Gods of Manhattan by Al Ewing – Review [Bane of Kings]


Bane of Kings reviews Al Ewing’s Gods of Manhattan, published by Abaddon Books and part of the multi-author, Steampunk series entitled Pax Britannia.

 “Superheroes in book form, you won’t want to miss this.” ~The Founding Fields

Statue of Liberty, check. Muscular, blonde-haired, lightning-bolt wearing person who is most likely the main character, check. Said main character punching the enemy. Check. Dual-wielding pistol bearing, red-masked, cloaked gunman. Check. You can tell that all from the front cover alone of Al Ewing’s Gods of Manhattan, a superhero comic in book form.

Having not read any of the Pax Britannia series before, and little knowing that Gods of Manhattan was in fact not the first in the series as I had originally believed, I leapt right into this book and enjoyed every second of it, understanding the backdrop for this novel with ease, despite not reading El Sombra, Al Ewing’s debut novel and the prequel to God of Manhattan.

 Doc Thunder’s sidekick is lying, bleeding out in a hospital, and thus the City Saviour of Manhattan, alongside his attractive companion Maya must work together to track down the assailant of the sidekick.

The Blood Spider is a vigilante, a man whose very name strikes fear into the hearts of criminals everywhere. What makes him more dangerous than Doc Thunder though, is that he’s willing to kill, and it is not long before these two heroes collide…

Returning from Ewing’s previous novel, El Sombra, a masked Mexican swordsman has arrived in New York, and is about to embark on a quest for revenge that will draw him right to the very heart of the corrupt underworld of the Big Apple.

Gods of Manhattan isn’t really that big, standing it at just over two hundred pages long; you should breeze through it quite quickly, due to its fast pace and awesome action. Also, there’s a lot in here for its size, as well – Ewing manages to make the reader believe that this is a long novel, when in reality, it’s not.

This novel is far from the best ever written, but I enjoyed Gods of Manhattan. I did find a few flaws with this novel though, and chief among which is Doc Thunder himself. In my opinion, Thunder is overpowered, which is a bit unfortunate, as you would find yourself knowing what was going to happen before finishing the novel itself.

But don’t let that stop you from reading it, because if you enjoy superheroes, comic-books or are a fan of Steampunk, then Gods of Manhattan should be the book for you.

Why is Gods of Manhattan a must for Steampunk fans, I hear you ask? Well, the answer to that is quite simple. It’s part of Pax Britannia, a series that was originally set in Britain, and is an alternate-history Steampunk adventure in which a 160 year old Queen Victoria leads Britain and her Empire towards the twentieth century. Although Gods of Manhattan is set in a different continent and doesn’t have to be read with the rest of the series, I do believe you’ll get a better experience than I did with them if you read them all in order.

The pacing of Gods of Manhattan is done pretty well, at least in my opinion. I didn’t come across any parts where I wanted to flick through the pages faster to skip a boring bit, I wanted to read the whole thing, and I did, in a couple of sittings.

The action’s enjoyable as well, but like I mentioned earlier, the ones with Doc Thunder in, well – you know who’s going to come out on top.

Rating: 3.5/5

 More Al Ewing: El Sombra, Gods of Manhattan, Death Got No Mercy, I Zombie.

 More Pax Britannia: Unnatural History by Jonathan Green, El Sombra by Al Ewing, Leviathan Rising by Jonathan Green, Human Nature by Jonathan Green, Evolution Expects by Jonathan Green, Blood Royal by Jonathan Green, Gods of Manhattan by Al Ewing, Dark Side by Jonathan Green.





Bane of Kings is one our most senior book reviewers here at The Founding Fields, based in England. He’s a prolific reviewer that has contributed to many things here and around the internet.


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