Cover Image: Her Majesty's Auditor

Her Majesty's Auditor

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Member Reviews

1 stars    
             
A poorly written adventure story with a side of star crossed love. There are a few ideas here that could be interesting if developed, but the book is poorly executed on all fronts.
 
[What I liked:]

•There were some unique ideas/steampunk elements, such as “the coroner” (some sort of steam powered robot suit?). Unfortunately, none were developed much or adequately explained.


[What I didn’t like as much:]

•Some of the wording is awkward or doesn’t make sense, I think due to this being a translation. Example: “…wives of the men returning from trips with their husbands”—it sounds like the men returning from trips have both wives & husbands. There is also excessive use of passive voice.

•A lot of exposition happens via info dumping in the first chapter, & that continues throughout the book.

•Steel mines? Um, steel is an alloy. Also, it’s pretty unbelievable that in this alternate Victorian England, a serving maid would be *executed* for having an affair with her middle class employer. Classism was a thing of course, but there have always been affairs across class lines, so this just seemed out of the blue & extreme. None of the world building is developed or well crafted.

CW: employer/employee sexual relationship, classism, physical violence, murder

[I received an ARC ebook copy from NetGalley in exchange for my honest review. Thank you for the book!]
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Unfortunately, I wasn't a huge fan of this story. Because it's a novella, the story was not as developed as I would have liked. In thay way, I wasn't immerged in it or particulary hooked by it
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Thank you to NetGalley and the publisher for the chance to read a copy of this book!

This is a steampunk story, shorter than I expected. I believe it was originally published in German, but this translation into English is stilted and does not flow well, which makes it hard to get invested in the story.
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When auditing becomes life-threatening ...

Tasked with auditing the accounts of the Queen's ore mines, auditor Howard Forsyth encounters the notorious and feared administrator of the mines. Soon his life is threatened on an adventurous train ride with steam cars and a steam-powered flying object.

This is not how he had imagined Lord Palmerston's audit engagement.

Then, when he is suspected of murdering the former accountant, his secret lover, whom no one is supposed to know about, rushes to his aid.

Will they both survive? What role does the missing general ledger play? What is the sinister invention for?

Not everyone is what they seem.

This is a book I couldn't like. Although I read it I just thought it was very obviously not a good book.
I received a complimentary copy of this book from NetGalley and the publisher. This in no way affects my opinion of this book which I read and reviewed voluntarily.
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I was given a free e-copy of Her Majesty's Auditor by Markus Pfeiler (author), BooksGoSocial (publisher), and Net Galley. 

This review will be spoiler free.

I would characterize this story as steam-punk.

Her Majesty's Auditor is a very short and took me about a couple of hours to finish.

The story takes place during what appears to be the industrial age in this world.

I think because the story is as short as it is, but I found the the main character, who is an auditor, and his possible romantic interest, who appears to be the daughter of an important family but her parents died when she was a child, to be two-dimensional.  I really enjoyed the major villain because of his dialogue.

The story was not as developed as I would have liked because of the length of the story.  I did not find the story to be engaging or immersive.

The strength of Her Majesty's Auditor is the dialogue.  

The dialogue is very snappy and is engaging, especially the dialogue of the major villain.

I think I would have preferred if Mr. Pfeiler wrote a larger story so the story and characters could have been more developed and had more depth and complexity.

I rate Her Majesty's Auditor 3 stars.

I would like to thank Mr. Pfeiler, BooksGoSocial, and Net Galley for the free ARC.
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A big thank you to NetGalley and BooksGoSocial for the ARC.  I am voluntarily reviewing this book.  Ok, I find this genre interesting, but I just can't get into it.  This is by no fault the author's fault.  These books confuse me and I get frustrated.  I can't quite figure out if its the world that I dislike (Victorian England, the class structure, the odd machines) or what.  This story is ok.  I liked Adeline, I liked Howard.  But for the rest hmmm.  3 stars
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I really enjoyed this book, and the steampunk elements. There were strong characters and the story was well told. It had a satisfactory conclusion, for me.
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Her Majesty’s Auditor is a novella that tells you two things before you start. One that it is “An Adventure Novel With Steampunk Elements”, and secondly that it is also available in German. The first was in this case a draw for me since I bashed steampunk a few weeks ago and felt a little guilty about trashing a microgenre without a little re-examination. Well I am happy to say that I have been confirmed in my bashing, this takes place in a version of Victorian England but there appear to be – when the plot tries to ratchet up a gear – a few steam powered exo-skeletons and a steam-powered jetpack at one point. It is really only a light dusting on a relatively didactic treatise on the classism, sexism of the (here rather fictional) Victorian age despite real, quite famous, people being invoked (Lord Palmerston, Lord John Russell). So whilst the steampunk isn’t very important, it certainly doesn’t improve what is a pretty short and rote period romance.

The second statement – that this is also available in German – however explains a lot more. Why are distances measured in kilometres, where is this fictional part of Britain called Greene County, why are the colonies of Empire never mentioned by name but rather called “the southern colonies”. I’ll tell you my guess, this has been competently but not consistently translated by the author from the original German and whilst the historical bits are weird, the differences drill down to sentence structure and idioms. An example from the opening, which is an oddly overwritten description of people getting off a train. We see first class, second class and then third class disembark – with detailed descriptions of the clothes and bearing of the passengers. Except the word passenger is never used. The word class is never used. Writing six paragraphs using people and occupants, I initially thought was style, and then the rest of the book played in the same way. It became almost like style, as was the constant passive voice, and it eventually became a feature (as the actual plot was not doing any lifting here).

The Swiss author, Markus Pfeiler, is an accountant and so at least I hoped the auditing part (which post Baru Cormorant drew me to the title) would be good, but even that disappointed. We are told there are “something wrong with the books” but never what. The eventual outcome involved squirreling lots of money away, but that is just seen to be a bit of accountancy magic. Conclusions, steampunk is still rubbish, German is harder to translate into English than you might imagine and better accountancy please.
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