Alex's Reviews > The Kingdom Beyond the Waves

The Kingdom Beyond the Waves by Stephen Hunt
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's review
May 07, 2012

really liked it
bookshelves: fantasy
Read from May 07 to 14, 2012

This isn't as fresh as it was when I first read it three years ago, but there have been a lot of books since then - and I've discovered more no-strings fantasy than I knew could exist in the intervening years.

The Kingdom Beyond The Waves is an ideas book, and Hunt's ideas tend towards the intriguing. It's of a better construction than The Court of the Air, but at times it's too familiar: Black's antagonist is of a similar build to his last one; a group gets separated by a virtually identical plot device towards the end of both of them.

Characterisation is stronger than before, and the characters that survive the ordeal aren't trapped in developmental dead ends by the time Hunt reaches his near poetic conclusion. Possibly more attention could have been paid to the pseudo-Batman character that Hunt has got going on (Wayne Manor exists essentially to be destroyed in a set-piece that could have been something more), but on the whole this is another exercise in world-building and it succeeds admirably in that respect.

The first time I read this was with a propulsive excitement; this time was just with a curiosity and reminiscence - but it's still intriguing, with arresting imagery and enough cast members to get slaughtered with some to spare.

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Reading Progress

8.0% "Rereading after a few years off, this is already stronger than The Court In The Air. The events of that book are sort of integrated."
42.0% "Just wanted to remind you that this book features a dinosaur that teaches itself the human language so that it can seek revenge against the steam powered robot that killed its mate.

(I thought that was really cool last time I read this book)"

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