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Fiendish Schemes by K W Jeter. Book Review

June 8, 2017

Fiendish schemes

Since the aftermath of his adventures in Infernal Devices, George Dower has been lying low. But down on his luck and out of money George re-emerges into a more complex world and straight into the arms of villains and ne’er-do-wells. Once again it’s a case of out of the frying pan into the fire, as George’s ability to land himself in trouble becomes a study of history repeating itself.

Jeter is a glorious fabulist whose grasp of the meaning of words and their placement enables him to wrest every ounce of humour, action and drama out of the colourful and wickedly biting observations of the third person narrator, as Jeter’s hapless hero (desperately in the need of a good woman to keep him on a steady course) stumbles from one outrageous peril to another.

Fiendish Schemes is a demanding read as Jeter’s unique Dickensian writing voice ripples along at a breakneck pace with a great deal of description packed into the prose. But persevere with it and you gradually become acclimatized to its density.

The inventions alone are like finding Easter eggs on a convoluted hunt (a walking lighthouse at the beginning of the story and a rampant mechanical orangutan to name only two), and are brilliantly observed as well as completely bonkers.

The result is a full-bodied rambunctious adventure of preposterous proportions that is full of knowing when it comes to people and weird contraptions.

Fiendish Schemes was courtesy of Angry Robot Books.

Infernal Devices

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