amazon.com | 17 May 2008 | Brittany Rose
Fave book of 2008 to date! *****I was actually unfamiliar with D.B. Shan prior to reading this book, but I’ve genuinely become a bit of a convert and am interested in seeing what else he’s got to write! I hope this book is released in a wider format in the states at some point, but for now, keep it on your radar or find a copy on eBay.The story is supposedly science fiction - and ultimately it ends in that way - but at it’s heart I found it to be a gripping life of crime story, with the gritty portrayal of “The City” (aka London, England in the distant future) as equally interesting as the characters in the book.Capac Raimi is an upstart young man on his way to “The City” to make a life for himself by working with his uncle. When he gets there, he is ushered into the underbelly of what makes The City tick - good ol’ fashioned mafia crime. After a chance encounter, Capac is recruited by the head honcho of the city, a man referred to primarily as the Cardinal. Soon Capac is on his way to the top - training by day as an insurance salesman and spending his nights enjoying the luxuries of being one of the Cardinal’s chosen few, including a friendship with a mysterious resident at his hotel complex, and a romance with an undercover siren.Things start to turn ugly when Capac realizes his memory of anything prior to The City is nearly non-existent, and even worse when the memories of those around him start to forget his friends that mysteriously ‘disappear’ under the Cardinal’s orders. Capac’s friendships and romance with Ama Situwa both threaten his position but equally help him start to uncover the twisted web the Cardinal has woven, including his final plans for Capac.I can’t say much more than that without giving the plot away - but I will say this is easily my favourite book of 2008. The story is extremely fast-paced and shocking, with twists at every corner that never fail to surprise and scare you. Rarely have I read a book that gets my heart racing the way this one did - it was a page turner in every sense of the phrase. The characters were interesting and dynamic, the descriptions only benefitted the story rather than take away from it, and the final showdown(s) were excellently written. The only downside is the final explanation of the story is so implausible compared to the somewhat plausible premise otherwise - in that sense I’d advise keeping in mind this is a ’science fiction/fantasy’ book because it does factor in. I didn’t feel cheated by the ending, but it wasn’t my favourite either. Still, an EXCELLENT read.
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