Wednesday, April 18, 2012
The Printer's Devil by Paul Bajoria
I listened to The Printer's Devil by Paul Bajoria, mainly because the audiobook was narrated by Katherine Kellgren, who does such a fabulous job with the Bloody Jack series. Unfortunately, Kellgren's masterful narration was not enough to save this one for me.
Mog, an orphan and an apprentice at a small print shop in Victorian London, is caught up in a web of intrigue involving smuggled opium. He meets some sleazy criminals, a vicious boatswain, a mysterious foreigner, and a young boy his own age who bears a startling resemblance to Mog himself.
I had lots of problems with this book. I couldn't figure out why Mog was so caught up in the mystery from the beginning -- especially when he was in considerable danger, with nothing to gain but satisfied curiosity. I thought the plot relied too heavily on coincidence. I also thought that two of the big reveals toward the end of the book were blindingly obvious (though one of them might not have been if I hadn't been listening to the audiobook, and that's all I'll say on that in order to avoid spoilers). Most of all, I found the ending extremely unsatisfactory. Nothing was tied up or explained. This appears to be the first book in a trilogy, but I won't be reading the next two books.
(Reviewed from an audiobook borrowed through my library system.)