Intrepid teen detectives Jack and Scarlet battle Japanese crime bosses and German Nazis—make that “damned Nazis”—to find a long-lost sword purported to have magic powers.
Using as their cover a convention of scientists and world leaders gathering in Tokyo to sign a climate-change accord, the white, British teens join their eccentric employer, Ignatius Doyle, in seeking both the Kusanagi sword and Doyle’s missing scapegrace secret-agent brother, Edgar. In doing so, they become caught in the middle of an escalating conflict between Japanese Darwinists, whose Biomechanics technology is producing wonders like helicopter-sized dragonflies, and Metalists, who go for machinery—such as, for example, a gigantic, steam-driven dragon that levels parts of the city. In addition, the search is complicated by trench coat–clad Nazis who are also after the fabled sword. Never one to give his characters a moment’s rest, Pitt punctuates the action-heavy plot with sudden assaults, narrow escapes, hails of gunfire, corpses, no fewer than four cryptic parchment maps left atop hidden (sometimes booby-trapped) altars, and repeated rescues by a mysterious female ninja. The author also trots in Albert Einstein, Adolf Hitler, and other historical figures for cameos. In this episode, at least, Jack has more to do than Scarlet, who can deck an attacker at need but is chiefly along to scream, swoon, provide romantic tension, and be rescued from kidnappers.
Not much for internal logic but certainly a headlong thrill ride. (Steampunk. 11-14)