I saw the review on this book and took one look at the cover and I was intrigued. When you look up the genre "weird fiction" there should be a picture of this book. It's like Edgar ALlen Poe writting in Charles Dickens' Lonon and one of this characters is Mr. Hyde.
This story is about smoke - the physical representation of sin. Everytime a human gives in to their baser instincts - lust, hate, anger, etc... - they smoke. The color of the smoke represents the type of sin. Those who have learned to control their baser instincts - and limit their smoke - are members of the ruling class - usually the clergy and aristocracy.
The story starts off in a boys school. Thomas has just arrived and is befriended by kindly Charlie. The boys are ruled over by head boy, Julius, who appears to be perfect. The boys take a school trip to London, where the whole city is covered in smoke. Their teachers want them to see the morally impoverished and know what it is to be infected by their smoke in a controlled setting. Like the smoke which obscures visibility, things in this book aren't always what they seem.
It was a bit slow moving at times, but the mystery kept me engaged throughout. I gave it four out of five stars. I really enjoyed the creativity of this author's work.