Chantal Boudreau's Reviews > The Machine
The Machine (The Temple of the Exploding Head, #2)
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Chantal Boudreau's review
Sep 28, 2011
I was looking forward to reading the fourth book in Ren’s The League of Elder series, having really enjoyed the first three books, the last of which had been left with a cliffhanger. Ren offers a delightful mix of space fantasy and steampunk with multi-layered characters in all of his books, and The Machine was no different. I was happy to return to the escapism of his strange worlds and stranger people with the kind of larger-than-life heroes one would typically find in the old-fashioned serials, making his stories seem both very old and very new at the same time. Lord Kabyl, after surviving a near-death experience, must follow through on the Trials that will allow him to reunite with his love, the hauntingly beautiful Sam. With the help of family and friends, and against the wishes of his mother, he sets off to complete this task, leaving his parents behind to investigate the phenomena that almost killed him. This had all the qualities of high adventure: mystery, thrills, action and discovery. The entire book is great entertainment, but once the heroes reach Waam, it gets particularly exciting and the detail in his world-building is tremendous. I once again recommend this imaginative series, a must-read in speculative fiction.
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