I'm usually a sucker for anything Victorian, but this one didn't grab me. In fact I'd probably give this closer to 2.5 stars. I guess my lukewarm feeling is because this feels half-mystery novel/half-fantasy ... perhaps partly because nearly every character is half-human/half-monster. We've got a bearded lady with an appendage that sticking out of her chest, the eponymous giant who communicates by writing on a slate (in misspellings) and can survive having swords stuck through him, a human fly, and (SPOILER ALERT) S.T. Coleridge appearing, like Frankenstein's monster, having been stitched up and reanimated by some mysterious green substance, just in time for the apocalyptic scene at the end. Not that Victorian England didn't have its horrors, certainly, but I like my Victorian fictional world to have the feel of the real. But Barnes is a good writer, has a wonderful facility with language, I was often wowed by his turn of phrase. I would certainly give him another shot.