Twenty years ago, K. W. Jeter quite literally defined the steampunk genre, and in honor of its anniversary, publisher Angry Robots has produced new editions of Jeter’s first two works and is publishing for the first time the third in the trilogy of stories featuring George Dower. Taking place ten years after the previous novel, Mr. Dower once more finds himself enmeshed in an intrigue of gears and steam of his deceased father’s devising, regardless of the fact that he, himself, has no technical skill and finds the whole sordid affair tasteless and depressing.
The novel opens on a rather unfortunate funeral, and from there things continue to spiral wildly out of his control. At times morbidly hilarious and at others thought provoking as to the role of scientific advancement in our society, Grim Expectations is a worthy successor to Mr. Dower’s earlier adventures and promises a wild ride for the audience. I must warn readers, however, that this is not a light-hearted read, and while the ending is most satisfying and well structured, it is far from a happy one, much like Mr. Dower himself.