The Falling Machine
Andrew P. Mayer
PYR, May 24 2011, $16.00
In 1880 New York as the bridge to Brooklyn is being built, members of the secret Paragon society are stunned with the murder of their chief, Sir Dennis Darby. However, even more frightening is his inventions have been stolen by the killer. Darby’s prize creation Tom the AI automaton is considered excess junk by the Paragon who internally squabble over replacing their leader.
Aware of what he is and what happened to his inventor, Tom unites with Darby's top mentee twenty year old Sarah Stanton to investigate what led to the homicide and who killed Darby. They distrust the cabal that they belong to as those loyal argue over positions of authority and the use of Fortified Steam; while they fear evil adversaries have gained access to the inner sanctum of the Society of Steam.
The opening act of the Society of Steam historical amateur sleuth fantasy sets the New York world from the beginning at the Brooklyn side of the bridge construction when Sir Dennis asks Tom the Automaton whether he is bored. Thus readers will believe from the start and never feel otherwise that we are in a late Victorian age NYC. Although very few subplots are ended, readers will enjoy the teaming up of the beautiful intelligent Sarah and Tom the brilliant AI Automaton as they investigate the murder of their beloved mentor.