I can't remember when I've last been more disappointed in a long awaited book. From the moment I first hard of this series, I knew I had to read it. An alternate history of the UK and France (the British lost the battle of Waterloo and were controlled by the French for a time) with anthropomorphic characters? Sign me up!
And I'll admit, the art was beautifully detailed, the AU done very well (steampunk only made this even more perfect) and little touches added to the richness that made me very glad my library gave me this chance. My favorite part was early with the Badger Scotland Yard inspector telling his Sergent that the unknown language they hear on a rural train platform is English, barely spoken except for a few hold outs.
But then the plot came and the friendship quickly cooled. Even now I can't say for sure exactly why I reacted so negatively to the plot; I can't seem to articulate it. Basically it was the story of the Twin Towers (only the attack was with a zeppelin against the "Eiffel Tower") and it was supposedly English anarchist. The Inspector goes to "Ground Zero" and on and on and on. While I felt it all was a bit much, it was the resolution of the plot where I parted ways with the book.
The "truth" was that it was all set up by the King, Prime Minister, and other cabinet members in order to enact tighter control over the people. That's right, the plot is basically 9-11 truth conspiracy theories actually being right! I just...couldn't take it. It was so obvious, ham handed, it was not at all what I was expecting, and quite frankly, I couldn't stand it. I have so little patience with the conspiracy theories anyway, that may play into it but mostly I think it was the laziness. Copy and pasting all of it with not even a hint of change in order to disconnect the two.
So another series to avoid.