Jean, 39, lover of sci-fi, horror and fantasy, reader of comic books, conqueror of genre fiction.
I wasn't even sure what star-rating to give to this book, because it basically just hit a middling ground for me. There were parts of the book I really liked, and those related directly to the things that Dickens would have written about, the underbelly of London, Dodger himself, the character of London and Solomon, who might be my favorite character in the book, his dialog is so sharp and witty and oftentimes just laugh out loud funny. But it misses with trying to weave the historical figures in by not explaining who they are or even given a cursory example of their personality (the only thing I knew about Disraeli was that he was a Jew, and his and Solomon's seeming antagonism would have been interesting if I understood it--was it because Sol was a working Jew, or because he was a Jew at all?) The one that worked for me was Sweeney Todd, and that's because he's a character that's been fictionalized to the point of legend, so there was a touch of magic to the encounter. The plot was... like late-era bad Sherlock Holmes, with a missing German princess, and assassins afoot in the London underbelly. I just wanted more of the kind of thing Dickens would have shown in his works: every day life of the poor, and the extraordinary encounters and situations that interweave with their lives. The rest seemed contrived and stilted. And drats, but I was foiled by YA romance again!