Author: Anna Butler
Summary: When Captain Rafe Lancaster is invalided out of the Britannic Imperium’s Aero Corps after crashing his aerofighter during the Second Boer War, his eyesight is damaged permanently, and his career as a fighter pilot is over. Returning to Londinium in late November 1899, he’s lost the skies he loved, has no place in a society ruled by an elite oligarchy of powerful Houses, and is hard up, homeless, and in desperate need of a new direction in life.
Everything changes when he buys a coffeehouse near the Britannic Imperium Museum in Bloomsbury, the haunt of Aegyptologists. For the first time in years, Rafe is free to be himself. In a city powered by luminiferous aether and phlogiston, and where powerful men use House assassins to target their rivals, Rafe must navigate dangerous politics, deal with a jealous and possessive ex-lover, learn to make the best coffee in Londinium, and fend off murder and kidnap attempts before he can find happiness with the man he loves.
I'm a bit torn about this one. I really love the world but I had a hard time connecting to the characters, especially the main one - Rafe. :/
The world is awesome - planes, datareaders, laser guns, cars (can't spell the word of them from the book) and everything else. Awesome. Awesome. Awesome. Even though, I'm a bit o.O that the social views didn't grow/change with the advance in technolgoy and there are still Houses, homophobia like woha and some other things. Also, I got the feeling that medicine didn't advance at the same rate (why?), but my memory might be wrong on that. But well, that's how this world works.
I had trouble connecting with Rafe without really being able to point to something and say "That's the reason!". He just didn't click with me. But, it got better when Ned showed up and stayed and then I started to like Rafe.
I also like the cast of supporting characters - Hugh, Alan, Sam ♥, Wil and so on. :)
The story itself - well, I knew early on that the big, hinted at in the summary, climax had to do something with Daniel and I've been right. Well. *shrugs*
All in all, a nice read. :)