Fans of the old-school sf writers (well Peadar admitted to being a fan of some anyways and it shows here) rejoice - The Deserter is no less than a cerFans of the old-school sf writers (well Peadar admitted to being a fan of some anyways and it shows here) rejoice - The Deserter is no less than a certified homage to old school space opera. I enjoy the fact that the first book was fantasy through-and-through and the second one is a pure space adventure. Since I haven't read so much of the old stuff I can't comment how many ideas he's borrowed, but I really enjoyed the concept of the Roof (as a concept and as a living environment), nano-tech, Crisis and so forth. The writing wasn't as vivid as I'd hope so the world seemed a bit cramped and undefined and I didn't fully immerse into it. Characters were very endearing, despite the fact the relationship between Indriani and Stopmouth is relatively straightforward, I'd also love more insight into Indriani and some of the other characters. The most believable character was Hiresh - loved the transformation and the inner strife, he was very well done. Writing is simple (compared to some of the more eloquent masters out there), but very efficient. The plot moves along at a brisk pace and considering I managed to read one whole book in 2012, I could say I finished The Deserter in nanoseconds. I'd love to see more intricate pros and cons on the inside from both castes, but the main idea got through well enough. First half of the book is filled with suspense, but once all the "secrets" of what is what and what is happening get revealed to Stopmouth (and the reader) the story bogs down a bit and the action scenes become a bit repetitive and unnecessary; quite enjoyed how the story resolved though!
I've read Inferior way way back so I don't know how to compare the books, but I think I've enjoyed the first one a bit more (the survival factor, focus on Indriani and Stopmouth, fantasy world, plight,...and a bucketful of unexplained sf stuff reader keeps wondering about), but The Deserter didn't disappoint at all (can't say it faces the middle book syndrome). It's not particularly profound in its nature, but I can't do anything but recommend the book as a light, fun and adventurous young adult read that grownups who enjoy(ed) this genres formative authors can pick up as well...if for nothing else to reminisce....more
This book is similar to One Hundred Years of Solitude by G.G. Márquez, only better. It starts with the foundation of Desolation Road, a small western-This book is similar to One Hundred Years of Solitude by G.G. Márquez, only better. It starts with the foundation of Desolation Road, a small western-like settlement in the middle of nowhere by an enigmatic Dr.Alimentado, who's working on an arcane theory of space and time. One by one we get to know the strays and castaways who trickle in and help to found the settlement. But Desolation Road isn't focused on anyone in particular, it's focus is the town itself and what transpires in it. We follow it's history from Desolation Road's birth to it's prosperous peak, and finally decline and death. It's sometimes hard to immerse into the novel due to impersonal storytelling, but the world-building itself is phenomenal, the ideas and themes intertwined through the story are interesting and magical and the author really knows how to make you appreciate the book.
For a début, the writing is very accomplished and lyrical, characters are interesting (even if a bit oversimplified in some cases, e.g. single minded obsessions that define many, if not all protagonists) and the world-building is grand. You can but wonder when you reach parts of the story like galactic guitar duels or where the self-proclaimed World's Best Snooker Player takes on Lucifer himself. Even though there's not many major events and the storytelling is detached and tranquil there's always something going on to keep things interesting. Desolation Road is Magic Realism incarnate. Recommended....more
"The Separation" is a terrific example of great, labyrinthine alternative history fiction. You get sucked into a story narrated by two brothers, ident"The Separation" is a terrific example of great, labyrinthine alternative history fiction. You get sucked into a story narrated by two brothers, identical twins, through their personal journals and a few external publications on their lives. The story follows the lives of Jack (a bomber pilot) and Joe L. Sawyer (a pacifist ambulance driver) during the WWII England. They have a love-hate relationship... and, wait for it, they both love the same woman. The war and their personal differences !separate! them, but as we follow their journal entries and external ("""objective""") facts are introduced along the way via newspaper articles and other official publications, we realize that a lot of the information we picked up along the way contradicts itself (and that's an understatement). Priest does not spoon-feed the reader with the right answers, but leaves you to pick your brain and come up with a reasonable explanation for what's really going on. The writing is simply put, superb. It's a great page-turner even though this is a serene, even-paced drama before anything else. If you want a breezy beach read full of adventure this probably isn't suited for you, but what it offers is high quality drama, a well-written and highly enjoyable prose (the red herrings and the conflicting facts are masterfully woven into the fable so they don't disrupt the flow of the novel at all), and all the tools for a sharp mind to start connecting the dots and come up with an answer for the factual discrepancies. Simply put: ne of my all time favourites. 4.5/5...more
On par with the first book in "Culture" series. A similar disinterested and disinteresting protagonist. Interesting concept for a story and well execuOn par with the first book in "Culture" series. A similar disinterested and disinteresting protagonist. Interesting concept for a story and well executed with occasional boring sections (wich is weird, considering the page count is not long by today's standards).