I really truly wanted to give this book a better rating and I'm sure (judging from the rave reviews) that this book is going to be perfect for those readers who are lovers of this particular brand of steampunky/fantasy/London-noir fiction. But I'm not and without that enthusiasm to buoy me, the faults of Angelmaker annoyed me too much to keep me reading.The premise is fine: shy clock repairer, last of a long line of dodgy geezers, unwittingly gets involved in a plot to find the ultimate engine of destruction. The writing is fine too - suave, funny, original - if a bit too oblique (the usual overstretching of a newish author anxious to avoid 'tell' even if it means the rest of us don't have a clue what he's on about). The structure though...not exactly a mess, but we're jerked into pages and pages of backstory which could have been dealt with in a single conversation as the only really interesting character (a ninety year old ex-spy called Edie Bannister) reminisces about how the engine of destruction got to be invented in the first place. I wanted Edie to go and kick some ass, not mire herself in the past and while I'm sure she eventually does and eventually meets up with shy clock repairer Joe, probably just in time to pull his nads from the fire, I couldn't be bothered wading through any more backstory to get to that point.BUT (and it's a sincere but) if you dig Neil Gaiman, you will probably love this, in which case pretend the three stars is a five and rush out and buy it.