This book is not worth reading. It showed up on one of my recommendation lists from goodreads, but it was garbage. Clearly, any book that ends with the hero saving the world (yes, the entire world will crumble unless he does this) by sleeping with the minor character that has been attempting to seduce him the whole time is absurd. The best I can come up with is that the author was trying for ridiculous and embedding all these cultural references throughout just for his own silly entertainment. However, I found the whole thing too much to stomach.
After having recently read Vonnegut's player piano, I was enticed by Jeter's introduction in which he claims (apparantly truly) to have coined the term steampunk and he says: "A fascination with Victorian tech is at its heart a salutary accceptance of the machine-ness of machines--and correspondingly an acceptance of the humanity of human beings." Really, I was quite excited going in and so just that much disappointed by the whole idiocity.
At times it reminded me of my beloved Sherlock Holmes (all the chasing across the marshes reeks of Hounds of the Baskervilles), and the creation of these creatures on an island off the coast of Scotland reminded me of Frankenstein's secluded lab, but those references, rather than making me like Jeter simply fueled my disappointment. The plot was just random chase scene after chase scene, the characters all keep running into each other over and over and of course they all escape from each predicament just in time so that they can meet again a few pages later and do it all over again.
Besides all this it was way too convenient that the Paginincon woke up knowing everything (and so was able to enlighten Dower Jr), that the Brown Leather Man (yeah, what a character and so annoying that he talks like Yoda...there is really only one Yoda and Jeter cannot have him) turns out to be a vengeful force after all., and that Sir Charles is always the spy who has inflitrated an organization and ends up being the good guy in the end, Yuck.