Review & ARC Giveaway: The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man–New Steampunk by Mark Hodder

First off, thanks again to Tamara Hogan for being on the blog yesterday and checking in from time to time! There’s still time to enter for a copy of her great new paranormal romance, Taste Me–just scroll down….And now for a change of pace, let’s talk Steampunk (with an emphasis on the punk)!

From its Jon Sullivan cover art to its mind-boggling finale, The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man brings back Mark Hodder’s unlikely detective duo of Sir Richard Francis Burton, in the waning years of his exploring career and now a King’s Agent, and Algernon Charles Swinburne, the small flame-haired poet with a taste for alcohol and some occasional bondage.

In writings and interviews, author Hodder has said he wanted to keep the “punk” in steampunk, and after the inventive first book in the series, The Strange Affair of Spring-Heeled Jack, it was hard to imagine anything matching its clever blend of technological invention, topsy-turvy history and social awareness. (Just wait till you read about the carrier parrot system–which works great except the parrots have potty-mouth–LOL.) 

Hodder’s steampunk isn’t technology in a vacuum. It has consequences, from the miasma of London’s smoky air to the wildly divergent lifestyles of its class system. (And for those who didn’t read Spring-Heeled Jack, it isn’t necessary to read this one as this book is self-contained except for the presence of the main characters.)

I’m pleased to say Clockwork Man meets up to my expectations, taking another famous British mystery–the Tichborne Claimant–and turning it on its ear while Burton and Swinburne encounter haunted mansions, madhouses, and another assortment of famous people who, in this vastly different world of 1862 London, find their roles changed, from philosopher Herbert Spencer, now a homeless man, to Florence Nightingale. 

Clockwork Man is a wild, funny ride of a read that I hated to see end. If you think you already know steampunk….you don’t.

Want to win an ARC of The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man? Just tell me what you think of steampunk–do you like it? Are you tired of it? Haven’t dipped your toe in that pool  yet? Be sure to include your email. As always +1 entry for comment, +1 for blog follow, +1 for Twitter follow @Suzanne_Johnson, and +1 for Tweet or Retweet. Drawing will take place very early Saturday morning, March 26. Happy reading!

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About Suzanne Johnson

Author of urban fantasy, paranormal romance, and suspense. As Suzanne Johnson, she is the author of the Sentinels of New Orleans urban fantasy series (Royal Street; River Road: Elysian Fields, Pirate's Alley, Belle Chasse, Frenchmen Street (March 2018). Writing as Susannah Sandlin, she is the author of the Penton Legacy series (Redemption; Absolution; Omega; Storm Force; Allegiance; ILLUMINATION); The Collectors series (Lovely, Dark, and Deep; Deadly, Calm, and Cold); and the Wilds of the Bayou series (Wild Man's Curse; Black Diamond).

23 thoughts on “Review & ARC Giveaway: The Curious Case of the Clockwork Man–New Steampunk by Mark Hodder

  1. Ooh, sounds like my kind of read! I’m a fan of steampunk. I’ve read just a handful so far but really enjoy the trend.

    (I’m a blog follower)

  2. I’ve only read one steampunk book so far. I liked the concept but wasn’t crazy about the author’s writting style.

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  3. I don’t have any idea what steampunk is, but I was sold at “taste for alcohol and some occasional bondage”.

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  4. @ Sandy: Mark Hodder’s style is “veddy British”–really dry wit. I think his voice is one of my favorite things about this book.

    @Jenn3128 — LOL. I studied the poet Algernon Charles Swinburne in school, and–sheesh–who knew he was a tiny little flaming redhead with a taste for alcohol! The author did a LOT of historic research for these books, so I’m guessing the bondage part was true as well 🙂

  5. Hi Suzanne!
    I have just recently discovered steampunk with Carringer’s books and I quite like it! It took me a while to get used to it but now I am reading quite a lot of steampunk books. This one looks really good and English wit is very funny!

    +1 comment
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    Aliasgirl at libero dot it

  6. I love Steampunk! I think it will be a very popular genre soon.

    +1 follower
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  7. Steampunk is a lot of fun – I can’t wait for the next installments in Scott Westerfeld’s Leviathan series, and Gail Carriger’s Soulless series.


  8. I am very much interested in Steampunk, that is why I am running a year long Steampunk challenge on my blog. If this is an international giveaway I’d love to be entered.
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  9. Thanks for entering, Rikki–I love Steampunk too! And unless otherwise noted, my giveaways are always open internationally 🙂

  10. I’ve only read 2 steampunk books so far, but I love to dip into this new (for me) genre. The book sounds interesting and I would love to win.

    Thanks for this great giveaway.

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  11. I like steampunk quite a bit! I would love to win a copy of this book, so please consider me entered. Thanks so much.

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    gmail: nooblingsnest

  12. The Only semi-steam punk book that I’ve read are Phillip Pullman’s “His Dark Materials Trilogy”. Right now I’m listening to “The Iron Thorn” by Caitlin Kittredge on audio. I’m VERY interest in “steampunk”, but I haven’t dived into it yet.

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    +1 Twitter follower – GemmaInRed


  13. I’ve heard so many great things about this book and I would love to read it.
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  14. Oh I hope I’m not late for this one!

    I’m not a great fan of Victoriana so I was cautious about Steampunk but I love it! All the forthright women and mad science in the midst of bustles and handlebar moustaches!

    +1 entry for comment
    +1 I’m a blog follower
    +1 I’m a Twitter follower @EVA_n_essence[@]gmail[.]com

  15. I am a fan of steampunk novels although I find the ones aimed at a YA audience are sometimes a bit short on background and worldbuilding.

    Thanks for the giveaway

    +1 for commenbt
    +1 I Follow via GFC


    Carol T

    buddytho {at} gmail DOT com