By Jonathan Green, Abaddon, $12.99, 735 pages

10Okay, so I am a fan of the Saturday Morning Serial. Pax Britannia: The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus explores the modern world, had England embraced technology and out-invented the United States. The Babbage Machine was built, and steam really did get the world ahead. Into this world of brass and teak jumps Ulysses Quicksilver, a man with abilities straight out of comic book’s Golden Age (specifically martial arts and a sixth sense backed by a huge fortune). In this collection of three stories, Quicksilver must face a number of threats, both to his Empire and his person.

Although there is a little too much angst and his origin is retold far too often, it reads as a literary version of the old serials that used to play in cinemas before the main feature. There is a lot of high-flying adventure backed by some solid plot and characters. The world itself is fully-developed, with a number of really nice touches, and technology is embraced here, unlike a lot of steampunk where the technology is the enemy at best. Fans of Doc Savage and Indiana Jones will love this book, and it’s a great read for everyone else.

Reviewed by Jamais Jochim