Bottom line: A fun, historical, science-y, steampunk-y, adventure-y series of short stories.
Rating: Strongly Recommended
I really like this series. It consists (so far) of two short stories, telling the tale of Smith, time traveler extraordinaire, who shows up to save the day whenever he is needed. The books are short enough to be read in one sitting (Ok, so I read most books in one sitting, but I’m a bit obsessive that way. Normal people could read these books in one sitting), but long enough to feel balanced – you get good characters, good settings, AND a good story. I wouldn’t put the premise in the “terribly plausible” category, but the ride is such a good one that it doesn’t matter. My favorite aspect of the series is the characters. The assistant, April, is smart and capable and takes action when it’s called for. She’s no Watson-esque sidekick, perpetually stumbling around in the dark. Teddy Roosevelt, more big stick than speaking softly here, is a hilarious and brilliant addition to the crew in the second story. And of course there’s Smith, a strange genius who suffers from amnesia due to his time travelling.
Each book is $0.99. If you are at all interested in science fiction, or willing to give it a shot, at least try the first book. The only issue I had is that the second book ends, not precisely on a cliffhanger, but at least on a fairly steep slope. In other words, the immediate problem is wrapped up, but there are some fairly major questions brought up with no answers. I can’t tell that the next book is going to be published imminently, so if that kind of thing bothers you, maybe hold off until book 3 comes out.
Side note: I haven’t read any of Mayne’s other titles, but they seem to span a pretty broad range of genres. I’m interested in trying some of his other works, but haven’t got around to it yet. My “to read” list contains several decades worth of material.
The Monster in the Mist
It’s 1890 and the citizens of Boston are beginning to go missing in the fog.
The police are confounded. The public is frightened. The city is on the edge of hysteria.
It’s up to the mysterious Smith, inventor and adventurer, to figure out what’s going on with the help of his assistant, April Malone. They’ll have to face off against a secret society, corrupt policemen and a mad psychologist hell-bent on dissecting Smith, in order to solve the mystery of what’s going on and to save the city from an even more sinister threat.
It’s the first story of Smith, a hard science fiction time traveler with more than a enough quirk to last him several centuries.
A fast-paced 45,000 word tale of scientific adventure combines elements of DOCTOR WHO, SHERLOCK HOLMES and TONY STARK set against turn-of-the-century Boston’s soot-stained streets.
The Martian Emperor
Who is the Martian Emperor?
When a giant airship descends on New York City in 1892 and threatens destruction if the world doesn’t submit to the Martian flag, it’s up to the mysterious Smith, inventor and adventurer to find out what forces are at work.
From the dangerous basement fan-tan parlors of Chinatown to the top of the Statue of Liberty’s torch, Smith and his brilliant assistant, April Malone, will have to unravel the clues and avoid danger lurking behind every corner. To stop the menace they’ll need to enlist the help of Theodore Roosevelt and other early twentieth-century heroes.
The second book in The Chronological Man series, The Martian Emperor combines mystery, airship battles and backroom Tammany Hall politics against the backdrop of a world on the verge of war.
More Info: Check out the author’s website here http://andrewmayne.com/books/, this is also where you can get the audiobook of The Monster in the Mist for free!
What did you think? Did you like the series?