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City of Dreams & Nightmare (City of a Hundred Rows #1)

3.51 of 5 stars 3.51  ·  rating details  ·  354 ratings  ·  38 reviews
They call it the City of a Hundred Rows. The ancient city of Thaiburley is a vast, multi-tiered metropolis, where the poor live in the City Below and demons are said to dwell in the Upper Heights.

Having witnessed a murder in a part of the city he should never have been in, Tom, a lowly street-nick, has to run for his life through the City Below, Thaiburley’s unsavoury base
Mass Market Paperback, 427 pages
Published March 4th 2010 by Angry Robot (first published January 1st 2010)
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Ben Babcock
Culture is a conversation. So intertextuality is an important part of literature, because literature is one of the vehicles of that conversation. What we think of books and stories is influenced by what we’ve previously read. Similarly, authors are influenced by what they read, and the books that sell give rise to trends in the types of fiction (and even non-fiction) that make it to the shelves. Sometimes I find myself reading a book and comparing it, no matter how hard I try, to another book, e ...more
Suzanne the Mighty (Under the Covers Book blog)
Aug 05, 2010 Suzanne the Mighty (Under the Covers Book blog) rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fantasy & Urban Fantasy Fans
This was an excellent book, it seemed like a unique blend of magic and technology, urban fantasy and more traditional fantasy, and the more I think about this book, the more I like it.

It is the first book of a series set in the city Thaiburley, which is a vast city built into a mountain and made up of one hundred rows. Tom, our young hero, is a street-nick in the lowest part of the city, accidently witnesses a murder that keeps him on the run in the lower City, with the aid of Kat, a renegade st
City of Dreams & Nightmare is a bit patchy, but overall I had fun reading it. It reminded me of half a dozen other stories -- Stephen Hunt, with a touch of Miéville and all those fantasy stories where an unremarkable street-girl/street-boy becomes oh so terribly important. There were a lot of ideas, and I was fascinated, but around three-quarters of the way through it wears thin: suddenly we find out that everything has been orchestrated by someone, that the danger was never really that bad. ...more
Only having read a short story by this author before, although several anthologies that he had edited, I was looking forward to reading a full novel by him. I wasn't really sure what to expect, least of which was I thought this was going to be SF but instead turned out to be some kind of urban fantasy thriller.

The narrative started simply, the action kicked in right away and the story gradually grew in complexity as more characters were introduced, more layers of intrigue revealed.

In some ways,
This story is the first of a new series called A City of One Hundred Rows. Thaiburley is an immense city filled with strange creatures, rival gangs of thieves, and a class structure that has the elites living in the higher reaches of the city. Tom, a lowly street-nick witnesses a murder while snooping about in the upper levels. Tylus is a new member of the Kite Guard, an airborne police force. And Kat is mysterious young woman who gets thrown together with Tom as he eludes various pursuers.

I re
Very entertaining adventure set in the immense City of Thaiburley and featuring all that's expected from such and more, including aliens, strange weapons and devices, magical powers, blade fights, intrigue, assassins, various villains with diverse agendas, corrupt police....

Like The Bookman (another Angry Robot debut that I enjoyed a lot and with which this one resembles in approach while quite different in theme) threw everything steampunk in, City of Dreams and Nightmares throws everything "e
...City of Dreams & Nightmare is mostly a quick, fun read. It is not particularly a challenging read and in terms of worldbuilding, I feel Whates leaves a lot of aspects of the city and the world surrounding it a bit underdeveloped. He doesn't quite fulfil the potential his creation offers. That being said, there will be more books in this series and obviously there has to be something left to explore. Tom and Kat's flight through the City Below, trying to keep a step ahead of the nameless p ...more
Thaiburley is the famous City of a Hundred Rows. (Which I still can't quite visualize, but basically, the entire city is an agglomeration of buildings, the whole thing a hundred stories (rows) tall; possibly a hollowed out mountain?) Not unexpectedly, the high levels are home to the rich & powerful, and the not-so-rich and not-so-powerful dwell down in the depths; the feel isn't quite steampunk (not much in the way of mechanisms) but is distinctly Dickensian.

Our tale begins with Tom, a stree
Giving up at page 106 (so a quarter of the way through) because bored. I'm not attached to any of the characters: Tom the street brat is rootless and relatively generic; Tylus the kite guard is suffering from rich white boy ennui (oh, but, did he really want to have one of the most privileged and respected positions in the city?) and could do with a smack in the face; Magnus the villain is terribly cliche, and while I did think for a little bit that I might like his risen-from-nothing assassin u ...more
Amanda Makepeace
Whates crammed a lot of information, characters and sub plots into a story about a boy who witnesses a murder. Albeit, this is no ordinary boy and ultimately, the story isn't only about a murder. But you need patience to see that underlying story. At times I felt like there was too much going on and not enough character development. When answers were given they weren't fulfilling enough, as if only half-answers were provided. But with that said, the world he created is a masterpiece. I'm still t ...more
Jessica Strider
Pros: slow paced, intricate plot, disparate stories draw together into tight conclusion, mystery, enough action to retain interest, nifty characters and history, well told

Cons: hard to picture (purposely sparse details)

Tom, a street-nick from the City Below has illegally climbed to the heights of the City of a Hundred Rows, Thaiburley. There, he witnesses a murder and evades the capture of Kite Guard Tylus.

Tasked with finding the boy, Tylus heads to the lowest level, where trouble is brewing amo
Sachin Dev
An extremely trying read - didn't like it one bit. So will keep this short.

City of Dreams and Nightmares is part-one of City of Hundred Rows trilogy and is touted to be a page-turning adventure set in a multi-tiered metropolis called Thaiburley where rats and the poor guys live at the bottom, while the rich magistrates and demons live at the top. It follows the fate of two street-kids as they discover they are cogs in the wheels, set in motion by a sinister ploy that threatens to consume the ci

The story starts out with a youngster called Tom who is trespassing in forbidden territory. He is from the slums of his world, and is attempting to reach the heights – literally. He has progressed from the bottom tiers to nearly the top of what appears to be a hundred rows of living spaces, all carved out of and appended to one mountain. The city, Thaiburly, is situated on a major river, and has trade with other cities.

One gets the impression, though, that traders are rare, and only welcome on t
Tom, a streetnick from the City Below, sees something he shouldn’t have. Now he’s on the run from a hired assassin, rival streetnicks, and the renowned Kite Guard. With the help of Kat, another resident of the City Below, he’ll have a shot at making it home. But forces are a play that neither of them anticipated…

There were several different characters, plotlines, and predicaments to be resolved. Whates did well in keeping things relatively uncomplicated so that each plotline had a resolution and
4 stars

An entertaining fantasy that is somewhat steam punk as well. Everything done here is done with a light brush stroke. The characters are fine, the magic is basic, and the monsters are alright. The city itself is the star and adds a wonderful dimension to this standard chase and mission fantasy.

I liked the characters, the extras, and the kite guard. Kat was my favorite after our main hero Tom. The other extras were colorful enough to make this story succeed.

A fun ride that you will quickly
Liked this book quite a bit. Took it's time getting started, including revealing what it's world, but definitely worth reading. It does, unfortantely, suffer from "SFF Series Syndrome", but Whates handles it more gracefully than most authors: this is clearly BOOK ONE OF..., but I wasn't left feeling like the main story was incomplete.
I had nothing but fun reading this book! Totally different from what I am used to, but this is what i like about it. In the upper hierarchy you find the people who have everything and do not know how or where they get their power or anything else. On the lower echelons you have the poorer souls who live with nothing, but unknowingly do not know what goes on up in the higher levels. It is the story that begins with a boy, Tom being dared to climb the stairs up to the highest level, but he has wit ...more
This was one of those novels where you are thrown into the action and you have to puzzle things out as you go along. I really enjoy them as long as they are done well and this is done very well. The story starts with a young gang member on a "mission". You don't know why he's been sent or why the mission is important, but you quickly learn why he agreed to go, so you understand whis actions. At the same time you quickly find out that things are a lot more complicated than he realises and that's ...more
Ian Whates creates a richly textured world and fascinating characters. The conlict comes when the intentionally underachieving street punk Tom witnesses the pompus and overreaching Senior Arkadamic Magnus commit murder. Tom retreats to the underworld slums to hide, but everything is off kilter. Watching Tom begin to learn who he really is as Magnus' seemingly foolproof plan unravels is a brethtaking non-stop action.
I can't wait to begin City of Hope and Despair - but first I need to clean up the
Pros: Interesting world (OK, city), not-obvious plot (except the "orphan with unusual powers" trope which is really old) and interesting enough to check out the sequel.
Cons: Poorly formated ebook – no "scene splits". And the ending blatantly setting up a sequel, which fortunately had been written and published, but without it one major plot would be unresolved (I assume it is resolved in volume 2).
Pacey, the writing sustains your interest. The whole environment feels like it has had, and will have, a life beyond the book and the characters, while still fairly one-dimensional, look like they will be developed by subsequent books. There are hints at a wider history and it is good to not have everything spelt out at the start. This is a good set up for what looks like a promising series.
Christopher Stilson
Sep 21, 2011 Christopher Stilson rated it 4 of 5 stars
Recommends it for: Fans of Neil Gaiman and China Mieville
I bought this book on a whim and read it in less than a day. It's more interesting as a concept than as a work in itself, reminding me a great deal of China Mieville's work - both of which being far more interesting for what is implied about the society within than for the actual main plot. Nonetheless, it flows nicely from scene to scene, although the resolution is a tad abrupt.
enjoyable enough. I really enjoyed the setting. The plot is fun and fast, though not quite fleshed out enough. the characters aren't fleshed out at all, which is a problem, but doesn't really detract from the fun aspect of the book. I wouldn't recommend it, exactly, but I also wouldn't tell people to avoid it-- it's a book that's a waste of time, but an enjoyable one.
Ok book. Interesting world he has created. I would have liked more detail of the history/background of the city and people that inhabit it. Nice pace and with a good blend of magic, tech and action. The motivations of the characters could have been more developed. Good book for the $3.99 price on my nook. Might read the sequel.
I'm honestly not sure what to think of these stories yet. I really enjoy some of the characters and felt immersed in the City Below. However I felt like the end was not only unresolved but a little too neat. Sort of like a bow was tied haphazardly before moving on. Reading the next one so I'll know more about how I feel then.
Michael Mcdaid
An interesting sci-fi or fantasy story. I liked how Whates starts off with Tom witnessing a murder and how he has to stay on the run from the beginning. I also like Kat. And the story had some interesting twists along the way. I liked it and can't wait to read the next book in the Series.
I took issue with the hero who never seems to get over being a scared little boy who can't even thing about girls and who freezes when caught in a life or death fight even with his super powers. That and the simplistic plot development puts it in a Juvenal category.
It's alright so far. I got to the 45th page and put it down for a while, so I don't really remember much about it...well, besides some of the blatant mistakes that stood out within the first 45 pages. The plot builds itself slowly..
Greg Crites
I read very few novels characterized as falling within the fantasy genre. When I pick one up I generally discard it after a partial reading. I read this one straight through and enjoyed it; which is all that needs saying.
Urban fantasy in the truest sense of the genre, here the city of Thaiburley is the star.

Read my full review here http://templelibraryreviews.blogspot....
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Ian Whates lives in a comfortable home down a quiet cul-de-sac in an idyllic Cambridgeshire village, which he shares with his partner Helen and their pets – Honey the golden cocker spaniel, Calvin the tailless black cat and Inky the goldfish (sadly, Binky died a few years ago).

Ian’s earliest memories of science fiction are fragmented. He remembers loving Dr Who from an early age and other TV shows
More about Ian Whates...

Other Books in the Series

City of a Hundred Rows (3 books)
  • City of Hope & Despair (City of a Hundred Rows, #2)
  • City of Light & Shadow (City of a Hundred Rows, #3)
The Noise Within (Noise #1) City of Hope & Despair (City of a Hundred Rows, #2) Solaris Rising: The New Solaris Book of Science Fiction City of Light & Shadow (City of a Hundred Rows, #3) The Noise Revealed (Noise #2)

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