Mike's Reviews > The Night Land

The Night Land by William Hope Hodgson
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's review
Nov 21, 2011

really liked it
bookshelves: science-fiction, dystopia, reviewed

*some spoilers below*

I have mixed feelings on this book. I greatly enjoyed the fantastical world Hodgson has created in the far future. It is very unique and creative view of the world, both in terms of human society, technology, and the environment. The images his writing invokes are quite striking and haunting. I'm a sucker for great world building and Hodgson transports us to a very alien far future earth where the sun has been exhausted and dark forces roam the barren earth.

As far as the story goes its your basic boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy wakes up millions of years in the future and must quest through an alien and hostile landscape to save girl. You know, standard stuff. The trials and tribulations the protagonist faces are horrifying and dangerous (his very soul is at stake in some of them). The dangers he faces are both engaging and help flesh out the world he currently resides in, a world both alien and terrifying.

What kept me from giving this book five stars was the events that transpire after he rescues his love. The return to the last refuge of humanity seems quite stale compared to the journey out. But for me the most off-putting part was the interation between the protagonist and his love. It is quite clear that Hodgson has a very early 20th century view (maybe even earlier) of gender relations. A lot of the scenes where these views are manifested really rubbed my 21st century sensibilities the wrong way. I'm not hating on Hodgson for being a creature of his time, but it did diminish my appreciation of the book.

So, 5 stars for the first half and 3 stars for the second rounds out to a nice, interesting, and creative 4 star book.

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