The Extraordinaires is a Steampunk fantasy trilogy by Michael Pryor.
Kingsley Ward is in dire trouble. Instead of thrilling the audience with his death-defying escapology, his first performance ends in disaster when his hidden wolfish nature bursts free. That same night, his father is abducted and his home ransacked.
To find Dr Ward and redeem himself, Kingsley braves the Demimonde, the mysterious world that exists alongside our own. He is soon the target of two warring factions: immortal magicians whose diabolical plans will create mayhem at the 1908 Olympics, and the last Neanderthals, whose vengeance will wipe out humankind.
Kingsley needs help. The famous author Rudyard Kipling will assist, but why is he so interested in Kingsley? Evadne Stephens, juggler and weaponsmith, is a Demimonde expert - but what does her mercurial nature conceal?
Bizarre plots. Sinister magic. The extraordinary is about to happen . . .
The novels in the trilogy are:
- The Extinction Gambit (2011)
- The Subterranean Stratagem
The Extraordinaires contains examples of:
- Action Girl: Evadne Stephens
- Ancient Conspiracy: The Immortals
- Contemporary Caveman: A secret society of Neanderthals has survived since the supposed extinction of their race, and is planning to Make Wrong What Once Went Right and reclaim the Earth as theirs.
- Dying Race: The Neanderthals
- Evil Sorcerer: The Immortals
- Gadgeteer Genius: Evadne Stephens is highly intelligent and hugely inventive. Amongst her other inventions are a series of special spectacles that give her a range of vision based abilities.
- Girlfriend in Canada: In The Extinction Gambit, Evadne claims to have a fiancee named Clarence and shows Kingsley a picture of him she keeps in a locket. At the end of the book, Evadne admits that Clarence does not exist and the picture is one she cut out of a postcard.
- Goggles Do Something Unusual: Evadne Stephens has constructed a series of special spectacles that give her a range of vision based abilities.
- Historical Domain Character: Rudyard Kipling
- Immortality Immorality: The Immortals maintain their immortality by transferring their souls into the bodies of children, the younger the better.
- Kill All Humans: The goal of the Neanderthals.
- Lady of Adventure: Evadne Stephens is from an extremely wealthy family, but she has run away from home because of the restrictions placed upon her ambitions. She is highly intelligent, hugely inventive and she is also a fine juggler with an arresting stage presence.
- Landmarking the Hidden Base: The Immortals lair is under the Royal Observatory at Greenwich. (Being at the prime meridian makes the Observatory a location of mystic significance.)
- Make Wrong What Once Went Right: In The Extinction Gambit, the last surviving Neanderthals plan to travel back in time and wipe out homo sapiens before humans become numerous and powerful enough to challenge the Neanderthals.
- Raised by Wolves: Kingsley Ward. In-Universe he is the child raised by wolves on whom Rudyard Kipling based Mowgli in The Jungle Book.
- Really 700 Years Old: The Immortals
- Time Machine: The Neanderthals construct a Time Cop style device as part of their plan to Make Wrong What Once Went Right. The machine sends people into the past with belts that allow them to return to the present.
- Unobtainium: Phlogiston. It is a semi-magical substance that allows Time Machines and other Steampunk-ish gadgets beyond the realm of Edwardian science to function. Control of the supply of phlogiston is a powerful bargaining chip.
- Write Back to the Future: The Retrievers leave a message with a Demimonde law firm in 1666, to be delivered to a girl matching Evadne's description in 1908.