The Shadow Conspiracy II is a co-ordinated anthology, with each author contributing a largely unconnected story but all set within a consistent milieu.
Initially I was rather disappointed as the opening tale had a very antiquated tone and a plot that seemed more MR James than Steampunk. However, it became clear that there was a technological angle and my interest was piqued. By the time I reached the final contribution (a pastiche of Wodehouse’s Wooster, transposed into the shared setting — amusing, although not the strongest entry) I had a fairly good sense of the world that was being described and the significance of terms such as “Promethean”.
I would love to know how it compares with the first book in the series (which, presumably, would have given me a headstart on understanding the setting) but will give it/ 5 as an enjoyable but not outstanding collection of stories, although noting that it is probably worth more if you are a particular fan of Victorian style writing with a science fiction edge.