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Hearts of Oak

3.79  ·  Rating details ·  38 ratings  ·  18 reviews
The buildings grow.

And the city expands.

And the people of the land are starting to behave abnormally.

Or perhaps theyve always behaved that way, and its normality thats at fault.

And the king of the land confers with his best friend, who happens to be his closest advisor, who also happens to be a talking cat. But thats all perfectly natural and not at all weird.

And when
Paperback, 272 pages
Published March 17th 2020 by
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Average rating 3.79  · 
Rating details
 ·  38 ratings  ·  18 reviews

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Dec 19, 2019 rated it really liked it
What a quirky and surprising little book. Delightfully off-kilter. Raced through it in a day. Just... don't read the genre classifications on the back cover of the ARC, which are a massive spoiler.
Lisa Wolf
Mar 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
How does a book featuring a king with a talking cat turn into science fiction?

Im not telling!

But I will say this: Hearts of Oak is all sorts of awesome, and was exactly the sort of punchy, engaging read I needed this week.

The setting is weird and perplexing. Were in a city where everything seems to be made of wood, and the entire focus of the city is building. Architects are practically rock stars, and the only city functions that seem to matter are building and planning.

And then theres the king
Mar 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
I received this book for free from the Publisher in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.The nitty-gritty: An inventive and quirky tale, Hearts of Oak was a surprise from start to finish.

Well, this was an odd story! And I mean that in a good way. Whatever you think Hearts of Oak is about, be ready to adjust your perceptions, because it started one way, and at about the halfway point, it became something quite different. This is
Feb 09, 2020 rated it really liked it
Series Info/Source: This is a stand alone book that I got as an eGalley through NetGalley to review.

Story (4/5): This was a very unique book with lots of twists and turns. It' s pretty fast read and an intriguing one. I enjoyed it because it was so different from other books I have read. It reminded me a bit of a Dr. Who episode and is hard to talk about without spoiling the story. Suffice to say the story is the strong point of this book.

Characters (3/5): The characters are okay. We switch
Jan 20, 2020 rated it really liked it
Shelves: 2020
What a completely unexpected and quirky little story. Really had a fun time with this one.

Find this review at Forever Lost in Literature!

Ordinarily I would write a full review this book, but while reading Hearts of Oak I soon realized that this is one of those books that relies so heavily on the unknown that I actually want to keep this fairly brief so that I don't give much of anything away. (Also, I'd just like to say that I was mostly interested in this premise, but when I got to the line of
Aliki Ekaterini  Chapple
Theres a border where Fantasy and Science Fiction meet, and some of my favourite books are built across it; this one, restless, makes the journey in the course of its narrative. We begin with kings and talking animals in a city whose implausibility increases with every revelation. We end very differently, but getting there is too much fun to spoil - just come along for the ride and youll see! ...more
Alexander Tas
Mar 10, 2020 rated it it was ok
Read this review and other Sci Fi/Fantasy book reviews at The Quill To Live

When I read the premise of Hearts of Oak, by Eddie Robson, I got excited. Growing buildings within an expanding city? Sign me up. The main character is an architect trying to understand the underpinnings of her world after being awoken from a stupor that required her to continuously expand the kingdom? Heck yeah, this is right up my alley. On top of that, just throw in a talking cat, who is the best friend and advisor to
Mar 29, 2020 rated it really liked it
Originally published at Reading Reality

Talking cats are generally an indicator that you are either reading a cozy mystery or an animal odyssey like Watership Down or Redwall.

Or, that something is really, really wrong. Because cats arent supposed to speak in complete English sentences or whatever language you might speak. Any story where the kings wisest counselor and closest adviser is a talking cat is either a fantasy of some sort or a story where things have gone really, really off-kilter at
Hannah Bennett
Feb 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: favorites
Hearts of Oak starts with a king, an architect, a magically growing city, and a talking cat, and, somehow, it manages to keep these pieces at its (oak) heart, even as the story itself expands and changes. What starts as a tender, character focused fantasy about an ever-growing city shifts into a very different story mid-way through. The result is a beautifully clever genre-bending experience, with a story that is part whimsical fantasy and part provocative science fiction.

The themes present
Benjamin Rathbone
Mar 25, 2020 rated it liked it
Hearts of Oak starts out as a mystery, and it takes a while to figure out the nature of that mystery about a 100 pages in. Thats not when you get the solution, mind you. Thats just how long it takes to figure out the the flavor of the mystery.

At the start, you have a city made entirely of wood, a senior architect responsible for designing most of the citys buildings, and a king who rules mostly by following the advice of his pet cat. The cat, named Clarence, talks. The city is constantly
Mar 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Atop a tower lives a king. The king has a talking cat and together they watch over the city as it grows. The city gets ever larger and the king's tower gets taller. At the university teaches the architect. She's designed many of the buildings and drafts the texts books. One day her friend gets killed during a construction accident and during his funeral something weird happens ...
Mar 22, 2020 rated it it was amazing
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Hagai Palevsky
Mar 28, 2020 rated it really liked it
Every building falls down eventually.
Mar 25, 2020 rated it it was amazing
I loved reading this book. I went in expecting Terry Pratchett, but instead I got Phillip K. In the end, the experience I had reading this was better than the experience I expected.
Iain Hepburn
Mar 24, 2020 rated it really liked it
Clever, twisty and cheerily dark with an ever growing sense of something not being right. Excellent SF from Eddie.
Nicki Markus
Jan 07, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Hearts of Oak was a fun, quirky read. It took me a few pages to get into it, but once I did I enjoyed the premise. The idea behind this story is great and I thought it came across well. There was a good blend of humour and action that kept me always eager to turn the page, to discover what would happen next. I am still a little torn over the ending. Although it worked, I found it a tad unfulfilling, but that is a minor gripe. Overall, I am giving this book 3.5 stars, which I will round up to 4 ...more
Nov 24, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Really, amazingly, stonkingly good. Everything I could have hoped for!
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Eddie Robson is a comedy and science fiction writer best known for his sitcom Welcome To Our Village, Please Invade Carefully and his work on a variety of spin-offs from the BBC Television series Doctor Who. He has written books, comics and short stories, and has worked as a freelance journalist for various science fiction magazines. He is married to a female academic and lives in Lancaster.


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