I did rate each of these books separately, but thought it made more sense to review the trilogy in its entirely.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I stI did rate each of these books separately, but thought it made more sense to review the trilogy in its entirely.
I wasn’t sure what to expect when I started, but I was hooked from the first page. Fast-moving story, with twists and turns that made perfect sense, answers to questions that in turn led to more questions, fantastic characters, excellent action sequences, and wonderful writing.
For me, the characters are one of the strengths of these books. Obviously, we’re rooting for the tube-riders themselves, but they are not your simple likable heroes. They have their faults, and they make mistakes. Stitch comes across as a particularly unsavoury character, and it is never clear if he will help or hinder the others.
The villains are also well-written, with motives that make a great deal of sense, and you get the feeling that, maybe, they might end up helping the tube riders eventually. The Governor (the ‘main villain’) is more than he first appears to be, and a part of me expected him to redeem himself at the end (but I won’t say if he does or not — no spoilers here).
I think the first book’s free, and although each book does stand up on its own (there are no major cliffhangers, just questions that have yet to be answered), I’d recommend going for the complete trilogy. You’re going to want to find out how the story ends anyway, and you also get some fun little bonuses as well. These include short stories (some of which were the genesis of the final story) and an author interview....more
This was one of the many books I’ve picked up on offer (or maybe free), then left sitting on my Kindle for far too long. When I got round to reading MThis was one of the many books I’ve picked up on offer (or maybe free), then left sitting on my Kindle for far too long. When I got round to reading Mr Ruins, I had totally forgotten what it was supposed to be about, and I went to the cover for clues. I have to say it didn’t look promising. Some of the cover text was hard to read, and the image seemed amateur. I know I shouldn’t judge a book in this way, but it’s a natural reaction. But the book is far superior to that cover. The writing reminded me of Jeff Noon, and I found myself enjoying not only the story but also the flow of the language. The story is split in two, with alternating chapters following each strand. The first concerns Ritry Goligh, a graysmith who deals with memories, inserting them before following into the minds of others, helping these memories seed. Or something. It’s confusing, and at no time does the main character (or the author) take the time to explain clearly what is going on. I don’t say that as a weakness of the book, though — far from it. I love the way there is no pause for exposition. There was just enough context to make sense of the unfamiliar terms, and I was drawn into Ritry’s feelings and thoughts. The other part of the story follows a group of (possibly) marines, setting out on a mission to infiltrate the Solid Core. This is more confusing than the Ritry chapters, and I always felt there was far more going on here than the words conveyed. The characters are Me and six others, making up a chord (although technically this should probably be a scale, but I won’t quibble), with names such as Doe, Ray, Far, and so on. The language in these sections often has a musical feel, and I wished more had been done with this idea. Even the three parts of the book are called ‘Movements’, so I expected something more important to happen with the musical theme. Or maybe I missed it. I won’t try to explain more of what happens, because it soon becomes fairly convoluted, with the barrier between the external worlds and internal worlds shifting much of the time. I’m not even sure if I understand exactly what happened at the end. But that doesn’t matter, because I enjoyed the ride. This is the kind of book where the feel of the language is as much of a pleasure as the plot. This book won’t appeal to everyone. In fact, it probably has quite a niche market. Many people will be turned off by the way the author uses first person present tense throughout, but I found this suited the characters. In the strand following Me and his chord, their memories are unreliable, and they are forced to exist only in the present, and so the writing helps the feeling of immediacy here. In the other part of the story, where we follow Ritry around, the use of present tense adds to the feeling of dissociation Ritry puts himself through. It is as if he wants to escape from his past, and so he only looks to what is around him at the moment. Mr Ruins is not a perfect book. Sometimes is becomes too confusing for its own good. I also came across a few typos and some formatting that didn’t work. But overall I found this book excellent, and have already downloaded a few more by the author. I’ll be interested to see how the Ruins War trilogy continues....more
What a great short story! The concept’s intriguing — stories as living creatures, and a sheriff (who is also a story) investigating stories losing theWhat a great short story! The concept’s intriguing — stories as living creatures, and a sheriff (who is also a story) investigating stories losing their conflict. It straddles so many genres — there are elements of western, mystery and fantasy, but there are also deeper philosophical elements on the nature of stories themselves.
This could have been a complete mess, but the author keeps the fantastical setting and characters real, and corrals his words with style. It could have sprawled, but it remains focused on the mystery. It’s a quick read, but one that feels full and complete. It also manages to turn very serious while still remaining light and playful. I’ve no idea how the author manages this so well.
It’s a prequel to what I believe to be a series of stories set in the Storystream. Where some prequels tease, leaving the reader feeling unsatisfied, this is a full story, but it intrigues and hints. I want to read more about the Storystream not because I need answers to questions posed in this book, but because the universe of the Storystream sounds so appealing.
I have to say that this book probably isn’t for everyone. But if you’ve reached this point in the review, you’re probably open to something different, and you could do far worse than pick up a copy of All Quiet On The Western Fold (and if you check out the author’s website, you can get a copy for free.)...more