So, so bad in every way. The characters are irredeemably silly, the plot is so convoluted that I stopped caring around page 200. And why, why for the love of readers everywhere?? was this book 700+ pages? Terrible!
If you feel like the synopsis sounds too appealing to pass up (my mistake, I admit it), you could pick up an H. Rider Haggard (for the adventure), or Elizabeth Braddon (for Victorian mystery),or the excellent graphic novel _The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen_ ( for the Victorian steampunk thing. But I heard the movie wasn't very good, so I can't vouch for that), or Philip Pullman's _The Golden Compass_ ('cause it's *so* good). Anything but this book!