up out of sheer curiosity. For those of you who know me, you know I’m currently deep in the listening of the “British History Podcast,” which follows the history of the territory of Great Britain. I saw this and the back description especially and well… I simply had to read it. Review: Unnatural History was just that: unnatural. I mean that in an entirely good way. There was a certain sense to the book that definitely led me to the conclusion that it was a fantasy novel and I knew it. Some fantasy novels write themselves as though what we are reading is quite real and that we would be fools for suggesting that it is anything but. Unnatural History is not like that, which is nice in some ways and frustrating in others.The characters were fun. The whole setup was very Batman-esque with a butler who flies around in a mobile as the main protagonist goes on his adventures while flaunting danger and defying certain death. Now, there’s nothing wrong with that. I adore the sort of playful character development and descriptions that lend themselves to me smiling and chuckling along in my room. The plot itself was, as plots go, well done. There was action, adventure, intrigue, some romance, and everything you would expect from a fantasy novel. I expect I’m getting a little cynical in my reading maturity, since finding a normal book can almost be a little disappointing. I want something entirely unexpected and new! That said, Unnatural History is really a fun and entertaining book. Who else can lay a claim to fame with a Neanderthal character, mind-control collars, a Queen who is basically all robot, and a protagonist who both brains and brawn. Basically if you’re looking for something funny, then go for it (Completely recommended!)

  • Scrittevolmente
    2018-11-05 03:02

    Jonathan Green è un barman eccellente. Ha preso una parte di Sherlock Holmes, due parti di James Bond e una di Allan Quatermain, le ha agitate (non mescolate), ha aggiunto un’oliva steampunk e ci ha servito Ulysess Quicksilver, summa dell’eroe albionico-vittoriano, assolutamente dandy , incredibilmente british. Oppure ha fatto copia-incolla come il tizio di “Orgoglio e Pregiudizio e Zombies”. Quando conosci Ulysses Quicksilver, il deja-vu ti stordisce per un istante e torni a guardare la copertina, per convincerti che c’è scritto Jonathan Green e non, poniamo, Fleming o Conan Doyle. Sullo sfondo c’è l’età del vapore, c’è una Regina Vittoria di 160 anni mantenuta in vita grazie agli innesti di organi artificiali che le hanno funzionato oltre ogni più rosea aspettativa e forse l’hanno resa immortale. Questo significa che l’epoca vittoriana non è affatto finita nel 1901, ma continua e continuerà per sempre, nel bene e nel male. L’impero Britannico domina la Terra e Marte con Londra come caput mundi. Tutti vanno in giro col cappello a cilindro, le ghette e il bastone da passeggio (o il corsetto e le crinoline, se si è donne) e il mondo ha due velocità: quella tecnologica, sparata vertiginosamente in avanti e quella sociale, rimasta al palo del XIX secolo. Abbiamo le auto, ma anche le carrozze a vapore. Abbiamo i comunicatori cellulari. Abbiamo Scotland Yard per metà composta da automi con nomi vittorianissimi quali Palmerston e Disraeli. Abbiamo la metropolitana aerea e lo zoo di Londra che ospita dinosauri veri. Fantastico.Per leggere la recensione per intero: QUI

  • coala
    2018-11-09 20:57

    Für die Pax Britannia Reihe hat der Autor Jonathan Green eine spannende Steampunk Welt geschaffen, in der Fans in jedem Fall auf ihre Kosten kommen. Die Königin regiert noch, mittlerweile jedoch 160 Jahr e alt und durch Maschinen am Leben gehalten. Ebenso existieren noch die klassischen Gesellschaftsstrukturen wie im 18. Jahrhundert. Dazu leben Dinosaurier immer noch und es gibt Roboter, Differenzmaschinen, Kolonien auf dem Mars und und und. An fantastischen Ideen wurde hier bestimmt nicht gespaart.Da es der erste Band der Reihe ist, wird besonders zu Anfang sehr viel erklärt und die Welt und die Schauplätze sehr detailiert beschrieben. Die Handlung braucht daher etwas länger, bis sie in Fahrt kommt. Dies wird jedoch besonders gegen Ende stets besser und das Finale ist mehr als entschädigend. Die Personen sind im Grunde interessant dargestellt. Allen voran natürlich Ulysses Quicksilver, der recht exzentrisch erscheint und definitiv seinen eigenen Sinn hat. Zudem hat er immer mal eine Ahnung, wenn es um Gefahren geht. Dazu gibt es den klassischen Buttler, der natprlich auch stehts mit Rat und Tat zur Seite steht. Ein klassisches Helden-Setting, aus dem man viel machen kann. Bisher blieben die Figuren allerdings noch etwas blass und könnten mehr Tiefe vertragen. Die Geschichte an sich war jedoch spannend, bisweilen etwas zu überzogen, konnte jedoch gut unterhalten.Eine durchaus unterhaltsame Steampunkt Geschichte, die teils selbstironisch, teils etwas überzogen daher kommt. Die Ideen sind jedoch sehr gut und versprechen einiges für weitere Bände. Die Charaktere konnten ihr Potential jedoch nicht wirklich ausschöpfen.

  • Jeff Powers
    2018-11-17 00:55

    Unnatural History wants to be many things. It wants to be a great adventure tale set in a unique steampunk alternate universe. It wants to have a slick interesting protagonist. what we get falls flat of the author's grand imtentions. This book has a lot of great ideas. A unique alt history storyline, where steam power has actually managed to take technology to new heights. it is the world of a hero adventure, who reads like an homage to Doc Savage with spidey senses. There are many ideas in this first novel. Too many. Flat archetypal characters get lost in the action, which seems like oddly strung together scenes leaving the reading wondering how it is all connected. Much has to be spelled out for the reader, leaving little in the way of a mystery to solve along the way. What seemed like a novel new approach to bringing back the classic pulp, ultimately falls flat. As I pulled myself through the second half, losing interest and empathy for any of the charafters involved, it did do one thing for the pulp genre. It made me want to read the classics again. I am not sure the future volumes would be worth the effort. Perhaps someday I will give the remaining series a try. Until then, it is time to dig out the old Doc Savage originals.

  • Hali Sowle
    2018-10-24 22:58

    A steampunk novel set in today's world, but one in which Queen Victoria is almost 160 years old, the British Empire rules the world, the Underground of London has been replaced by an Overground, pockets of "lost worlds" have been found around the globe so there are really truly dinosaurs at the zoo, there are settlements on the Moon and Mars, and there are steam engines. And through it all is Ulysses Quicksilver, dandy, aristocrat and servant of the Queen. There is a break in, or maybe a break out at the Museum of Natural History and a guard is killed, Ulysses, just returned from a harrowing journey to Nepal, is put on the case by the dark and foreboding minister Uriah Wormwood. It seems that a professor of evolutionary biology has gone missing along with his difference engine (as in a Babbage difference engine)and an ape is on the loose. Along with his faithful manservant Nimrod they clamber to the foul depths of the old underground and fight high above the city on the overground all in the name of saving the empire from the threats within and without.Honestly, with characters named Quicksilver, Nimrod, Wormwood, Methuselah,and Galapagos how can you not be entertained? It's not high drama or great literary prose but it is a fun read.

  • Raj
    2018-10-20 00:02

    In a few months Britain and her colonies will celebrate the 160th anniversary of the rule of Queen Victoria, but there are those plotting to bring down London and the Empire with it. It's up to Ulysses Quicksilver, gentleman adventurer and Agent of the Throne, to trace the plot from its source at the break-in at the Natural History Museum to its horrifying conclusion.This is a steampunk type book set in a 1990s where the British Empire never ended and Queen Victoria is still on the throne and first in the Pax Britannia series by an author more well-known for his adventure game books. The idea in this book was sound but the execution felt clumsy. The writing style felt like a new author still finding his feet, even though Green is by no means a novice. Quicksilver is likeable enough, but he seems to be walking through a land full of cliché, from the unflappable butler to the moustache-twirling villain and femme fatale. An all-round 'meh' then: could do better.

  • Tim
    2018-11-03 23:45

    It took me a couple of days to finish this as I kept being interrupted by my cat, and to be quite frank it was easy to be interrupted. As the first in the Pax Britannia series I would have liked a bit more explanatory text but perhaps, and I suspect this was the case, the author was making it up as he went along. The plot was fairly easy to follow and anticipate, and the characters were a bit two-dimensional even the hero, Ulysses Quicksilver.Having said all that it was good escapist stuff and I never took it seriously at any point. Definitely a holiday read and good for killing time. Will I read any more of the series? I have Book #2 on my Kindle and will start it at sometime this month, perhaps this one will have a bit more depth. As an example of steampunk? Well this is the first steampunk I have read since my fascination with the novels of Michael Moorcock in the 1970s and it doesn't come up to scratch. So only a three star.

  • John Montagne
    2018-10-25 01:42

    So full of cliches and tropes that it was a struggle for me to read - the characters were see-through cutouts, the plot predictable, and the characteristics/mannerisms/idiosyncrasies of the characters (when they had any) were very typical. Wanted to like this... will still try another of his novels. But it seems like its gotten to the point that authors are so concerned with writing something steampunk-ish that they forget some key elements to a good science fiction novel. The main character, Ulysses Quicksilver (yeah, that's his name - ridiculous), is a wannabe James Bond but in a steampunk kinda setting - but he isn't believable like George Mann's character in an understandably cliche way, he's just annoying. Not to say I don't enjoy the Pax Britannia series of books - there are a couple good ones. This isn't one of them in my opinion.

  • Richard Wright
    2018-11-12 04:42

    I wanted to like this more than I did. I've enjoyed novels from Abaddon Books enormously in the past, with some of their stand alone zombie novels (from Simon Bestwick, Gary McMahon, and Paul Finch) among the strongest of that sub genre that I've read in the last few years. I've enjoyed Green's short fiction for the Warhammer Universe too. Unfortunately, though I was keen to find a steampunk series that would plug the gap between George Mann releases, this one fails for me. It's like the novelisation of a shallow, effects driven summer blockbuster, all larger than life action sequences, with little sense in the plotting or motivation underlying it all. It's purple-prosed, comic book fun, I suppose, but not for me.

  • Jenn-Ha
    2018-10-29 22:01

    Bezieht sich auf die deutsche Ausgabe:Ich würde das Buch gerne mehr loben, denn ich fand das Setting wirklich wunderschön und faszinierend *_* hier hat sich der Autor wirklich Mühe gegeben, ein perfektes Empire zu zeichnen in das ich bisweilen mit Teil 2 auch richtig gern zurückgekehrt wäre. Doch leider halten mich die Hauptakteure davon ab. Zu viel kopiert (Mr. Bond, Mr. Jones, die Liste is' lang) und alles so ... gerade! Ich weiß auch nicht. Ulysses kann immer alles weiß immer alles und kriegt auch immer alles, sodass es mich wirklich genervt hat. Ich probier es trotzdem noch mal mit Teil 2. Man sagt ja niemals nie.