Jani sits aboard the powerful airship as it crosses the
Hindu Kush. This gloriously steampunk version of the
British Raj introduces familiar character types to
unheralded situations. JANI AND THE GREATER GAME should
read in the spirit of adventure.
Jani Chatterjee, medical student, is Indian-born, with an
English mother and an Indian father in government who is
seriously ill. She is befriended by Lady Eddington, a
travelled stalwart of society, and their conversation sets
the scene for us. Suddenly the airship comes under
Russian forces sneak into nearby Afghanistan occasionally
and launch shells at passing British trade. This ship
contains a secret prisoner. Is there a connection?
Lieutenant Alfie Littlebody sips drinks, disillusioned
the British administration which silently despises the
natives. Delhi is bustling, hot and humid. Unrest is
seizing the populace, and quelling the riots will be done
with a heavy hand. Alfie wishes there was a fairer way,
but the Raj depends upon India not just for silks and
spices, but for the energy-bearing mineral Annapurnite.
Young servant Anand, who works in Jani's household, takes
job in the new Clockwork factory. But he wants to see Jani
again. Only, she's vanished, and Lieutenant Alfie has been
assigned to find her.
I found the narration vividly descriptive, full of
and energy. There is a fine sense of place and character
throughout. The British use phrases like going through
wreckage with a fine TC, and a typhoon in the old china.
One early scene is not for the tender, showing the
aftermath of an airship crash, but our friend Jani is
enough to pick her way doggedly through obstacles and try
to help people. Other strong situations occur, so parental
guidance is advised by me for a young adult reader.
With a mechanical elephant and giant Mech-Man, the larger
than life adventure by Eric Brown strides through a
scented, chirruping jungle and out of the pages. Jani is a
child of two worlds, seeing the advantages of England and
inequality of India. I love how steampunk is breathing new
life into old eras and genres, bringing them to the
attention of a new eager body of readers. JANI AND THE
GREATER GAME is fantastic fun.
Jani and the Greater Game is the first book in a
rip-roaring, spice-laden, steampunk action adventure
set in India and featuring a heroine who subverts all the
It’s 1910 and the British rule the subcontinent with an
fist – and with strange technology fuelled by a power
known as Annapurnite – discovered in the foothills of
Annapurna. But they rule but at the constant cost of their
enemies, mainly the Russians and the Chinese, attempting
learn the secret of this technology... This political
confrontation is known as The Greater Game.
Into this conflict is pitched eighteen year old Janisha
Chaterjee who discovers a strange device which leads her
into the foothills of the Himalayas. When Russians spies
the evil priest Durja Das find out about the device, the
chase is on to apprehend Janisha before she can reach the
Himalayas. There she will learn the secret behind
Annapurnite, and what she learns will change the destiny
the world for ever...