Once upon a time in 2008, everyone thought that the Steampunk was going to be the next big thing, and authors such as Gordon Dahlquist were getting million dollar advances for their debut novels (brilliant The Glass Books of the Dream Eaters).
Unfortunately, the bubble soon burst, and steampunk adventures were forgotten for the next two years when they returned with much greater success. One of the books published in the 2008, and by today unfairly half forgotten, was The Somnambulist by Jonathan Barnes.
At the center of The Somnambulist is the story of the detective Edward Moon and his bizarre silent partner, the Sonambulist, and their fight against the religious cult in the seedy streets of Victorian London.
Reminiscent of the Dickensian atmosphere and Sherlock Holmes adventures, The Somnambulist surprises with it's altenative history on every page. By the time two lunatic assassins in school uniforms appear (which later return in their standalone adventure "The Domino Men"), I was completely hooked up one story and I couldn't wait to reach the end.
I can't help but think that if The Somnambulist was published today it would be much greater success and would even be in the run for some awards. Talk about bad timing. Now we can only hope that Jonathan Barnes will some day one again return to the world of Edward Moon and The Somnambulist.