While Clare is playing a game of catch me if you can with Dr. Francis Vance, Doctor of Art, Mentath & Thief that is taking a huge toll on his heart; Emma is tasked by Queen Victrix to not only seek out traitors to the crown, but to also find a doctor (John Morris) who apparently has created a new form of plague that ends up being unleashed on Londinium (London).
The Red Plague Affair, set in alternate Victorian era, flip flops POV's between chapters after Clare and Bannon finally manage to realize that they need to be working together in finding a way to stop the plague from spreading, while also discovering a cure before it's too late. Apparently, this story takes place 2 years after the Iron Wyrm Affair and I didn't find it necessary to go back to read that book, or to say that you should probably read the first book first.
I think readers will come away seeing that Clare and Bannon are clearly two different characters who go about things in their own unique way. While Clare is more logic driven and older, Bannon is like an iron fist who crushes Victrix's opponents without much of a concern about how others will feel about her. I do think, however, that we do see a bit of Bannon's consciousness coming out when she wonders how much longer she can serve Victrix's desires.
One of the questions from The Iron Wyrm Affair still chips away at my brain: What is Emma's relationship with Mikal (Shield) and what is the mystery surrounding his origins? Here's hoping that it is better explained in the next book in this series. There is also the point of debate in this book that I am jumping on like other reviewers: How is it that Clare and Vance could survive so long after being exposed to the Plague? What exactly did Bannon do to Clare when he was suffering from the plague? What did Mikal do to Bannon when she fell ill? Is Bannon and Queen Victrix on the outs? Who was the mysterious Prime who appeared in the book, but was never revealed & why is he stalking Emma? Are we headed for a twisted 3 way love triangle between Mikal, Emma, and Bannon?
*Recvd via NetGalley 05/21/2013* Released: May 21st 2013 by Orbit
Author - Lilith Saintcrow
Title - The Red Plague Affair
Released by Hachette/Orbit
Published May 21, 2013
Genre - Steampunk, Historical